Learn to Train Like You Fight

This qualitative study includes nine semi-structured interviews with cybersecurity experts from different security-related organizations who are familiar with cybersecurity exercises. Its contribution to cybersecurity workforce development focuses on organizational learning rather than individual skills development and relevant competencies.

It was found that the utilization of thematic analysis methods develop individual readiness and expertise. It also enhances the maturity of an organization’s processes, roles, communication, and exercise capabilities. Moreover, the exercises increase social trust between individuals and organizations through business-to-business cooperation. However, there were several barriers and challenges in utilizing learned skills and competencies within an organization, including a need to increase the capacity of staff members who participate in the exercise.


Mika Karjalainen (Independent Researcher, Finland), Anna-Liisa Ojala (Independent Researcher, Finland), Marko Vatanen (Independent Researcher, Finland), and Jarno Lötjönen (Independent Researcher, Finland)

Cite as

Karjalainen, M., Ojala, A., Vatanen, M., & Lötjönen, J. (2023). Learn to Train Like You Fight. International Journal of Adult Education and Technology (IJAET), 14(1), 1-20. http://doi.org/10.4018/IJAET.322085




The research is partially funded by the Food Chain Cyber Resilience project, European Regional Development Fund (EURA2014/12114/09 02 01 01/2021/PL). The authors wish to thank the security-related organizations that were willing to allow their workforce to participate in the interviews.