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I'm Jan

doc. RNDr. Jan Vykopal, Ph.D.
Associate professor, Department of Computer Systems and Communications

“I'm dedicated to cybersecurity, teaching it, and researching how to teach it better.”

Three-Point Introduction

1. My focus on cybersecurity is grounded in direct experience as the former head of the CSIRT-MU team, complemented by rigorous research and a commitment to imparting this knowledge effectively to students.

2. I am passionate about contact and practical teaching, as well as learning environments and their innovations.

3. When not working, I listen to music, paddle white water, or hang out with my family.


My career in a nutshell

  • Practical cybersecurity leadership

    My approach to cybersecurity stems from hands-on experience. As the founder and head of CSIRT-MU – Masaryk University's Computer Security Incident Response Team for nine years, I've tackled real-world challenges head-on. Our team, dedicated to protecting the university's digital infrastructure, has expertly handled incident prevention, detection, and resolution.

    I'm deeply thankful for the invaluable lessons learned through action and collaboration. Together, we built a strong team of skilled professionals who also became my friends.

    Leading the team to the certification by Trusted Introducer was a proud moment, marking us as the first university security team with this status in the Visegrad Group (Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia).

  • A lifelong commitment to education

    Teaching is more than a profession to me—it's a heritage I proudly carry forward. My grandfather and mother, both teachers, has undoubtedly inspired me.

    I strive for innovative, hands-on teaching that engages students directly with real-world challenges. I blend knowledge from various disciplines to craft an engaging and effective learning experience.

    This method appears effective, as evidenced by consistently high student course feedback and numerous Dean's Awards for students who complete their final theses under my guidance.

  • Major role in KYPO Cyber Range story

    KYPO Cyber Range Platform is a sophisticated virtual environment used to teach students and train cybersecurity professionals. We've released it as an open-source, and it won the 7th edition of the European Commission's Innovation Radar competition in the Disruptive Technologies category.

    My journey with the KYPO CRP dates back to its inception in 2013. I have been instrumental in creating and orchestrating various cybersecurity games and exercises and innovating way how are they delivered to students. I contributed to the organization of CyberCzech, the Czech national defense exercise series.

    These experiences inform my teaching methods at the Faculty of Informatics, like the Seminar on simulation of cyber attacks, where students actively create cybersecurity games for their peers.

  • Key researcher and project manager

    Throughout my career, I've been publishing within my field and actively steering applied security research and development projects.

    Rather than detailing each project, I prefer to highlight my tenure as the key research and project manager of the KYPOLAB project. Building on the KYPO CRP's momentum, KYPOLAB delved into pioneering methods and technologies to enhance the education of cybersecurity experts.

    My primary focus is now the INJECT project, which aims to innovate traditional tabletop exercises (TTX). Through research and the development of innovative methods and software tools, INJECT seeks to enrich skills across the spectrum of cybersecurity disciplines, both technical and strategic.

  • Integral to the Faculty of Informatics, MUNI

    My academic path began at the Faculty of Informatics, Masaryk University, in 2003. Amidst the stimulating environment, programming competitions, and other activities, my fascination with network security and cybersecurity took root.

    Advancing from my bachelor's to a master's, I delved deeper into this field with a thesis  on the security analysis of  networks, followed by postgraduate research on detecting brute-force attacks in large and high-speed networks.

    Apart from my research, I led the CSIRT-MU team nine years and started nurturing a passion for cybersecurity education. My career has come full circle at the Faculty of Informatics, where I am honored to serve as an associate professor within the Department of computer systems and communications.

  • Expanding Horizons with International Collaboration

    My pursuits led me to an enriching one-year research visit at the National Cybersecurity Research & Development Lab at the National University of Singapore. There, I worked on refining cybersecurity education, creating a new penetration testing course, and integrating hands-on exercises into the curriculum.

    The adventure was a family affair; we navigated the complexities of relocating for a year, which proved immensely worthwhile despite its logistical hurdles.

    This experience allowed me to exchange valuable insights gained from the development of the KYPO Cyber Range and the cyber operations of CSIRT-MU, further expanding my professional network.

  • Committed to Community and Outreach

    My involvement in the research and cybersecurity community is centered around service, outreach, and promoting education within the field. Through a membership in Technical Program Committees for notable conferences like ACM SIGCSE and IEEE FIE, as well as workshops such as CACOE, I contribute to shaping cybersecurity education and practice discourse.

    As a member of the TF-CSIRT community, I've worked to elevate the standards and capabilities of operational security teams across Europe.

    Finally, my contribution to the European Cyber Security Challenge by organizing the Summer School on Cybersecurity exemplifies my dedication to engaging and inspiring young minds to explore and contribute to cybersecurity.

Contact me if: 

You are seeking supervision for your Ph.D. studies or final thesis

Are you considering your future after your master's?
Studying for a Ph.D. is a meaningful challenge that transforms and enriches your life.
Check also our website "Why to pursue a Ph.D.?"

You are interested in exploring research opportunities.

Planning a research project in cybersecurity education, learning analytics, learning technologies, educational data mining, cyber ranges, or tabletop exercises? Get in touch via email, and let's explore potential collaboration opportunities.

We share mutual professional interests.

I'm continually learning and eager to engage with innovative thinkers in the fields of:

  • cybersecurity education,
  • learning analytics,
  • learning technologies,
  • educational data mining,
  • cyber ranges,
  • tabletop exercises.

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