The emerging trend of blockchain for validating degree apprenticeship certification in cybersecurity education

Bandara, I.; Ioras, F. and Arraiza, M.P. (2018). The emerging trend of blockchain for validating degree apprenticeship certification in cybersecurity education. In: INTED2018 Proceedings: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (Gómez Chova, L.; López Martínez, A. and Candel Torres, I. eds.), IATED, pp. 7677–7683.



The network-centric world of the 21st century and explosive growth of the internet related technologies brought modern cybersecurity culture with complex threat landscape in the Higher Education environment. Cybersecurity landscape is always changing and education providers often do not have remit or in fact the means and capacity to cover the range of activities learners engage with, which attest their achievements, knowledge, and skills. Currently the awarding and validation of qualifications occurs exclusively under centralised management of an education institution or an employer take more ownership of the learning experience and its outcomes without compromising on safety, security, and accessibility. The centralised model of the present awarding and validation is no longer sustainable because learning happens increasingly on online platforms, and learning is far more international than it used to be. Key higher educational providers introduced degree apprenticeships which are new way to ‘do both’ higher level skills and provide progression routes to improve their employability prospects.

The ‘Blockchain’ (BC) facilitates digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. It embraces a set of inter-related technologies. This paper expounds a novel BC-based architecture for transform centralised model of awarding and validation in to decentralized ledger of secured database. This database is shared, replicated, and synchronized for validation among the universities, partner institutions, professionals, statutory or regulatory bodies and industry bodies across the internet. The architecture offers secured collaborative validating system by qualification exchange with BC using trust methods within the decentralized topology.

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