The Strengths and Challenges of Analogical Approaches to Computer Security Education

  • Matt Bishop
  • Kara Nance
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 406)


When teaching concepts such as computer security, with which students cannot easily identify, it is frequently helpful to use analogies to attempt to map a complex concept to an idea with which the student can identify. While this method works particularly well in the computer security domain, there are associated challenges and limits that must be considered when creating appropriate analogies. This paper defines analogies, provides some specific examples in the computer security realm, and discusses the challenges and limits associated with this approach.


Computer Education Computer Security Education Analogies 


  1. 1.
    Definition of Security from Oxford Dictionaries Online. (n.d.), (retrieved February 4, 2011)
  2. 2.
    Alinsky, S.D.: Rules for Radicals. Vantage Books, New York (1972)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matt Bishop
    • 1
  • Kara Nance
    • 2
  1. 1.University of California DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA

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