Waterloo students test out videogame that teaches how to battle cybercriminals

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 5:48 PM CST
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WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG) - Cybercade, a a spin off company of ProCircular - a cybersecurity consulting company based in Coralville - is launching a new videogame that teaches students about cybersecurity. Tuesday, they had students in Waterloo beta test the game to get reactions and notes on the software.

TV-9 spoke with one student, Elden Velic, who says he knows his video games. This one was different, however, as it aims to educate students and help prevent cybercriminals from attacking Waterloo and other schools.

“First you start out at this desk and you’re looking for things that are not safe for the company and then you go through an email looking for what’s right and what’s wrong,” said Velic.

Players navigate a “workspace” and try to detect signs of cyber criminals through emails, messages, and more.

“We really try to meet students where they are as opposed to trying to ask them to come to our training platform and learn not only the basic tenants of cyber security, but how to navigate a business ,” said President of Cybercade, Aaron Warner.

It’s a topic that, unfortunately, has become top-of-mind for many schools across the state recently. With several school districts in Iowa experiencing the impacts of a cyber-attack, the governor’s office say this could be a starting point for solving some of those issues.

“Our mission is to get Iowa’s kids exposed to opportunities to work in exciting arenas like cyber,” said Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Executive Director, Jeff Weld. “What better ways to do it than to make it a fun experience that has them wanting to come to school and learn through this platform?”

As the students went through each task in the game, they were able to make notes which representatives from Cybercade say they will take into consideration to change and eventually perfect the simulation.