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Cybersecurity learning platform to address human error

Terry Hoffman, president and founder of Zerobit1, a Toronto-based security consulting firm, is about to launch a new e-learning platform he says will help to address the significant knowledge gap when it comes to keeping people and companies cybersafe.


January 4, 2019
By Neil Sutton


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Training videos will be populated by characters including: receptionist

The new service, 2B Cyber Bright, will offer a mixture of different learning tools such as educational videos and tip sheets as well as services like cyber and social media investigations, and cyber policy development.

“It was a thought process I had about a year ago, seeing what was happening in society with cybersecurity,” explains Hoffman, whose Zerobit1 business also offers professional risk assessment tools and security design consultation.

Whereas the bulk of Hoffman’s professional security business has focused on corporate clientele, the 2B Cyber Bright project addresses a much broader base, including students, families, and small and medium businesses.

A major focal point for Hoffman is working on the human factor skills — the slips that can be made through lack of awareness, whether that’s clicking on a phishing email or using an unsecured WiFi network.

Small businesses in particular may find themselves targeted for attacks, he adds. They may have vital data to protect but are often ill-prepared to deal with the harsh realities of today’s malware and cyberattacks. “Outside of large, enterprise companies, there is no on-boarding for cyber [training],” maintains Hoffman. “Small companies just don’t have it.”

One of the major pillars of 2B Cyber Bright is a comprehensive series of animated training videos that address topics such as using VPNs, managing your social media footprint and recognizing ransomware.

“It’s quite amazing how an endlessly useful technology like encryption has found its foul use when in the wrong hands,” states the ransomware video.

“Those hands belong to greedy criminal hackers, out to profit from your misery. What these hackers have done is create a lightweight, lightning fast, sophisticated little piece of software that’s able to encrypt most of the useful files on your computer within minutes of being activated.”

The video offers a series of solutions and tips that help to prevent the user from accidentally downloading the ransomware in the first place.

The videos are populated by characters including a CEO, receptionist, warehouse worker, human resources professional, and high-school student, all of whom might be exposed to or targeted by cybercrime differently. The videos are hosted by a real-life actor who goes by the name Ms. Char CyberBright.

The service will launch in January, with 17 training modules up and running by February. It will be available via the 2B Cyber Bright website or potentially via a third-party model where the curriculum can be licensed out to other trainers. It can be conducted online or in a classroom situation where the videos are used as teaching tools.

2B Cyber Bright has also partnered with STOP. THINK. CONNECT., a cybersecurity awareness campaign comprising a coalition of private and public organizations and managed by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Anti-Phishing Working Group.

This article originally appeared in the Nov/Dec issue of Canadian Security.


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