Towards the Usefulness of Learning Factories in the Cybersecurity Domain


  • Namosha Veerasamy CSIR
  • Thuli Mkhwanazi CSIR
  • Zubeida Dawood



Cybersecurity, Information Security, Learning factory, Experiential Learning, Cybersecurity skills


The success of an organisation depends on its employees’ skills and the extent to which they are developed. Although organisations often assume employees are fit and ready for a new position or new developments in their functions, employees need adequate training before, during and after effective performance in their respective roles. Amongst other important roles, training is significant in problem-solving, continuously improving skills, and creating consistency or culture in the work environment. Nonetheless, the significance of training is often disregarded or not understood by organisations as there are often inadequacies, inconsistencies, and ignorance from the employer.

Furthermore, organisations are facing cybersecurity skills shortages. Some specialists leave the profession due to a lack of skills or support. The lack of experienced and qualified cyber security specialists increases the risk of IT system systems being targeted with cyber-attacks. Having insufficient cybersecurity staff, companies may struggle to protect their networks from attacks. Organisations are being placed into a troubling position as the threat landscape continues to evolve. With the growth in volume and sophistication of cyber security attacks, the problem of a skilled workforce is exasperated.

In order to support the cybersecurity workforce, this paper proposes the implementation of learning factories. Typically, learning factories have been used in the manufacturing sector. However, the fundamental principles and guiding ideologies can also be applied in the cybersecurity domain.  Learning factories provide a mechanism to remove the barriers of entering the field of cybersecurity by cultivating and nurturing a cybersecurity workforce. They enable the broadening of the scope for talent and change our current working practices and tighten the gap between education and experience. The closing of the talent gap is an important imperative for cybersecurity. In this paper, a motivation and description of the functionality of learning factories for cybersecurity is provided. Through this paper the benefits of learning factories will be highlighted in order to show the advantages of active engagements in learning activities, real-world application and information sharing.