Automating the Creation of Virtual Educational Environments to Enhance Cybersecurity and Information Technology Education Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (M.S., Computer Science) -- University of Idaho, 2017 | Hands-on exercises utilizing virtual environments have been demonstrated as an effective means of teaching cybersecurity. These exercises are currently built manually by educators, and require significant time and Information Technology (IT) knowledge. Manual setup also leads to inconsistencies, especially when sharing or reuse is desired. ADLES seeks to solve these problems by enabling educators to easily design, specify, and build portable virtual environments for their courses. This automation, and its associated specification language, can save significant time and effort and ensures the creation and deployment of deterministic, repeatable, and shareable instructional environments. In this thesis, the design and implementation of ADLES is described, and its capabilities are demonstrated using real-world scenarios. In the future, ADLES can serve as a framework for sharing these environments, possibly through an open-source repository of pre-built exercises, competitions, and classes, helping schools that lack the resources for high-quality cybersecurity education.

subject area of

publication date

  • June 1, 2017