Cyber Threat Protector is designed as a two-player game, but it can be modified to allow for more players. Below is a brief overview to help you get started.

For more detailed instructions on how to play Cyber Threat Protector (CTP), simply download the free rulebook. It explains the games objectives, how to set-up a game, keep score and illustrates a full round of play. 

You can also use the complementary instructional slides when introducing it to your classroom or watch a sample game of CTP below.


The goal of Cyber Threat Protector is to build your network faster than your opponent can and gain more points than your opponent. While you are doing this, you have to remember to defend your network because your opponent is going to try and disrupt your systems while building their network. The first player to gain 20 points wins!

Players must choose the right defenses to protect their network from the various attacks their opponent will challenge them with. The player with the most complete set of security defenses will be the one who is able to protect their critical systems and emerge victorious.


As a reminder, a single deck of Cyber Threat Protector is shared by two players. To get started, shuffle the cards. Once the deck is shuffled, both players will decide who will be player one. Decide which player will keep score and have that player write their names on a score sheet.

Once each player agrees upon who will go first and the score sheets are prepared, place the card deck between the players face down. Both players need to draw five (5) cards. Players may look at their hand.


Only on the first turn, player one can play up to four cards from their hand during this turn. This is the only time that either player can play up to four cards. During all remaining turns, player one can play only three cards. During the first turn, player two can play no more than three cards.

Make sure to read each card closely to identify how card types interact with each other. Some cards require other cards to be in play before being played. Some cards can only be used when specific cards are not in play. Some cards will not be allowed to have multiple in play.

After player one has taken their turn – and before player two’s turn – player one discards all remaining cards in their hand and draws five (5) new cards. Next, player two may then play up to three cards. After the cards have been played, player two must discard all cards not played and draw five (5) new cards. (Note: Players may not always be able to play three cards during their turn. This is why players may play up to three cards per turn.)

All discarded cards need to be placed face up into a new pile between both players. Both players share the discard pile. When player two finishes their turn, the round ends. Both players need to determine their score at the end of the round.

For an example of a round of play, download the CTP Rulebook or watch the video to see a full game being played.


Keep track of the points gained and lost during each round. Only Asset cards provide opportunities for a player to gain points; the Attack cards you played during a round may enable you to remove points from an opponent’s field.

With this in mind, at the end of each round, both players need to tally their points gained from Assets in their play field and subtract points played against them from their opponent’s Attack cards.

Each blue Asset card is worth 1 point. Each red Attack card removes 1 point from your opponent. The first player to 20 points wins!

Note to Security Professionals

In developing this game, we recognize that we have taken some liberties with how things actually work. We have attempted to keep true to the spirit of computer security, but for playability reasons have slightly modified how things might actually work in reality. We believe, however, that the game is close enough that individuals playing the game will be able to gain some understanding of basic computer security concepts.