Jan Vykopal is a finalist in the national competition Cyber Award of the Year in the teacher category
Interested in cybersecurity? Are you interested in personalities in this field? And have you heard about the national competition "KYBER AWARD OF THE YEAR"? In the first year of the Cyber Award of the Year, Jan Vykopal, PhD from FI MU was nominated in the Cyber Teacher category.
"The National Cybercen of the Year competition was created to recognize individuals and organizations that contribute to strengthening the resilience of Czech society in cyberspace. I was delighted to be nominated in the Teacher of the Year category because others in the Czech Republic have noticed my work, which has an impact not only on FI MU students," said Jan Vykopal, PhD, RNDr.
Congratulations on your nomination among the finalists of the Cyber Award in the category "Cyber Teacher of the Year". What importance do you attach to the nomination for the Cyber Award of the Year for your further professional activity and for the field of cyber security as such?
The nomination has reinforced my belief that it makes sense to not only teach cybersecurity at the faculty level and research how to teach it better, but also to engage in outreach events such as the Cyber Contest for talented students across the country.
It's especially important these days to spread cybersecurity awareness, so it's great that you've taken on this role. In your opinion, how has the field of cyber security evolved in recent years and what are the key skills you think students should acquire/master?
Technical knowledge and skills are essential. However, in addition to technology, cybersecurity also involves users, processes and communication between actors in cyberspace. For example, if a student has excellent technical skills but cannot make good and quick decisions or communicate, the handling of a cybersecurity incident will not be effective.
What innovative methods or approaches do you use in your teaching to make learning about cybersecurity attractive and practical for students?
It is the emphasis on acquiring and practicing technical and non-technical skills in an environment that is as close to practice as possible. In one course, for example, students experience the entire process of penetration testing - from identifying vulnerabilities in a system, to reporting them, to presenting the findings to a sponsor. In another course, they take on the role of members of a security team dealing with a phishing attack and have to prioritise and execute individual actions and communicate with other actors in a limited amount of time, as they would in practice.
In today's digital age, all changes seem to happen at breakneck speed. What are your professional goals and vision for cybersecurity education in the coming years?
In addition to teaching itself, I am working on innovating the format of so-called tabletop exercises that simulate cybersecurity crises and incidents. It takes a lot of time of a large number of people to prepare, organize and evaluate such exercises today. My goal is to simplify all phases of the preparation of such an exercise by using a software platform that will also allow for the analysis of the exercise and the evaluation of the participants, including the submission of feedback.
The award ceremony of the first KYBER AWARD OF THE YEAR took place at the Ambassador Hotel - Zlatá Husa in Prague on 6 October 2023. The jury received a total of 80 nominations in 5 competition categories from which it selected 17 finalists and then 5 winners. Congratulations to Jan Vykopal, PhD, for being one of the four finalists in the Cyber Teacher category and we appreciate his work in helping to create a safe cyber environment. We hope that his students will follow in his footsteps and help create a safe digital world. Talented students can start now and participate in the Cyber Competition.
Photo: Cyber Prize Archive
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