Effectiveness of Cybersecurity Competitions
Cheung, Ronald S and Cohen, Joseph Paul and Lo, Henry Z and Elia, Fabio and Carrillo-Marquez, Veronica

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Type: Paper

  title={Effectiveness of Cybersecurity Competitions},
  author={Cheung, Ronald S and Cohen, Joseph Paul and Lo, Henry Z and Elia, Fabio and Carrillo-Marquez, Veronica},
	abstract = {There has been a heightened interest among U.S.government agencies to fund cybersecurity workforce development. These efforts include offering universities funding forstudent scholarships, funding for building capacity in cybersecurity education, as well as sponsoring cybersecurity competitions, games, and outreach programs. This paper examines the effectiveness of cybersecurity competitions in educating students.Our study shows that though competitions do pique students interest, the effectiveness of this approach in producing more high quality professionals can be limited. One reason is that the knowledge barrier to compete in these competitions is high. To be successful, students have to be proficient in operating systems,application services, software engineering, system administration and networking. Many Computer Science and InformationTechnology students do not feel qualified, and consequently this reduces participation from a wider student audience. Our approach takes aims at lowering this barrier to entry. We employ a hands-on learning methodology where students attend lectures on background knowledge on weekdays and practice what they learn in weekend workshops. A virtual networking environment is provided for students to practice network defense in the workshops and on their own time}