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MoD harnesses gamification to support awareness of cyber security

Stands for Front Liners competition final
Image source: GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

The Cyber Confident Team in the Ministry of Defence has run an exercise using gamification technology to help MoD personnel raise their awareness of cyber security issues.

It developed three digital games – SITREP, Red Flag and Rapid Fire – to test different cyber skills, which it ran for a month under the title Front Liners.

SITREP responds to worries over phishing and is focused on the player’s ability to distinguish between genuine communications and phishing attempts.

Red Flag places the player in a virtual office to look for clues to identify the owner’s password. The aim is to highlight shortcomings in choosing passwords, such as picking a name related to a sports team or numbers on key dates, as well as bad practice such as leaving information on post-it notes.

Rapid Fire involves a series of questions on cyber security topics that demand quick answers.


According to a Defence Digital blogpost on the exercise, it attracted thousands of plays from staff across the MoD and culminated in a competition involving six finalists

“Exercises such as this illustrate how we must find new ways of learning to convey serious messages,” the Cyber Confident Team said. “It is crucial that everyone understands that cyber security always threatens us, at work and in our personal lives.”

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