News Brief #9: The FORESIGHT training curriculum for the Naval Domain professionals and lessons Learned from all the FORESIGHT pilots

The training path of the Naval domain pilot was based on the successful delivery of seven training modules. These modules made up the FORESIGHT Naval training curricula and were organized into two levels (Beginner and Intermediate).

Beginner Level

  • N1 – Basic Concepts of Cybersecurity (Instructor-Based with multiple choice questions evaluation exam) 
  • N2 – Cybersecurity in Naval Domain (Instructor-Based with multiple choice questions evaluation exam) 
  • N3 – Ship and Crew Cybersecurity (Instructor-Based with multiple choice questions evaluation exam) 
  • N4Maritime Cybersecurity Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Best Practices (Instructor-Based with multiple choice questions evaluation exam and Cyber Range practical exercise)

After the successful completion of N1-N4 modules, a trainee is entitled to Cybersecurity Awareness for the Naval domain (CAN) Certification.

Intermediate Level

  • N5 – Cybersecurity Risk Assessment (Instructor-Based with multiple choice questions evaluation exam) 
  • N6 – Basic Concepts of Cryptography, Digital Forensics and Network Security (Instructor-guided Capture The Flag (CTF) Challenge in the Training Environment)
  • N7 – Maritime Cybersecurity Applications (Instructor-Based with multiple choice questions evaluation exam and Cyber Range practical exercise).

After a trainee acquires the Beginners certification, he/she can enroll to Intermediate level Training Modules. Following the successful completion of N5-N6 modules, a trainee is entitled to Intermediate Cybersecurity for the Naval domain (ICN) Certification.

The Naval training pilot leveraged the experiences gathered from the execution of the aviation and power grid training pilots. Like in the Aviation pilot, one day prior to the pilot start date was used for dry run tests with registered users, targeting to identify technical issues (e.g., encountered problems with the remote connectivity to Federated assets) that might affect the interaction between the registered trainees and the instructors. 

Evaluation questionnaires for each individual training module were submitted by the trainees, aiming at quantifying the applicability of the training material and the overall learning experience. The evaluation results were analysed to identify areas and topics of the training curriculum that can be improved.

Finally, three registered participants successfully completed all the modules of the beginner level training course (N1 – N4), obtaining the Cybersecurity Awareness (CAN) certificate, whereas two users accomplished the successful completion of the whole Naval training program, obtaining the Intermediate Cybersecurity (ICN) certificate

Lessons Learned from all three FORESIGHT Pilots

The three pilots that were conducted in the framework of the FORESIGHT project revealed several issues:

  • The training specifications and prerequisites for the modules delivered during the three pilots did not cover all the domain-specific technologies, forming a gap between the theoretical modules and the components included in the hands-on Cyber Range exercises, and as such, a few training modules had to be reworked.
  • The absence of a dedicated video conferencing solution built within the platform (which is considered a must-have tool for instructor-led online learning) was identified by both trainers and participants. The consortium incorporated a built-in module to fulfil this requirement.
  • The inability of some trainees to access a Cyber Range or a Training Environment via the FORESIGHT developed platform because of unforeseen networking issues that could not be timely resolved, led to trainee dissatisfaction.
  • Only the Innovative Curricula toolkit of the FORESIGHT platform was utilized to deliver training content and register the evaluation reports submitted by the trainees. As such, the cross-domain collaboration modules of the FORESIGHT platform will be tested again in the final pilot.

Despite the aforementioned issues, the three FORESIGHT pilots can be considered successful, highlighting several technical and functional problems that were resolved before the launch of the final pilot, showcasing the need for between-domain collaboration.