Games for Cybersecurity Decision-making

Atif Hussain, Kristen Kuhn, Siraj Shaikh

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    164 Downloads (Pure)


    Decision-makers are often confronted with cybersecurity challenges, which they may not fully comprehend but nonetheless need to critically address. Efficient preparation through cybersecurity games has become an invaluable tool to better prepare strategy and response to cyber incidents. Such games offer the potential for capacity building of decision-makers through a controlled environment, often presenting hypothetical scenarios that are designed to invoke discussion, while decision-making skills are put to the test. While games are acknowledged to be an effective method for such situations, many rely on technical capabilities to address these challenges. However, a key challenge is to understand the factors that influence cybersecurity decision-making. Further, game effectiveness for developing these skills is often not validated. This paper surveys cybersecurity games and compiles a data-set of 46 games to investigate how effective cybersecurity games are for assessing decision-making skills, and determines the state-of-the-art game. Through critical review and analysis of the data-set, a criteria to assess games for decision-making skills is presented. Furthermore, the criteria is applied to ten games, which determined Cyber 9/12 to be the state-of-the-art cybersecurity game for decision-making. The paper concludes with insights into how the assessment criteria can support the development of better decision-making skills through games.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHCI in Games - 2nd International Conference, HCI-Games 2020, Held as Part of the 22nd HCI International Conference, HCII 2020, Proceedings
    Subtitle of host publicationSecond International Conference, HCI-Games 2020, Held as Part of the 22nd HCI International Conference, HCII 2020, Copenhagen, Denmark, July 19–24, 2020, Proceedings
    EditorsXiaowen Fang
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-50164-8
    ISBN (Print)978-3-030-50163-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2020
    EventHCI in Games: Second International Conference - AC Bella Sky Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Duration: 19 Jul 202024 Jul 2020
    Conference number: 2

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
    Volume12211 LNCS
    ISSN (Print)0302-9743
    ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


    ConferenceHCI in Games: Second International Conference
    Internet address


    • Capacity-building
    • Cybersecurity games
    • Decision-making
    • Human-computer interaction

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Theoretical Computer Science
    • Computer Science(all)


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