AUGUST 13, 2020 — Actively working to improve the nation’s culture of cybersecurity, the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security at UTSA has developed Cyber Threat Protector, a new tabletop card game designed to introduce cybersecurity principles and safety to players beginning in the third grade.
“High-profile cybersecurity hacks continue to threaten the nation’s and communities’ security, both in the public and private sectors,” said Greg White, a professor in UTSA’s Department of Computer Science and director of the CIAS. “While these cyber threats increase, so does the demand for trained professionals and more-aware cyber citizens. In addition to building our future workforce, Cyber Threat Protector is helping young students gain an understanding of the importance of cybersecurity in our everyday lives in a fun way.”
Cyber Threat Protector is a two-player card game designed to teach essential cybersecurity information and strategies to students as young as 8 years old. Inspired by card games that students are already familiar with, such as its companion game Cyber Threat Defender, Cyber Threat Protector is an engaging game regardless of age or skill level.
“When designing Cyber Threat Protector, our goal was to make the game fun first and educational second,” said Larry Sjelin, director of game development at the CIAS. “Simple to learn and easy to play, it introduces students to the concepts and strategies needed to build a safe network and protect it from common cyber threats. This is also a great way to keep young players engaged whether in the classroom or for distance learning activities.”
Using a single deck of cards, players work to quickly build their network while simultaneously protecting their network from cyber attacks. Cyber Threat Protector is designed to complement any STEM curriculum and introduces game play and cyber concepts also found in Cyber Threat Defender, a collectible card game used to teach cybersecurity to students in middle and high school. Educators from San Antonio classrooms, which beta-tested Cyber Threat Protector, have shared their enthusiasm for its versatility and use in the classroom, afterschool clubs, school enrichment activities and personal use during recess or at home with family.
“There are many STEM and cyber-related games and activities that target middle and high school students, but there’s been a deficit in resources for elementary-age students. This innovative game meets the demand from teachers nationwide to introduce concepts like cybersecurity to these young students,” added Sjelin.
The production and distribution of the game, at no cost to teachers, is reliant on financial donations and sponsorship support. By successfully integrating the efforts of academia, government and industry, the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security has become a national leader in the advancement of state and community cybersecurity capabilities and collaboration.
These efforts are seen in the CIAS’s focus areas of cyber defense competitions, cybersecurity training and exercises, and educational game development. The CIAS also leads the Information Sharing and Analysis Organization Standards Organization. Additionally, it is a founding member of the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium, which provides research-based, cybersecurity-related training, exercises and technical assistance to local jurisdictions, counties, states and the private sector.
The Innovation Academy is an 8-hour online hybrid course designed to introduce faculty to a variety of educational ideas, best practices and resources for becoming more comfortable in teaching in different modalities.Virtual Event
Join us for a gathering of friends, faculty, staff and students as we celebrate the beginning of a new academic year, promote UTSA’s commitment to the San Antonio arts community, and preview our community art classes at the historic Southwest Campus.Main Gallery, John L. Santikos Building, UTSA Southwest Campus
The UTSA Alumni Association rowdily invites you to join your fellow 'Runners at the UTSA Alumni Association Gala.16641 La Cantera Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78256
This will be an orientation for students with a history of foster care.Business Building (BB 2.05.04,) Main Campus
The Honors College and Housing & Residence Life invites students to the Student Union lawn for a Movie Under the Stars. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, a picnic, and bug spray. Movie concessions will be provided! This event is open to all students.Student Union Lawn, Main Campus
Come meet your Student Success Center, learn how to MOVE through college successfully, and meet new friends. We will have food, short info sessions, giveaways, and more!McKinney Humanities Building (MH 2.01 Galleria,) Main Campus
Get help finding your way around campus. UTSA Ambassadors and Honors Alliance members can help you find your classes, UTSA Card, and any other resources around campus! Simply come by our table in the Sombrilla!Roadrunner Statue, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.