MetaCTF’s founder speaks on how gamification accelerates cybersecurity education
MetaCTF Founder and CEO Roman Bohuk was featured on a panel hosted by the National Cyberwatch Center on March 16, 2022. The panel’s topic was “Using cybersecurity competitions to facilitate learning.”
Bohuk was invited to share his expertise on how MetaCTF uses competition and gamification to improve engagement in the cybersecurity learning process.
While the other panelists focused on their experience educating students on cybersecurity, Bohuk spoke about how his own experience helped him translate the cybersecurity education process to companies.
Bohuk first learned about cybersecurity competitions in high school. Employees at a neighboring GE Digital cybersecurity operations center encouraged him and other students to learn about cybersecurity through educational competitions. After participating in multiple cybersecurity competitions, Bohuk started organizing events at his high school.
When companies started reaching out directly to Bohuk to run cybersecurity training games, Bohuk realized that these games “work for a wide variety of audiences and skill levels,” and that they help participants broaden their perspectives. “If you’re an accountant, [a cybersecurity game] helps you think about technology from a different perspective, for example a hacker.”
MetaCTF has now helped educate over 30 organizations, including multiple Fortune 500 companies. MetaCTF’s cybersecurity education has reached participants in over 115 countries.
Bohuk stressed how directly translatable cybersecurity games are to the workplace. “Pretty much everything I do in my day-to-day job has come from these competitions,” Bohuk told the audience. He added that teams who have participated in cybersecurity games together are more likely to work well under pressure, noting “they don’t stress and they don’t get angry at each other.”
The National Cyberwatch Center describes itself as “a consortium of higher education institutions, businesses, and government agencies focused on collaborative efforts to advance Information Security education and strengthen the national cybersecurity workforce.”
The panel was hosted by Casey O’Brien, Assistant Executive Director & Co-Principal Investigator at the National CyberWatch Center. Three other experts participated alongside Bohuk: Vinitha Nithianandam (Associate Professor of Network Technology at the Community College of Baltimore County), Franz Payer (CEO of cybersecurity education platform Cyber Skyline), and Dr. Koudjo Koumadi (Professor and cybersecurity education expert at Prince George’s Community College).
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