Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed an approach that allows IT security professionals to patrol their assigned environments as if they were playing a first-person shooter video game.
The system combines data from network access control systems with existing plans of the building that houses an organization's computers. These are fed into a gaming engine called Unity, which generates a navigable three-dimensional environment. If a part of the network experiences an anomaly or seems to be under attack, it flashes red, catches fire, or can even explode, using built-in animations. Other users also can appear in the game, allowing a team to cooperate more naturally than screen-sharing or teleconferencing.
"Everyone can see everyone else," says MIT researcher Jeremy Kepner. "You could say, 'Follow me while I walk over to this machine that's behaving weirdly,' and people could be in physically different places while having this interaction."
Kepner stresses that adding realism to the first-person shooter environment improves effectiveness of security analysts' participation. The game was successfully tested on a 5,000-machine network, according to Kepner.
From New Scientist
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