Online game developed to promote the importance of cyber security
SARNIA, October 28, 2021 – The “dataverse” is at risk of an alien invasion and it’s up to Lambton College students to defeat the invading cyber criminals.
That’s the premise of a new online game being launched at Lambton College this month in an effort to raise awareness on the importance of cyber security and safety.
The interactive video game was developed by Lambton College and the Post-secondary International Network (PIN), an international alliance of post-secondary polytechnic and community-technical institutions.
Lambton, known for its strong gamification capacity within its faculty research team, was part of a unique partnership formed with PIN, Olds College (Alberta), Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Saskatchewan), Central Community College (Nebraska, USA) and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), to showcase how colleges and institutes globally have the power of building innovative products to enhance education internationally.
The product was developed in only four months and is ready to be launched for Lambton and its partner colleges.
The game, titled “Protect The Dataverse” uses a gamified curriculum that allows players to learn the fundamentals of cyber security as they navigate various user levels and associated missions.
The College’s Research & Innovation and IT departments led the design of the game, including content creation and development of the leader board system. A grading dashboard was also created and connected to the gaming platform to report real-time results.
The game takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and uses a leaderboard-style system that takes users through various levels where they compete in associated missions.The missions are presented as either content missions or animations that have been designed to provide users with knowledge about cyber security. At the end of each content mission, users will engage in a checkpoint of knowledge – if they are unsuccessful, they will need to re-start the mission.
In addition to gaining necessary knowledge to help protect the College’s IT infrastructure, Dave Mitton, Director, Information Technology at Lambton College, says the game will provide users with skills to assist in keeping their digital lives secure on a personal level as well.
Essentially, we’ve converted our general Cyber Security Training into a 20-minute interactive program using gamification technology,” said Mitton. “There’s been a significant increase in cyber security attacks against organizations globally and it’s important that Lambton continues to make significant investments and technical improvements to the IT infrastructure to protect the College and our user groups.”
The release of the new game coincides with Cyber Security month and a series of awareness campaigns at Lambton encouraging employees to do their part in helping to protect the College from cyber security threats.
Mitton says Lambton consistently updates and invests in critical infrastructure to protect against ongoing cyber threats, including enabling Multifactor Authentication (MFA) across internal employee user accounts. The College also recently removed public access to the internal phone lists to limit the ability of social engineering attacks.
The project falls in line with Lambton’s ongoing commitment to innovation and the ability to implement leading-edge tools to provide both students and employees with a diverse array of technology-enhanced, experiential learning opportunities.
“This is a really important project for Lambton College. We’re seeing gamification emerge as a trend in how we approach training and education,” said Mehdi Sheikhzadeh, Vice-Presiden, Research & Innovation at Lambton College. “This project shows how international partnerships can be built to develop training models and products globally. Additionally, this project indicates the capacity Lambton College has for gamification, which can be used for many applications.”
For a preview of the new game, go to https://youtu.be/_tC2fOPMAjI.