Defeating today’s ever-changing foe requires a novel approach. Thousands of enterprises are protected best-in-class, battle-tested cybersecurity solutions. To avoid being a victim of typical scams like phishing, it’s just as necessary to train your staff in fundamental cybersecurity literacy skills as it is to use cutting-edge technology.

Cybersecurity Literacy Challenge, which attracted over 350 participants. A total of $30,000 in prizes was up for grabs during the eight-week challenge, which encouraged contestants to use their creativity to create games that educate on a variety of information security topics in an entertaining and engaging manner. Since announced the winners just a few days ago, we’ll be doing interviews with them to learn more about their projects and the goals they have for the game they created to encourage cybersecurity awareness.

The Cyber Security Escape Room’s team got first place in the $10,000 grand prize.

A $10,000 grand prize was awarded to the winning game, Cyber Security Escape Room, created by Thijs and Bas Boschert, who drew on their combined cybersecurity skills to make it happen. Taking on the role of a hacker, players attempt to gain access to vital information in this point-and-click game. A judge said, “Cyber Security Escape Room” stood out because of the game’s simple design and clear presentation of cyber literacy topics. Thijs and Bas were kind enough to sit down with the editorial team to discuss their award-winning project.

What was the genesis of this game for you?

Thijs and Boschert: “For the game, we drew inspiration from our years of cybersecurity experience, the need for improved security awareness, and our personal experience with mandated security e-learnings that were both tedious and frustrating.” We set out to create a security awareness course that would be entertaining to take both at home and at work. With this in mind, we wanted to build an immersive learning environment in which participants could learn practical life lessons while experiencing them.

As a game developer and/or cybersecurity expert, how would you describe your educational and professional background?

Both Thijs and Bas Bosschert are here: “Designing and constructing physical escape rooms for amusement is something we’ve done before.” However, the Cybersecurity Escape Room is our first attempt at developing an online game. In addition, this is the first-time escape rooms and cybersecurity have been merged.

“It has been more than two decades since we began our careers in the cybersecurity industry (we began hacking in the late 1990s). Around seven years ago, we both left our corporate jobs and began working as independent contractors. As a team, we have a wide range of skills, including penetration testing, incident response management (IRM), red teaming, and workshop training. We’ve been playing and arranging CTF (Capture the Flag) hacking games for a long time now.

What do you think your game will teach the public about cybersecurity?

Bas Boschert and Thijs: “We want to make people more aware of the importance of security while also making them feel positive about it.” Ransomware, password security, backups, social media, physical security, and a clean workstation are among the subjects we discuss.”