The Pivot project is a portfolio of interesting, practical, enlightening, and often challenging hands-on exercises for people who are trying to improve their mastery of important cybersecurity skills.
Cybersecurity clubs at colleges and high schools provide a valuable resource for students who want to learn cybersecurity – especially at schools where cybersecurity is not taught by skilled practitioners or is not taught at all. The most effective clubs have weekly or bi-weekly meetings at which a short technical briefing is followed by hands-on exercises where the club members develop hands-on mastery of real-world cybersecurity skills. The challenge facing every club is to find a competent presenter and a well-designed set of exercises for every meeting.
The Pivot project will enable clubs around the world to have great briefings and exercises for every meeting and will include sufficient numbers, types, and levels of exercises so that clubs can focus several meetings on increasingly challenging exercises in a single area (application security or digital forensics, for example) or spread the exercises over many different cyber skills or any combination.
These exercises can also be used by faculty members to add hands-on skills development to their lecture courses or as homework for their courses.
Sources of Exercises:
Pivot exercises are being contributed by people from many sectors of cybersecurity. Some are coming from well-known experts in the field – people like Ed Skoudis and Sam Bowne. Others are coming from innovative high school and college teachers like Mandy Galante, Jeffrey Hanson, and Eric Arnoth. Still others are coming from leaders of cyber clubs who have created useful exercises and want more people to benefit from them. Each exercise is clearly labeled with the name of its creator so that large numbers of people can know who provided these valuable resources. Anyone who has created or who can create high-quality exercises that will help people learn is invited to submit their creation for global use. Details for contributing exercises are available here.
Exercises in Pivot must meet extremely high standards for quality and the Pivot team assesses every submission on a series of quality measures. This avoids the situation where an exercise frustrates the learner through bad design, bad execution, or both. Submitters get feedback from the assessors and are encouraged to make improvements. Users also are polled to score the quality of each exercise.
Pivot exercises are available at no cost to high school or college cybersecurity clubs, to B-Sides and similar cybersecurity groups, and to teachers in accredited academic institutions. In the future, they may also be available for individuals to use if a suitable mentoring arrangement can be developed.