Learning Undefeated has announced the debut of a new cyber forensics activity developed in collaboration with Northrop Grumman Corporation, one of the world’s largest technology companies and one of the leading cybersecurity employers in the country.
The new hands-on activity for high school students, titled Who Are Your Friends? A Cybersecurity Mystery, demonstrates how criminals use social engineering – manipulating people into revealing personal information online – to compromise and hack into personal accounts. Through a series of puzzles, students learn how to recognize and prevent cyber phishing attacks, the importance of secure passwords, and the basics of encryption and how codes can be used to send messages or store information.
“Co-developing this activity alongside engineers from Northrop Grumman provides students with to up-to-the-minute content in a field that is constantly changing,” said Learning Undefeated Vice President of Education Jennifer Colvin. “Through this partnership, we are letting students experiment with the types of puzzles that cybersecurity engineers solve every day, while giving students the confidence that they can be successful in a high-demand cybersecurity career.”
The hands-on cyber sleuthing activity was debuted at the Fort Meade Alliance’s Tech Mania event, a half-day experience that educates high school students about STEM careers by showcasing innovative technological advances developed in their own backyard. Ninth grade students from public high schools in Anne Arundel, Carroll and Howard Counties investigated the risks and vulnerabilities of the social media they use daily, while using clues to solve a social media mystery. Students worked alongside Learning Undefeated educators and volunteers from Northrop Grumman.
“Cybersecurity is one of today’s fastest growing career fields, and we want students to be aware of all of the opportunities available to them,” said Jeanne McGuirk from Northrop Grumman Corporation. “Our partnership with Learning Undefeated will give thousands of students each year a taste of what it means to work in this high-demand field.”
This activity comes on the heels of several high-profile cybersecurity breaches in recent news and focuses on teaching preventive measures through a fictional cyber-attack scenario. This new content is particularly timely because cyber criminals are always coming up with new threats so it can be difficult for students to recognize that they may be exposing themselves to risks such as identity theft through their online activity. The activity will also highlight ways for students to keep themselves safe online.
The new Who Are Your Friends? activity will be available on Learning Undefeated’s Mobile eXploration Lab and Drop Anywhere Labs in spring 2020.