Texas A&M University’s Division of Information Technology has won a Best of Texas award for its 2017 cybersecurity awareness campaign.
The award is presented yearly by the Center for Digital Government, which recognizes public-sector professionals and local government organizations for their dedication and contributions to advancing information technology.
The division was recognized for “Keep Tradition Secure,” a web game designed by Texas A&M in which players tracked a hacker known as “Bad Bull” across campus by answering cybersecurity questions and riddles about Texas A&M traditions. There were two versions of the game available — an online game and an interactive, geolocation-based version.
The game was cited for “cleverly using geolocation for an interactive experience while explaining the dangers of enabling location services and the importance of cybersecurity.” Over 9,000 members of the campus community played the online game.
“We are extremely honored to receive this award,” said Dr. Michael A. Sardaryzadeh, associate vice president for Cybersecurity, Policy and Compliance and the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for Texas A&M. “Universities are prime targets for cyberattacks, so cyber security is a top priority. We are glad we can communicate this in an innovative way that is both educational and entertaining.”
Bobby Bernshausen, communications coordinator with the Division of IT, accepted the award on behalf of the university at the Texas Digital Government Summit in Austin. He worked on the 2017 campaign and is organizing the 2018 effort.
“Just working on this project is rewarding, but being recognized with a Best of Texas award is incredible,” he said. “It’s fun to work on new, creative directions for this ‘edutainment’ campaign and share it with the campus community.”
Other top Texas winners included the City of El Paso and the Texas State Guard J6.
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