SUPPORTING INTERDISCIPLINARITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN CYBERSECURITY
IAT, Westfälische Hochschule Gelsenkirchen (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 17th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2023
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Complex problems about cybersecurity including many cyber-attacks require more cybersecurity professionals as well as prepared employees and employers. Professional research shows that security activities contain strong elements of social, legal, ethical, sociological, psychological, and technical, but also economic and managerial ones, and not all security professionals as well as managers and employees have such interdisciplinary knowlege. Besides interdisciplinarity, diversity and inclusion are essential in the cybersecurity workforce. It helps create a more diverse pool of talent important due to diverse perspectives which can lead to better decision making and solving of cyber-attack problems. It is expected that education, as well as training in companies, will contribute to bringing a contribution in this context, i.e. In order to respond to such requirements, besides interdisciplinarity topics, approaches like Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Design Thinking (DT) could be used in this context and make cybersecurity education and training more attractive . UDL is a framework orientated to planning based on learners at the margins not referring to “typical” students- DT is another approach that can be used as an iterative, human-centered approach to problem-solving that synthesizes what is desirable, technologically feasible, and sustainable). DT and UDL can be combined within education and training in cybersecurity so that DT assures UDL to be concretely done to achieve the goals of the UDL framework and to combine innovation activities with a human-centered design. This paper presents some research results about cybersecurity training and an application of interdisciplinarity, diversity, and inclusion with an Erasmus+ Project. Within this two-year Erasmus+ project InCyT (Interdisciplinary Cyber Training www.incytproject.eu) a training and mentoring program for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) and a digital platform is in development. At the development of the training program, we use DT as a process to practice UDL. This training program will be customized for vocational training and for the development of a European transferability model. In our training program, we use the UDL principle by providing learners with multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement. This means that whenever possible developers should provide course content and resources in several formats and trainers/mentors should give learners different ways to demonstrate what they have learned. Diverse learners like those with disabilities (medical or social) and sometimes women will be supported because often they face problems with the application of technology, practices, and routines that create the conditions for unequal access to training. In the development and carry-out of training within InCyT and the integration of DT with UDL, we follow Waloszek (2012) stage. At the end of the training educators /designers and users reflect on the process in a way that works best. So, within InCyT the learners should be helped by trainers, and mentors to develop reflective eJournals.. Possible discussions with company clients to understand their needs and see the cyber-attacks from their perspective as well as the work of learners within small interdisciplinary projects contribute to the development of learner empathy.
Keywords: Interdisciplinary, Diversity, Inclusion, Universal Design for Learning - UDL, Design Thinking - DT, Small and medium-sized companies - SMEs, Education, Training.