Nova Southeastern University Office of Academic Affairs Search NSU Site Map Nova Southeastern University
President's Faculty R & D Grant 
Committees, Councils
  and Boards
Faculty Policy Manual
NSU Scholarly Journals
Professional Journals
Prof. Memberships
Academic Policies & Procedures
Provost's Research and Scholarship Award
President's Faculty
 R & D Grant
PFRDG Application Review Process by NSU Librarians
Office of Academic Quality, Assessment, and Accreditation
Contact Us

Print this page  


With a focus on learning, we employ a range of strategies to support innovation, collaboration across centers, and university-wide discussion and decision-making


Thirteenth Annual Grant Winners 2012-2013


Development and Assessment of Scenario Based Cyber Security Skills Index CSSI


Eric S. Ackerman, Ph.D. (SCIS)

Faculty and Students

Yair Levy, Ph.D. (SCIS)
Joshua D. Stalker, M.S. (SCIS)


Development and Assessment of Scenario Based Cyber Security Skills Index CSSINeed/background: Need/background: Cyber-security threats are causing substantial financial losses for individuals, organizations, and governments. Computer users' mistakes, due to poor cyber-security skills, represent about 50% to 75% of cyber-security threats to organizations. Rationale: As opposed to IT professionals, computer end-users are one of the weakest links in the cyber-security chain, due to their limited cyber-security skills. Skills are defined as the combination of knowledge, experience, and ability to do something well. Cyber-security skills are the skills one possess to prevent damage to computer systems via the Internet. However, the current measures of end-user cyber-security skills are based on self-reported surveys. This proposal will address this challenge by developing a scenario-based iPad application to measure cyber-security skills based on actual scenarios that the participants complete in demonstrating their skills. Methodology: To design a measure that has both high validity and reliability, this research will include mixed-methods (qualitative & quantitative) with the development of the iPad application (app) to measure the cyber-security skills. The qualitative phase will include an expert panel feedback on the set of skills that are critical for end-users' scenario-based cyber-security skills index (CSSI) from skills found in literature and those developed by the PI. These skills will be mapped into scenarios with four-activities, each testing the participant's skill level. The app will capture the quantitative score for each skill level demonstrated using a group of 200 NSU employees/participants, along with anonymous demographic data. Data-analysis: The qualitative expert panel data will be recorded and categorized into similar groups of comments for improvements. The quantitative data from the CSSI-App will be analyzed using Factor Analysis, reliability analysis, and reports will be produced. Significance: Development of a scenario-based tool to measure cyber-security skills can help organizations identify those groups of individuals that may need additional training in order to reduce cyber-security threats.