Cybersecurity has been a hot topic as both the number and the scale of information breaches kept increasing in recent years. It is not surprising to see another high profile cyberattack leading to thousands of customer accounts stolen and millions of dollars lost because almost all the mid-sized and large companies are being constantly probed and attacked. Any weak link in the information defense mechanism may cause the compromise of the business data, which is considered the core of business. There is a strong need of a larger and professionally prepared cybersecurity workforce. It’s projected that the US is in an urgent demand of thousands of information security workers. Security engineering has been listed as one of the hottest jobs in the US with 34% increase till 2018. Cybersecurity is a highly applied discipline that requires graduates to have strong hands-on skills. The NSA has been active defining the cybersecurity education and research curricula and designate institutions to be the national center of excellence in IA (Information Assurance) Education. In the meantime, the NSF has established a number of grants to award projects that promote cybersecurity education and curriculum development. Some of these projects have reported success of teaching hands-on skills through gamification, a game-like learning environment. CTF (Capture-the-Flag) events are particularly successful attracting college students, even non-IT/CS major and high school students into cybersecurity. This paper summarizes the current popular gamification technologies and the practice of using CTF and competition projects in classroom teaching. Not only used in teaching, but can these gamification techniques used for evaluating student learning.
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