University of Dayton to Build Cybersecurity App for Kids | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

(TNS) — University of Dayton will use a grant from Ohio Third Frontier, a state-based program focused on business startups, to improve cybersecurity in the state.

UD was awarded $193,981 to prepare schoolchildren against online risks, prepare police to investigate the dark web and train a cybersecurity workforce.

The money will be used for an engaging, interactive app for kindergarten through 12th students, launch a free training app for police, and training for future workers.

The K-12 interactive app will be a 3D, immersive app to teach students to identify and respond to online risks like phishing, malicious website and more. The students can wear a virtual reality headset, choose a character, earn badges and points as rewards, and compete in quizzes to earn top spots on leaderboards.

“CyberSafe will be gamified, but it’s more than a game,” Zhongmei Yao, associate professor of computer science and director of research, said. “It is a step toward making a digitally native generation more responsible, aware and ready to respond to risks in the technological world.”

The app is expected to launch in June 2025.

Faculty also plan to launch a free training program for law enforcement to investigate crimes on the dark web, a deliberately hidden system where criminals operate, according to Scott Belshaw, professor and chair of the department of criminal justice and security studies.

“Officers need cyber skills and foundational knowledge of the dark web to break through the anonymity and better protect their communities,” Belshaw said.

UD and the University of Cincinnati are working together on a master’s degree program to meet the rising demand for cybersecurity experts.

Additionally, UD is planning a new bootcamp for those who already have a cybersecurity credentials and need additional skills.

“These training modules for everyone from students to professionals will cover topics such as recognizing and avoiding phishing attacks, types of malware, how cyber attacks happen and ways they can be prevented, and more,” said Hamed Zolbanin, associate professor of information systems and business analytics.

©2024 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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