Outreach Programs

Security Literacy

The primary method for educating students and the general public about cyber security has been through limited awareness campaigns and the construction of top-ten security lists.  These approaches are neither effective nor sufficient as it is poor pedagogical practice to believe that students – or anyone for that matter – can remember, understand, and apply knowledge when the educator provides them with nothing more than an inherently incomplete top-ten bullet point list of security tasks to perform which have no context related to their daily lives.

We believe that formal computer security education is the key to combating the threats intrinsic to the Information Age.  It is argued that computer security literacy is not only the next logical step in computer security defense; it is the most important step that, we, as individuals can take.  Through this website and project we want to encourage security educators and professionals to reach out to their respective community and promote security literacy.

See www.security-literacy.org for more information


First developed to support cyber defense competitions (CDCs), ISERink is a virtual laboratory environment that allows students an opportunity to undertake hands-on activities focused on networking, cyber security, and penetration testing. It is built upon an Internet testbed named ISEAGE that provides a real world networking environment for students. To the students it appears as if their network, which uses public address space, is directly connected to the Internet. In reality, the students’ traffic is contained in the controlled ISEAGE testbed. This prevents misconfigurations or other beginner mistakes from disrupting a classroom or campus network

See www.iserink.org for more information

Information Assurance Student Group (IASG)

The Information Assurance Student Group is an Iowa State University Student Organization for students interested in becoming professionals in Information Assurance or who just wish to learn more about how to make their networks, computers, and applications more secure. Information Assurance is the practice of assuring the integrity, availability, confidentiality, and overall security of information and thus comprises a wide range of disciplines. The Information Assurance Center at Iowa State is composed of Mathematicians, Electrical Engineers, Computer Engineers, Computer Scientists, Managers of Information Systems, and Political Scientists. IASG is open to anyone! We have weekly meetings (typically on Tuesday evenings)   about topics such as computer viruses, firewalls, database security, physical security, wireless jamming, or many others; and offer hands-on labs developing students’ applied and practical security skills  such as vulnerability scanning, wireless network cracking, and more!  These activities are designed to help increase the number of students studying information assurance at Iowa State.

Organizations can provide a speaker for their meetings to talk about an interesting security topic and are also welcome to provide food at the meetings.  This is a great way to reach a large number of students from several different majors.  Some meetings have over 100 students in attendance.  Contact the student group (iasg-cabinet@iastate.edu) to schedule a date to give a presentation.


IT-Olympics (IT-O) (Iowa State University & HyperStream of Iowa)

IT-Olympics, 2017 – 2018 (year eleven) is an innovative program that is dedicated to increasing interest in and awareness of IT among high school students through inquiry-based learning focused on three content areas:  cyber defense, game design, & robotics.  IT-Olympics utilizes secondary, post-secondary, and industry partnerships in educational programming, competitive events and service learning projects aimed at the high school students to accomplish its goal.