Tabletop Exercise For Cybersecurity Educational Training; Theoretical Grounding And Development

Carlos Arturo Martinez Forero
Education and training aspects are vital components of national cybersecurity strategies, to shape, enhance and test the decision maker’s level of preparedness before current and future challenges that can arise from a cyber incident. Decision-making processes in cyber defense and security require crucial crisis management competences capable of generating a comprehensive response where safety, well-being and other public and private assets could be put at stake. The purpose of this thesis is to suggest the improvement of potential and perceived weaknesses on the educational components of cyber security strategies, discussing awareness-training models with significant impact on the participants, focusing on strategic decision-making level personnel that could partake of cyber related incidents. The work supports the use of simulation-based scenarios, and concentrates on the design of Tabletop exercises. This thesis shows when a tabletop exercise could be an effective mechanism to shape, enhance and test the awareness, understanding and preparation for strategic decision makers in cyber related incidents. The thesis draws from a disciplinary integration of learning, human computer interaction, and management theories. A scenario-based training provides a safe and flexible environment where the participant is placed into a critical situation while maintaining a realistic insight into the characteristics of cyber crisis and the threats and attacks that may take place. The simulation represents possible challenges, demanding crisis management capacity and an appropriate response. Tabletop exercises permits that andragogical benefits and educational purposes be realized through an innovative and engaging method. Considering elements from experiential learning and situated cognition the learning outcomes of this training model will be measured, using Bloom’s revised taxonomy of educational objectives. The OODA Loop will suggest a thoughtful decision making process that also fits well the dynamic of the current proposal. Additionally, the thesis will contribute with an original modular guide that trainers and educators can use for the implementation of a Tabletop exercise on cyber security. National and international level tabletop exercises experience and participation provided empirical support to the theoretical contribution on theory integration, and informed the modular guide development. The work is qualitative and therefore seeks to observe, interpret and understand, by using documental analysis, and observation methods. The work contributes to the relevant academic dialog on its theoretical grounds and also in practical terms, by providing with tools readily applicable to the creation of simulation based tabletop exercises.
Graduation Thesis language
Graduation Thesis type
Master - Cyber Security
Maria Claudia Solarte Vasquez; Raimundas Matulevičius
Defence year