Cyber Games, launched in March 2017, is a collaboration between La Trobe University, Cisco and Optus and Quantum Victoria, in partnership with the Science Teachers Association of Victoria and Life Journey/Day of STEM.
Cyber Games provides secondary students with an immersive experience to introduce them to the world of cyber and help develop their aptitudes and skills needed to work in this industry – one of the world’s fastest growing employment fields.
Cyber games is one key component of an emerging ecosystem of cyber awareness activities that will provide:
- Deeper understanding for the need to be cyber aware. The 2016 CERT Australia Threat Report showed an alarming growth in cyber-attacks on business and government. Over a 12-month period, there was an estimated 1,095 serious cyber security incidents on government systems and more than 14,804 cyber security incidents impacting Australian businesses.
- A pipeline of secondary students into TAFE and university education to provide the workforce needs of this growing sector. Estimates of unfulfilled roles worldwide are as high as 1.5 million.
La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar says Cyber Games is part of the University’s commitment to provide students with the opportunities and skills they will need to work in cyber security – one of the world’s fastest-growing employment fields.
“There is a huge need for a new workforce of cyber defenders,” said Professor Dewar. “This initiative will not only educate a new generation of cyber-literate students, it will also help close the gap on a looming skills shortage.
“Cyber Games will simulate real-world threat scenarios for these secondary school students, who we hope will go on to study cyber security at La Trobe University and perhaps then work for Cisco, Optus or any of our other business partners.”
The initiative was welcomed by Soula Bennett, the President of the Science Teachers’ Association of Victoria and Director of Quantum Victoria, who said that Cyber Security is a burgeoning field presenting many career pathways for students.
Cisco’s industry standard Cyber Range Platform – a cyber-attack simulator using real life scenarios that can progressively increase in complexity and difficulty – has been adapted for use by high school students by Quantum Victoria in the Cyber Games competition to ensure a safe and controlled environment.
Teams of three students (Years 10-12) were set a range of tasks to defend against simulated attacks. In a knock-out competition, the team that identifies the task the fastest, wins.
In this way, Cyber Games rewards the best defenders against cyber and is deliberately not framed as attacker against defender.
The Cyber Games final was held at La Trobe University to coincide with its 50th Anniversary Closing Event. There were 11 teams from across Victorian competing.
The games were opened by Prof John Dewar, Vice Chancellor La Trobe University and Ms Soula Bennett, Director of Quantum Victoria and President of the Science Teachers’ Association of Victoria.
The final was a knock-out round robin format with unsuccessful teams still alive through access to a wildcard at two stages in the competition (refer to flowchart). Students from Northcote High School secured a place in the final after successfully beating 4 other teams in the first wildcard section and then a further 5 teams in the final wildcard play-off.
In addition to being the first Cyber Games Champions, the winning team will be offered direct entry into the La Trobe University Bachelor of Cybersecurity course (subject to meeting course prerequisites).