Cybersecurity: Competitions and Games
Half-Day Tutorial, Date TBD

There is tremendous interest in cybersecurity competitions. There are dozens of these now being conducted, but with little coordination between them and little agreement on their format or goals. An instructor at a university wishing to have students participate in a competition has little guidance on what competitions might meet their desired academic objectives. In addition, local competitions, presented as part of a class or between just a few institutions, provide considerable experience to students and faculty who want to build and conduct one. The educational benefit in conducting and participating in them has been shown to be extremely valuable. The problem is again that there is little guidance and few tools that can be used by individuals who want to conduct their own local competition.

Gaming is another excellent way to teach cybersecurity concepts and principles. There are a wide variety of existing games that target all age ranges from pre-k through working professionals. Although there is significant interest in using games in the classroom to teach cybersecurity, it is often difficult for educators to determine which existing games are a good fit for their classroom by targeting the correct age range and teaching cybersecurity principles relevant to the course curriculum. Many educators and academic institutions are also interested in developing their own games to aid in course curriculum.

The tutorial complements the paper sessions of the HICSS-50 E-Government Track.


This half-day tutorial will be presented in two parts.

The first will be a presentation and discussion on existing competitions and games, and will focus on the question:

  • "How do I choose the right competition or game for my program?"

The goal is to help faculty members understand the many different types of competitions and games, the benefit of each type, and how to select competitions and games that will enhance their own classroom objectives.

The second part of the tutorial will focus on the question:

  • "How do I bring competitions or games into my classroom?"

The goal will be to provide the knowledge and access to the tools that a faculty member needs in order to conduct a competition for a specific class or for a small inter-school local competition.


The major speakers/instructors will come from the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security who have conducted the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, have produced the technology used in the High School CyberPatriot competition, and have conducted competitions targeting industry professionals as well. CIAS speakers/instructors also have developed games targeting middle-school through collegiate level, including the Cyber Threat Defender card game and various video games. The tutorial will also include a panel of competition organizers and coaches who will be invited to participate in the tutorial to allow others interested in competitions to ask questions of those who have experience in both conducting and participating in competitions.

More information on the tutorial leader

Gregory B. White, Ph.D., is the Director of the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security at The University of Texas at San Antonio. He has been involved in computer security for over 20 years and has published extensively on the subject. His research interests currently include community cybersecurity, security visualization, mini-botnet detection and eradication, and critical infrastructure protection. He is the creator of the Community cybersecurity Maturity Model (CCSMM) and is also involved in security competitions at both the collegiate and high school levels.

Tutorial Leader

Gregory B. White
Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security
The University of Texas at San Antonio
6900 North Loop 1604 West
San Antonio, TX 78249, USA
Phone: +1-210-458-6307
Fax: +1-210-458-2170