CYNIC: increasing awareness about information security and digital services

The project supports SMEs and IT companies to face challenges when investing in new business models.

Researchers at Luleå University of Technology using the card game.

The card deck game for information security awareness.

Instance Lab. Picture by CYNIC.

One of the projects participating in the ARCTIC PACER clustering project is CYNIC, or ‘Cyber security in Innovation and Business Communication’, funded by Interreg Nord programme.

The project started in October 2018 and it is a cooperation between two academic partners, Centria University of Applied Sciences (Finland) and Luleå University of Technology (Sweden). CYNIC aims to support SMEs by giving them access to a neutral test and learning environment, in this case a dynamic and safe cross-border physical and virtual lab environment, in which companies can learn from each other and research about shared challenges and problems. The project has identified that uncertainty and a risk focus are some of the obstacles to SMEs willingness to invest in new business models which are tailored for digitalisation and digital services. According to CYNIC partners, better insights and a sound IT-, Cyber-, Information Security behaviour can be fostered by providing a possibility for SMES to test and evaluate solutions in a secure training and learning environment.

Therefore, CYNIC has developed training material for increasing awareness about digital information security as supports services for SMEs and IT companies. The focus is to bring together human and technical aspects, to incorporate information security risk management in ordinary work routines. Partners have developed the following resources:

  • a mobile information security lab, Instance lab, aimed for practical training at the SMEs’ sites.
  • interactive exercises for the Instance lab (currently under development), to support and engage SMEs in realistic actions under fictive threats.
  • a card deck game for information security awareness. This service builds upon gamification and is an easy to use training material to start understanding the concepts and discussing terms of risks, vulnerabilities and countermeasures.
  • Riskify online awareness application, developed to identify how differently risk assessments are done by different stakeholders.

Find more information about the training material and the Card deck game