Cyber defense competitions (CDCs) simulate a real-world environment where the competitors must protect the information assets of a fictional organization. These competitions are becoming popular at the high school and college levels, as well as in industry and governmental settings. However, there is little research to date on the learning outcomes associated with CDCs or the longterm benefits to the participants as they pursue future educational, employment, or military goals. For this exploratory research project, we surveyed 11 judges and mentors participating in a well-established high school CDC held in the southeastern United States. Then, we developed a set of recommended learning outcomes for CDCs, based on importance of the topic and participant preparedness for future information-security related endeavors. While most previous research has focused on technology issues, we analyzed technological, human, and social topics to develop a comprehensive set of recommendations for future CDCs.
Journal of Information Systems Education