A Layered Model for Building Cyber Defense Training Capacity

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Conference Proceeding

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As technology proliferates and becomes indispensable to all functions of society, so does the need to ensure its security and resilience through cyber defense training, education, and professional development. This paper presents a layered model that supports cyber defense training progressively through the development of technology services, digital context, performance assessment, and impact analysis. The methods used were applied to college laboratories associated with cybersecurity classes, defense training exercises, cyber based competitions, and graduate research program designs. The service layer presents methods for developing the technical infrastructure and agile deployment necessary to support cyber defense training. This, then, is layered with conceptual frameworks to guide teams as they immerse into scenarios within cyberspace. To enhance team performance in this space and to enhance the value of the training process itself, psychometric feedback, Agile methods, and quantitative assessments are used to track efficacy and facilitate future development. The final layer represents active incident response and ongoing collaborative efforts between institutions and across disciplines. The work is presented as a progression and illustrates a decade of research from 2010 to 2020. The context has been updated here with the intention that it can be used as a guide for designing a broad range of collaborative cyber defense and cyber range programs. The influence of socio-behavioral factors increasingly illuminates the path forward.

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