Well, I survived my first week of onboarding and security awareness training at Curricula! Sorry did I say survived? I meant thrived. But let’s start at the beginning…
My name is Julie, aka Curricula’s newest Curriculoo, joining as the Marketing Content Manager. So why are you reading this? We thought it’d be fun for me to write down my onboarding experience in going through Curricula’s cyber security awareness training (just like you would) and give you the inside scoop on what I really think of Curricula. Spoiler alert: it’s all awesome!
But first, a quick lesson on Curricula:
One of Curricula’s primary objectives is to teach. Thanks to my years of Latin in school, I had a sneaky suspicion that’s to be expected.
If you haven’t heard the founding story of Curricula yet, it had me on the edge of my seat, so I’d highly suggest a read. But in summary, it’s been built by some passionate people, including our CEO and in-house cyber security expert Nick Santora (CISA, CISSP). He saw a problem with ineffective security awareness training and wanted to do something about it.
And so he did. To this day, Curricula has been training customers to no longer fear cyber but embrace it through fun cyber security awareness programs.
So, What’s the Training Really Like?
I promise to give the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Now that you know my testimony is legitimate, I can assure you that I have undergone the same cyber security awareness training as you and your employees. Quickly for the facts, Curricula’s platform consists of episodes covering a variety of training topics, each episode taking approximately 5-7 minutes to complete. Here are some of my takeaways:
Cartoons are very nostalgic for me. When I was a kid waking up on a Sunday morning turning on the dueling duo Tom and Jerry, then watching my favorite meddling kids on Scooby-Doo (which I still believe developed my now love of the crime mystery genre). And to this day laughing along to Rick and Morty’s, Pickle Rick. Now you’re telling me I get to watch cartoons during work? Sign me up.
In regards to the animations, I have to give a shout-out to the characters that make up Curriculaville. Some of my favorites include Don, found in the Incident Response episode.
Don is an environmentalist, a wonderful creative problem solver, and works the night shift at the Zoo. Funnily enough, after watching the episode I found out that some of the characters are based on real-life Curriculoos. So it turns out Curricula’s designer Don was the inspiration for Zoo worker Don. Needless to say, I was an automatic fan.
The Passmaster, found in the Passwords and Multi-factor episodes, gives me real Obi-Wan Kenobi / Dumbledore vibes. He’s extremely wise (and looks it) and is always willing to use his magic for the sake of password protection. Just an FYI, almost all of the characters are recurring, so don’t worry if you get attached.
Exciting Easter eggs
One thing I’d like to shine a spotlight on is the attention to detail included in each episode. An example of this is the ‘Easter eggs’ or callouts placed strategically throughout Curriculaville. In the Confidential Information episode, you’ll find some callouts referencing popular superhero movies including my favorite fictional hero known as the ‘Incredible Sloth.’ Or in the Multi-Factor episode, even something as unnoticeable as the clever items listed on the coffee shop menu.
One problem I’ve had in the past with training (especially online) is staying engaged with what I’m learning. I noticed the ‘egg-citing’ Easter egg tactic kept me immersed in the stories and information I was learning.
Bringing the Training to Life
One thing is for certain and that’s that Curricula really does practice what they preach when it comes to security awareness training. In addition to my initial onboarding, my behavior and knowledge were put to the test. Some examples included:
On Day 1 of onboarding, the first thing I was instructed to do was create difficult (and different) passwords, use a password manager and turn on multi-factor for every login needed. Many of the topics discussed in training are situational like you won’t know how to react to a phishing email until you receive one. But protecting my accounts with secure passwords and multi-factor is an action that is entirely dependent on me. So now my passwords are like my coffee… strong!
Curricula created a free tool called UnlockedComputer.com. This site can be displayed on any web browser for those unsuspecting colleagues who left their computer unlocked.
Customer or not, UnlockedComputer.com encourages good habits for keeping your digital assets secure and desk clean. It’s become almost a competition amongst the Curriculoos and no one wants to be caught. So the next time you see a co-worker leave their computer open and unlocked you know what to do!
One of my post-training highlights was the ability to put my skills to the test with a Phishing Simulation ‘run’ by DeeDee – Curricula’s infamous AI hacker.
I’ll set the scene for you: it was Day 4, and my inbox was flooded with onboarding emails, then a new email appears from ‘Slack,’ asking me to verify my email with a link. Despite thinking I’d already verified my email, one click and the next thing I know DeeDee pops up on my screen saying ‘Simulated Test’. I thought ‘Oh sh*t, how could I have fallen for that!’
I didn’t understand just how real these phishing emails could look. My preconceived knowledge of phishing emails consisted of plain text writing usually referencing a Nigerian Prince, but thanks to DeeDee I realized they can be just as advanced looking as any official corporate email. After being instructed to take the refresher course, I’ve been checking every subject line, sender address, and link more vigorously than ever before.
At the end of the week, I thought ‘how can I sum up my onboarding process and overall view of Curricula?’ First, I truly admire the seriousness of my induction process and the thoughtfulness of the training. It showed Curricula actually cares about what they’re teaching.
The second was: “This place is going somewhere and I’m thrilled to be a part of it”. Curricula, to me, is light years ahead of the cyber security awareness training curve by finding a fresh take on engaging employees using fun tactics rather than fear tactics.
On a more personal note, I can whole-heartedly say that every Curriculoo I’ve met and the product itself embodies each of the Curricula core values without question.
What’s Next for Me?
Going forward you’ll find me proving everything I’ve mentioned above through fun content and educational resources to help amplify your security awareness training game!