Exercising Information Assurance Education: Testing Security Knowledge at Full Speed presented at AUScert 2009

by Joe Adams,

Summary : Information Assurance (IA) training is widely recognized as important, but most current efforts consist of courses that are not coordinated into a cohesive curriculum. Even when there has been an effort to design a sequence of courses, students are rarely tested on the entire body of knowledge in a hands-on, real-time environment.
This presentation presents the experiences of the United States Military Academy (USMA) in using a Cyber Defense Exercise (CDX) as just such an environment. The CDX requires students to design, construct, and then defend an information system over the course of a four day, real time exercise. The CDX is not a stand-alone element of the IA education program. It is, in many ways, the graduation exercise for students taking the IA curriculum.
A number of elements must come together to make the CDX a realistic training environment. This presentation will discuss the IA curriculum components included in the Computer Science and Information Technology majors at USMA. The next section will describe unique facility and software requirements that are required for the CDX. The final section will show how the composition of the CDX provides the culminating point of the IA curriculum.