Northport, NY—July 6, 2017—Secure Decisions, a division of Applied Visions, Inc. and an industry leader in cyber security awareness, has been selected by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, Cyber Security Division to present their interactive cyber security curriculum development tool and research effort, Comic-BEE, at the 2017 Cyber Security R&D Showcase and Technical Workshop, scheduled for July 11-13 in Washington, D.C.
The 2017 Cyber Security R&D Showcase and Technical Workshop will present the results of $250 million in federally-funded cyber security R&D. According to DHS, over 1,000 attendees are expected including investors, chief information security officers, and other potential market transition partners. The Cyber Security Division selected Comic-BEE, out of over 115 research projects they currently fund, to be one of just ten transition-ready technologies to be featured at this important event.
Comic-BEE’s Principal Investigator, Laurin Buchanan, will be presenting the research project on behalf of Secure Decisions. Showcase attendees will also be given the opportunity for a hands-on demonstration of the new technology as part of a special competition run by the Comic-BEE team.
“We need a new way to engage people —students, the workforce, and decision makers at all levels— and help them understand cyber security risks in the new ‘information worker’ economy.” Ms. Buchanan stated. “Comic-BEE aims to provide educators and employers with a powerful, integrated solution that can help both educate and evaluate our current and future workforce.”
Comic‑BEE integrates the creation of lesson plans for specific curriculum goals with the process of creating a comic for education or evaluation—specifically, a graphic, branching story where readers make choices, and the story changes based on the choices made. “Stories can be used to explore a wide range of cyber security aspects, such as ethics, privacy, strategy, and the law,” Ms. Buchanan stated. “They also provide a way to gain an understanding of a whole process—say, incident response—or understanding the strategy involved in cyber security decision making, such as the consequences of specific risk management and security design considerations, or when and how to use a network scanning tool in stealth mode as part of a penetration testing scenario.”
Comic-BEE requires no programming knowledge or input from graphic artists. The application guides educators and employers through the process of creating a complex, branching storyline that demonstrates a clear cause-and-effect relationship between cyber events and choices, and their real-life consequences. By specifying both the relative quality and expertise of each choice in the story and associating those choices with the learning objectives from their lesson plan, educators and employers can ensure the story addresses the intended curricular goals.
Comic-BEE includes scoring capabilities that enable the use of comics to assess learning and skills. Scored comics can support hands-on evaluation of diverse cyber security topics and be used for practice exercises or competitions. Secure Decisions has also integrated the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Workforce Framework into the Comic‑BEE workflow, making it easy to create comics aligned with specific tasks or KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities) associated with individual cyber security workforce roles.
The Comic-BEE team is currently conducting multiple pilots to demonstrate how the comics can be used in various environments, and is seeking partners to author and pilot cyber security comics as part of classroom curriculum, as well as educators and employers interested in creating and using scored comics for assessment on cyber security topics.
This material is based on research sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, Cyber Security Division (DHS S&T/CSD) via contract numbers HSHQDC-14-C-B0019 and HHSP233201600057C. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the Department of Homeland Security or the U.S. Government.
About Secure Decisions:
Secure Decisions, a division of Applied Visions, Inc., is dedicated to conducting research and developing innovative technologies in cyber security including network defense, infrastructure protection, application security, intelligence analysis, and data visualization. Secure Decisions develops tools for decision-makers to analyze large amounts of complex data, and to provide cutting-edge security measures to protect their proprietary information. Many of their products were developed under contract from federal and state governments or governmental agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and DARPA. In 2015, Secure Decisions’ application security R&D led to the development of a new application vulnerability correlation and management system, which is now commercially available through a spin-out company called Code Dx, Inc.