March 15, 2021

Team creating virtual reality-based training program to thwart cybersecurity attacks

Researchers from Purdue and Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) are creating an artificial intelligence-powered, virtual reality-based cybersecurity training program for public safety officials. The joint three-year project received a $1.5 million Homeland Security National Training Program/Continuing Training Grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in November 2020.  

Cyber Resilience Adaptive Virtual Reality Experiences (CRAVRE) is designed to help public safety officials prepare for the growing threat of cyberattacks, especially those relating to disasters. The principal investigator of CRAVRE is Mesut Akdere, professor of human resource development in the Department of Technology Leadership and Innovation and director of the Purdue HRD Virtual Lab.

“We’ve seen great results with VR-based training,” Akdere says. “Interactive and immersive training scenarios in VR are much more true to life, which enhances learning and memory.”

Internet of Things technologies have increased vulnerabilities of cyberattacks during disasters, and the training helps officials respond faster and recover more quickly when it happens. Akdere says incorporating artificial intelligence also brings a level of customization for each learner not yet offered by traditional training programs.

The project plans to begin offering the training in early 2022.

Akdere is also part of the Center for the Environment’s Building Sustainable Community research area. CRAVRE aligns with the center’s interest in building sustainable and resilient communities.

For more information, visit the CRAVRE website.

Writer: Julie Abdinoor


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