When Games Become Serious
Using Games To Support Cybersecurity at The International Cybersecurity Championship and Conference (IC3)
The power of games is phenomenal, and using games as a means to facilitate learning is by no means new. Games have the unique ability to create simulated environments, scenarios, and response actions, and industry of all types is now using games to facilitate a broad range of training - from decision-making to business simulation or even mind mapping. Yet, the benefits of gaming extend well beyond engagement. Studies show that gaming fosters skill development and proficiency while enhancing less quantifiable traits such as teamwork and collaboration, creativity, and productivity.
It is for these same reasons that cybergaming is now recognized as part of the next evolution of preparing tomorrow’s cybersecurity workforce. This approach has received validation across the cybersecurity industry and has also gained traction in numerous vertical sectors including finance, high tech, and healthcare as an innovative training strategy and as a hiring tactic and differentiator for cybersecurity personnel.
Moving games to a competitive framework helps promote even higher achievement of performance, goal-setting, and investment. In August 2023, over 200 top-tier cyber gamers representing 64 countries will compete in challenges relating to web application and system exploitation, cryptography, reverse engineering, hardware challenges, and attack & defend at the global International Cybersecurity Challenge (ICC) showcase. For the first time, the weeklong event will be combined with a conference to become the 2023 International Cybersecurity Championship and Conference (IC3), held July 31 - August 4 in San Diego, CA, USA. In addition to the flagship competition, the event will present a host of educational opportunities for competitors and non-gamers to enhance their own cybersecurity acumen and skill. Attendees will be able to network with industry leaders, try their cyber skills at a hands-on Game Expo, and hear some of the world’s leading cyber experts deliver information on trending topics and current best practices in cybersecurity games.
As the host of the IC3, the US is committed to using this competitive framework to foster global collaboration to address worldwide workforce challenges in cybersecurity. These challenges are significant, with current Cyberseek data revealing a workforce gap of over 750,000 open roles in the US alone. This same shortfall extends well beyond US borders to countries worldwide. In addition to a shortage of workers, organizations globally are seeking ways to upskill their current workforce. Cybergaming works to address both of these concerns, and the positive nature of this initiative is evidenced in its reception from competing nations.
“India’s participation in the IC3 will foster inventiveness among cybersecurity practitioners and help to develop an elevated standard for cybersecurity awareness and hiring within our own country and outside of our borders. We look forward to participating in this united global effort surrounding cybersecurity workforce initiatives and our continued involvement and support of this innovative program,” stated Nimitt Jhaveri, Chairman - India Cyber Games.
IC3 brings together the best and the brightest in the cybersecurity industry to watch a global competition esport style. The competition will be live streamed and the arena-like environment will teem with excitement from shoutcasters and leaderboards. Composed primarily of capture-the-flag and attack-and-defend games, it will provide a safe and legal place for individuals to practice new and tested offensive and defensive hacking techniques.
Games such as these will develop leaders in cybersecurity that are able to think outside of traditional constraints and collaborate across a much broader cybersecurity community. It will also develop a much more diverse workforce that will enrich the community by providing a variety of perspectives that will spark innovation and create better decision-making.
The decision to combine the championship games with a conference allows it to foster a more dynamic and integrated security strategy. Government, education, industry, and community will come together at this event, showing the importance of interconnectedness and a unified blueprint for identifying, hiring, and training mission-critical cybersecurity roles.
“Combining esports with games is a fresh approach to developing leadership and talent in cybersecurity,” notes Jessica Gulick, Commissioner of US Cyber Games. “Playing on a global level allows our competitors to not only enhance their own skill sets but to create a global network of security-conscious individuals with a multitude of skills, perspectives, and cultural diversity.”
The event supports ongoing efforts from the US-based National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) and the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) to grow and sustain a workforce skilled in cybersecurity.
It is said that necessity is frequently the mother of invention. One only needs to look at the intersection of games and cybersecurity to see just how true this is.
Ms. Jessica Gulick, Commissioner of the US Cyber Games & Team https://www.uscybergames.com
Mr. Nimitt Jhaveri Chairman - India Cyber Games Initiative https://indiacyberteam.in
One-click to join the ICG community https://discord.gg/hGCFSc8vX6
Disclaimer: This article is a paid publication and does not have journalistic/editorial involvement of Hindustan Times. Hindustan Times does not endorse/subscribe to the content(s) of the article/advertisement and/or view(s) expressed herein. Hindustan Times shall not in any manner, be responsible and/or liable in any manner whatsoever for all that is stated in the article and/or also with regard to the view(s), opinion(s), announcement(s), declaration(s), affirmation(s), etc., stated/featured in the same.