BUTCA provides cyber security training to University of Defence

At the beginning of April, another training of students of the University of Defence on the BUTCA platform (Brno University of Technology Cyber Arena) took place at our faculty. The mission of BUTCA is mainly teaching and awareness in the field of cyber security. The implementation of BUTCA in the expanding network of schools helps to increase education in this area.

The April training of students of the University of Defence on the BUTCA platform confirmed the cooperation started in 2023, when in May of the same year the first training of students of the University of Defence in cyber security took place. This year, students of the Master's degree programme in Cyber Security were also able to experience practical training using the BUTCA training platform. Each student had their own individual interactive environment in which they solved the practical challenges of a given scenario, from the application to the network layer.

Training on the BUTCA platform | Autor: Nikola Číková

The aim of the training was not only to find vulnerabilities and weaknesses of the tested system, but also to present ways to eliminate them. The students learned how to prevent an attack so that it would not occur at all and so that its possible impact would be minimal. BUTCA is currently being integrated into the curriculum at the University of Defence and from the next academic year students will have the platform available directly from their home university. "This will be a remote access where Defence University students will connect to our cyber arena environment via a web browser. In general, we can say that thanks to remote access, this eliminates the need for any institution that orders training in the platform to solve possible technical problems on their side", explains Willi Lazarov, one of the main creators and lecturers of BUTCA, from the Department of Telecommunications of the FEEC.

One of the main creators and lecturers of BUTCA Willi Lazarov during the training | Autor: Nikola Číková

The University of Hradec Králové has recently expressed interest in the BUTCA platform. Since the cyber arena is primarily intended for teaching, it has already been integrated at Střední průmyslová škola Třebíč and is about to be launched at Vyšší odborná škola a Střední průmyslová škola elektrotechnická in Plzeň. The possibility of deploying BUTCA at other secondary schools is under discussion. The cyber arena developed at the Institute of Telecommunications is also helping secondary schools in terms of the teacher shortage they are currently facing. With BUTCA, the teacher acts as a supervisor in the classroom as the platform guides the students itself and provides them with hints when needed. "The teacher can focus more on the students who need help, and also train themselves thanks to the intuitive navigation on the BUTCA platform," adds Willi Lazarov.

Ladislav Havlát, deputy director of Střední průmyslová škola Třebíč, also praises the successful cooperation and confirms the above: "We are of course very happy that we can cooperate with the university in this way, because it gives us a different way of teaching, and above all it solves the lack of qualified teachers, because this is of course a big problem at the moment."

BUTCA primarily targets industry, more specifically cyber attacks directed at industrial infrastructure. As a result, the platform can currently be used to simulate cyber attacks on:
- a wastewater treatment plant,
- an industrial packaging line,
- a brewery,
- a transmission system,
- smart meters.
All of these 5 industrial topics exist in the form of a polygon at the faculty, hence in physical form. A new polygon is being developed for the transport infrastructure area.

The next level of education is Master of Science in Cybersecurity (proCyber), which we have previously reported on https://www.vut.cz/vut/aktuality-f19528/vut-otevira-nove-studijni-programy-resit-budou-aktualni-prumyslove-problemy-d254828.