Cyber42 is a simulation game that is the foundation of interactive hands-on labs in SANS Leadership training. It gives cybersecurity leaders a platform to sharpen their strategic decision making and get ready for real-world issues through uniquely crafted cybersecurity challenges.

A Cybersecurity Leadership Simulation Game

Frank Kim, SANS Fellow and architect of Cyber42, provides a quick look at what leaders can expect from the innovative simulation game taking cybersecurity leadership training to the next level.

What is Cyber42?

Cyber42 is a leadership simulation game that puts you in real-world scenarios that security managers, leaders, and officers find themselves facing on a daily basis. It requires participants to strategically manage and allocate resources, including time, finances, and human capital, all while considering the evolving business, technology, and security demands and constraints.

This simulation allows participants to strategically manage resources and fosters collaboration, leveraging collective expertise to build consensus and navigate the intricacies of various security choices. It presents a unique opportunity for leaders to refine their ability to drive strategic change, emphasizing the importance of adaptability and proactive planning in the face of unforeseen disruptions and outcomes.

Key to Cyber42’s educational value is its capacity to simulate real-life events that test the resilience and effectiveness of the participants' strategic decisions. This not only influences the operational aspects of the organization within the simulation, but also critically impacts the participants' overall performance, measured through a comprehensive scoring system. This system assesses a range of competencies relevant to their course of study, providing tangible metrics for success.

By integrating Cyber42 into leadership training, organizations can expect to see a marked improvement in the strategic thinking, decision-making, and collaborative skills of their executives. This simulation offers a practical, engaging way to prepare leaders for the complexities of cybersecurity leadership, ensuring they are well-equipped to lead with confidence in an ever-changing digital landscape.

Cyber42 Testimonials

What Cybersecurity Leaders Are Saying About Cyber42
The Cyber42 game was perhaps one of the best learning tools that I've encountered in any professional class such as this one. The conversation and thought that went into each answer was an awesome experience.
Julien B.
- Consumers Energy
Cyber42 was an enjoyable way to exercise determining risk as well as understanding that throwing more money is not always the answer to your problems.
Jordon R.
- US Military
I really enjoy Cyber42 and find it a great way to communicate impacts of decisions. It always causes me to think about the results and why they are what they are; I feel like I learn a lot from them.
Jonathan G.
- National Grid
I love the gamification of the labs/exercises. Adding the competition piece makes me think a bit differently about the choices.
Courtney H.
- Amazon
I really like the Cyber42 game and how different answers give different options in future questions. Great to make you think about the problems in reality.
Jamie H.
- Mandian
Cyber42 is a great tool for debating against "real life" use cases.
Cecile C.
- VINCI Energies

    Try Cyber42 for Free

    Find an Upcoming Game Day to Test Your Skills Note: For the full experience and access to an entire Cyber42 game, you must register for a course listed on this page.
    Cyber42 Version Description Date Hosted By


    Cyber42 Game Day: Achilles Systems Hack Assessment. Register Here.

    July 10, 2024 at 1:00pm ET

    Brian Ventura

    Versions of Cyber42 Game Day’s

    Throughout the year SANS offers free "Game Day" versions of Cyber42 as a fun way to learn and interact with peers. Depending on the event, we may offer one of the following versions. Registration to participate is required.
    • This version of Cyber42 is specifically tailored to bolster leadership acumen and to align with the core principles of the Transformational Cybersecurity Leader triad. This version allows leaders to refine their decision-making capabilities, challenging them to navigate complex security scenarios, balance competing priorities, and achieve successful outcomes for a fictional organization. This version fosters leadership development by encouraging the consideration of diverse perspectives in a collaborative environment and enhancing peer-to-peer engagement. You will work through different scenarios, each focusing on different elements needed as a Transformational Cybersecurity Leader: Technology, Strategy, Culture. Participants will not only build their strategic thinking and decision-making skills but also forge meaningful discussions in an engaging, conversation-driven setting. The game supports concepts from each of the following courses:

    • This version of Cyber42 enriches participants with advanced insights into the cybersecurity domain, tailored to the unique challenges faced by operational executives and complements the Operational Cybersecurity Executive triad. Through engaging, scenario-based learning that covers key areas such as Vulnerability Management, Security Operations, and Defensive Controls, participants gain a comprehensive understanding of the operational cybersecurity landscape. This immersive experience not only enhances strategic decision-making by teaching leaders to balance competing priorities and synthesize data rapidly for informed decisions but also offers a risk-free environment to explore the implications of these decisions on business outcomes. Additionally, it fosters the building of valuable professional connections, all within a dynamic and enjoyable setting. This version of Cyber42 serves as a pivotal tool for leaders aiming to refine their operational cybersecurity acumen and leadership prowess. The game supports concepts from each of the following courses:

    • This version of Cyber42 is designed to immerse leadership in the critical role of an industrial control systems (ICS) security manager, navigating the unique challenges of operational technology (OT) environments. This version emphasizes the significance of understanding and managing the cybersecurity risks associated with systems that directly impact the physical aspects of critical infrastructure sectors like power, water, and energy. With the increasing threats targeting these essential networks, the game underscores the importance of investing in resilience and security measures that ensure both the reliability and safety of ICS. Through realistic scenarios, leaders will engage in strategic decision-making to balance security enhancements against the needs and constraints of engineers, operations, and customers, all while navigating the technical and cultural nuances of OT security.

      Find this version of Cyber42 in:

    Learn More About the SANS Curriculums Using Cyber42