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Closing the cyber skills gap with Haystack Solutions

CyberGEN.IQ: The Science Behind the Cybersecurity Assessment

Cybersecurity attacks are becoming more sophisticated every day. Businesses must hire professionals with deep industry expertise to beef up their security. Additionally, individuals must fully understand their cognitive aptitude and strengths to find a cybersecurity career that aligns with their unique talents.

CyberGEN IQ is the world’s only cyber aptitude assessment. This tool is rooted in cognitive science and transforms how applicants and organizations approach cybersecurity talent. Cognitive modeling helps differentiate between jobs that require real-time, quick decision-making and those that demand thorough, exhaustive analysis, enabling a more relevant and direct assessment of an individual’s potential in a particular field.

Keep reading to learn more about the science behind the cybersecurity assessment and how it is empowering the industry, one employer and job seeker at a time.

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Rooted in Cognitive Science

The initial development of CyberGEN.IQ started by pinpointing the specific cognitive skills required in cybersecurity roles through the National Institute for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Cybersecurity Workforce Framework. These guidelines classify 52 cybersecurity work roles into seven detailed categories, and further into 33 specialty areas. This helps developers better understand the unique cognitive skills each role demands.

Based on these specifications, the University of Maryland’s Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (formerly the Center for the Advanced Study of Language) built a model of cognitive abilities necessary for cybersecurity tasks. This model discerns jobs that need people to think on their feet and make swift decisions versus roles that require comprehensive analysis. This model laid the groundwork for designing the tasks to measure distinct abilities.

Each of the tasks within CyberGEN.IQ is rooted in cognitive science. This ensures they measure the intended cognitive abilities with astounding accuracy. Some tests were remodeled from trusted psychological studies, providing a robust theoretical basis. Additional tasks were explicitly created for the test based on insights gleaned from cybersecurity professionals about their daily challenges and activities. 

The Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) scientifically validated and approved the assessment test for use within the U.S. military, highlighting its effectiveness and dependability. CyberGEN.IQ has been modified to target industry professionals more directly, ensuring it remains a relevant tool for the cybersecurity landscape’s ever-changing needs.

Why CyberGEN.IQ Outrivals the Competition

The key differentiator that sets CyberGEN.IQ apart from other assessment tools is that it focuses exclusively on psychometric tests or personality-type questionnaires, not knowledge-based questions. This guarantees a relevant and direct assessment of potential in the field. CyberGEN.IQ ‘s four core cognitive dimensions include:

  • Initiating: The ability to creatively solve problems.
  • Responsiveness: The ability to detect anomalies and vigilantly monitor cyber information streams.
  • Real-time: The ability to confidently make in-the-moment decisions based on current information.
  • Exhaustiveness: The ability to research alternative resources and develop a comprehensive understanding before deciding.

The test is uniquely designed to reflect real-world roles and tasks defined by the NICE framework, making it highly applicable to cybersecurity.

CyberGEN.IQ’s foundation in cognitive science and development processes, which involves input from actual cybersecurity professionals, ensures that it measures relevant skills with 97% scientific accuracy.

This cognitive approach makes the tool extremely effective at identifying individuals with the innate cognitive abilities needed for success in cybersecurity.

Close the cyber skills gap with Haystack

From Design to Deployment: A Brief History of CyberGEN.IQ

In 2015, motivated by the cyber needs of industry and military organizations, the Center for the Advanced Study of Language created a model of the cognitive abilities required for particular cybersecurity jobs based on NICE’s framework.

Then, a series of tasks were designed, some adapted from established psychological studies, while others were newly developed and tested internally. These tests underwent comprehensive validation by the DMDC, ensuring they met the military’s rigorous application standard.  Later, CyberGEN.IQ was adapted slightly to better suit industry professionals’ needs without compromising the core attributes of the original tests.

CyberGEN.IQ is now used by corporations, government agencies, educators, and job seekers. To date, the tool has administered over 1,500 assessments. 

The cybersecurity assessment helps employers eliminate bias and efficiently identify top-shelf talent. It also allows job seekers to uncover their strengths and identify opportunities for professional development.

Next-Gen Cybersecurity Skills Testing

Founded in cognitive science, CyberGEN.IQ is revolutionizing how employers and applicants approach cybersecurity aptitude. 

Discover how CyberGEN.IQ can help you find a job that aligns with your skills or bolster your protection by hiring qualified talent. 

Contact us today to learn more.