Teaching Cybersecurity with Metaphors, Magic & Tattoos

The Profound Impact of Story & Metaphor

The Living Security Case in Point (CIP) series features our Dir. of Intelligence & Content, Graham Westbrook, as he unpacks different metaphors on cybersecurity. Why metaphors? Because people understand in story and metaphor, not gibberish facts and tired advice. Metaphors reduce topic complexity and help people grasp new concepts intuitively.

In this example, Graham uses a metaphor about the permanence of tattoos to explain the need for people to travel securely. The idea is that the tattoos are a form of personal expression, but that unwanted tattoos are a source of regret:

Not only did I collect these tattoos ... because I neglected my operational security while traveling, but I unintentionally gave tattoos to other people I cared about who were previously in my circle of trust. These scars may heal, but they’re more or less permanent. 

Unwanted Information Online is Like a Bad Tattoo

Our idea for this cyber awareness episode came from seeing more and more evidence of cyber espionage and doxing emerge into public life, particularly among high-value targets (people who have access and influence). Those with the highest levels of access & influence are often closest to proprietary technology, IP and trade secrets. They also have a higher level of responsibility to protect the company from unwanted exposure.

Unfortunately, the more access and influence, the bigger the target! And once an HVT is targeted and exploited for information, their information can be publicized online where it's... you guessed it... more or less permanent.

The takeaway is that operational security (opsec) should not be an afterthought, and that keeping eyes and ears open while traveling is important to personal and professional security and privacy.

Making Magic

In order to make the video on traveling securely, we had to actually travel, right? Actually, Living Security's Dir. of Digital Media, Dave West, worked a little magic.

Using the screening room background, Dave was able to use the 3D model of an airplane cabin and superimpose it behind the actors. Seriously. Check this out...

We had a blast making this! And we have received amazing feedback so far that validates teaching cyber security with metaphors, magic and tattoos really works!👌

If you like what you see here and want to use Case in Points for security awareness training - let us know!

We're obsessed with listening to customer feedback, working with our design partners and creating the best video content out there. We'd love to hear from you if you have used our products or videos for National Cyber Security Awareness Month (#NCSAM). Thanks for tuning in!

Learn More