HUMAN ASPECTS TRACK | Oct. 11 • 2:45 pm • Room  22–23

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Gamification, AI, and the Cyber Workforce Gap

Bradley Wolfenden, Director of Cyber Academic Partnerships, Circadence Corporation; and Dr. Daniel Manson, National Cyber League, Cal Poly Pomona

Gamification—applying rules, engaging teams, and scoring—are widely accepted as effective methods for attracting and developing cybersecurity talent. Recent studies show that gamification is a key element in training an effective cyber workforce. A McAfee April 2018 report, “Winning the Game,” surveyed almost 1,000 cybersecurity managers and 500 employees, focusing on current threats, challenges, and investments needed. The survey found 40% of organizations already host some kind of gamification exercise at least once a year and 77% of senior managers said their organization’s cybersecurity would be much safer if they implemented more gamification.

In this session, panelists will share insights around two main threads:

  1. It starts with awareness. How do you make awareness training more compelling and provide better, more measurable results? Some of it comes down to an approach to learning, education and training (we’re big fans of gamification).
  2. We cannot solve this problem alone. As computing power becomes more accessible and affordable and as successful cyber breaches become more profitable, we won’t win this fight alone. The use of AI/ML has been introduced to the cyber scene, and has incredible potential to both augment and automate the work and training/education of cyber professionals

About the Speakers

Brad Wolfenden is the Director of Cyber Academic Partnerships for Circadence Corporation, a technology leader in cybersecurity education, training and assessment. Based out of Boulder, CO, Brad has built a successful portfolio of academic partners by leveraging Circadence’s highly gamified platform, Project Ares, in an effort to drive increased awareness, opportunities for engagement, and dynamic, virtual learning environments to students at all levels of proficiency who are interested in computer science and cybersecurity. Ranging from K–12 to post-graduate programming, Brad has designed, delivered, and managed industry-academic-government partnerships focused on computer science and cybersecurity at all shapes and sizes. Brad is also a member of the NICE Working Group, as well as the NICE Collegiate, Competitions, and K–12 Subgroups.

Dr. Dan Manson is a Professor in Computer Information Systems (CIS) at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona). Dr. Manson has also served as the CIS Department Chair and Campus Information Security Officer and led the effort for Cal Poly Pomona to be designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education in 2005, 2008 and 2014. From 2008 to 2017, Dr. Manson led the Western Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition and since 2011 has partnered with schools in CyberPatriot. Dr. Manson is currently Commissioner of the National Cyber League. Dan has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on six National Science Foundation grants to support workforce, curriculum and professional development in cybersecurity. Dan is a member of the competitions subgroup for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE).