Development of a learning platform which optimises job readiness through individual lab training
and gamified Capture the Flag style challenges
Developed of an online learning platform, with content mapped to specific cyber security work roles
Facilitated strong working relationships between industry and education partners which will support training to stay relevant to the rapidly evolving industry needs
The AustCyber Projects Fund is a $15 million, three-year initiative designed to help the Australian cyber security industry grows and takes ideas globally. Since launching in 2018, AustCyber has provided this funding to projects that are making a real contribution to growing Australia’s cyber security ecosystem, guided by the Sector Competitiveness Plan.
One of the participants in AustCyber’s Projects Fund was FifthDomain, who used their involvement in the Projects Fund Program to develop a learning platform that optimises job readiness through individual lab training and gamified Capture the Flag style challenges
Educating and training the cyber security workforce of today and tomorrow is a significant challenge of the modern age. This rapidly growing and critical industry is under constant pressure to fill vacant positions with skilled staff at all levels. These challenges, coupled with the newness of the topic and a lack of formal education pathways, led to FifthDomain seeking funding from AustCyber to address the gap in specialist cyber security training and education solutions.
The Cyber Security Skills and Technology Accelerator (CSTA) project was designed to enhance the cyber security educational experience in the vocational education and training (VET) and higher education sector in the Canberra region.
The project has realised significant advances in cyber security training content, skills measurement and delivery through specialist technology platforms that have a positive impact on educators and students.
FifthDomain has developed an innovative learning environment that enables users to gain hands‐on cyber operations experience in real‐world environments.
FifthDomain is an Australian scaleup taking on the global cyber security skills shortage. The opportunity is large and growing. Their sense of mission, culture, and physical space lets them bring their best work.
Using virtual machines and the power of cloud infrastructure, content could be delivered to users at a time and place that suits them best, with just a browser.
There was already merit in the existing learning platform but there was more potential to be unleashed with some financial investment. FifthDomain worked in collaboration with the industry and the education sector to develop standardised and effective content for the Certificate IV in Cyber Security at the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) as well as specialised cyber security courses at the Australian National University (ANU).
This new content was delivered through FifthDomain’s Learning Labs, with the added capability to measure each student’s cyber security skills against a comprehensive skills framework, developed by the globally recognised US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The project delivered valuable metrics by mapping the knowledge, skills, abilities and tasks (KSATs) to the learning objectives defined in the two cyber security courses offered by CIT and ANU, demonstrating how well the courses aligned to the framework’s cyber security work roles.
In addition to the development of a standardised curriculum and the Learning Labs, the project also saw the launch of a Training Security Operations Centre (TSOC) at the CIT, providing an Australian-first collaborative training solution. The TSOC includes a virtual classroom with a cloud‐based security operations centre that simulates cyber threats, providing students with an opportunity to manage lifelike scenarios as part of their nationally accredited qualifications.
The Certificate IV in Cyber Security provided the framework for the work undertaken in the TSOC, with content delivered through the Learning Labs. The learning outcomes were then mapped to the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) framework providing students with visibility of their skills, which, in turn, provided them with learning pathways and potential career options.
The success of the project means FifthDomain can develop and deliver standardised training materials for all Australian TAFEs and universities, equipping students with consistent skills critical to the cyber security workforce.
The project has delivered a number of potential benefits to the broader sector, the most significant of which is the ability to assess skills requirements through a common framework to better define workforce requirements, which then feeds into curriculum design. Courses mapped to specific work roles ensure those wanting to begin a career in cyber security are better informed about potential learning pathways.
Learn more about FifthDomain at their website.
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Find out more about the other projects involved with the AustCyber Projects Fund.