Cyber security game

The Challenge

How do you get 3,000+ employees to practice and master a new set of security concepts? That was the challenge facing Software maker Intuit, maker of QuickBooks and TurboTax, which had to change its corporate culture to make cyber security everyone’s responsibility. Gronstedt Group developed an innovative game that won the 2017 Serious Play Award, the 2017 Learning! 100 Award, and became the finalist of the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge.

The Solution

The “Cloud Defense” game is designed to help employees learn, practice, and master cyber security. Modeled after tower defense-style games, players learn and practice Amazon Web Services (AWS) security protocols by defending their app in an epic battle against a hacker attack. The goals are to allow good traffic to freely flow through the web infrastructure while protecting the database from malicious hacker attacks. For each level, a new challenge and “tower” is introduced and the degree of difficulty increases. Between each level, a video “cut scene” features a CNN-style news report about the crime syndicate threatening the fictitious financial company and “Morphea,” a mentor appears to give instructions and set up the next level of the game. Players learn about such security concepts as Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR), Access Control Lists (ACL), Security groups, Bastion Host, and Identity and Access Management service (IAM). The game calculates a score and provides rewards and feedback. A leaderboard is used to provide scoring information across the player population. The approach thrives on the sense of engagement, storytelling, character identification, immersion, problem solving, control, and feeling of accomplishment offered by games.

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