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Tailored Cybersecurity Training in LVC Environments

2016; MODSIM; Nicholson, D.,  Ph.D.;  Massey, L.; O'Grady, R.; Ortiz, E.

Cyber vulnerabilities are continually emerging as a threat to our national and economic security and stability. Reports indicate a tremendous gap in skilled personnel capable of filling our growing need for a Cyber Security workforce to operate, analyze, protect, and defend our critical infrastructure systems. In response, the Department of Homeland Security has developed a national strategic program geared toward education, the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS). This program has developed the National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework which “provides a blueprint to categorize, organize, and describe cybersecurity work into Specialty Areas, tasks, and knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs)” (NICCS, 2015). There is a logical progression to turn to modeling and simulation-based training systems to provide experiential learning to augment the knowledge and skills being developed in classroom and e-learning cyber security certification and degree programs. By using a scenario-based approach in Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) simulation, trainees can practice higher order skills and have an opportunity to experience realistic stressors in dynamic situations. The paper presented concepts for use of on-going research into three different interactive cybersecurity training activities: 1) a 3D gaming environment for Insider Threat training, 2) a virtual Cyber Security Instruction Environment (CYSTINE)for penetration testing with cognitive agent defenders and 3) the use of red-team verse blue-team, live simulation, exercises as realistic, challenging experiences for computer network defense. This paper discussed these cyber learning experiences within a use case of a trainee progressing through a sequence of training tailored to his or her personal needs and objectives, such as envisioned within our early research on a project entitled Fast Learning from Unlabeled Episodes for Next-generation Tailoring(FLUENT) as part of Advanced Distributed Learning’s(ADL) future Training and Learning Architecture (TLA).