By Mr. YouToy Martin (USARCENT)October 9, 2015
Camp Arifjan, Kuwait -- For the Army, October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and this year's theme, "Stay Protected While Connected," emphasizes the importance of good online habits in protecting the Army network and the force.
To do their part to promote cyber security, members of the U.S. Army Central network security office presented a different way of sharing cyber awareness information and tips with Soldiers and civilians.
"From the Inside," a twist on the traditional four-part football analysis show, premiered Oct. 1 and is focused on encouraging cyber security.
The show features a main host and several commentators that advocate for their point of view and present supporting information. The host and guests used football terminology and concepts along with hints of humor to examine some of the top data breaches in recent history.
After a witty introduction, they went on to explain some of the cybersecurity threats we face and give Soldiers the information they need to fight them in a fun and entertaining way.
"We are trying to create something other than a slide show or an email blast," said Jim West, cyber security expert with USARCENT network security and the producer and director of the show. "We are trying to give [Soldiers] something unique and special that will stick out in their minds, by making it comical and relevant."
The first episode of the show, entitled "Data Breaches", is a part of this year's cybersecurity awareness campaign to help individuals become more vigilant with their online usage, protects the force while protecting the mission.
"The big difference with this presentation is that it is interactive and funny," said West. "A lot of people learn hands-on and through visuals. We have effects to draw in the audience and the show is not long compared to a slideshow, which could be long and drawn out."
The host of the show, Mark O. Washington, deputy information systems security manager with USARCENT network security, is optimistic that this style of presenting cybersecurity techniques will be beneficial for the audience.
"What's most appealing is that it's interactive, we were not bombarded with a slide presentation," said Capt. Georgia Williams, a network operations deputy with 160th South West Asia Cyber Center. "Written word is my preferred method of learning, but I am a visual learner as well. With a topic like this, I don't think a slide presentation alone would be sufficient."
Rounding out the cast of the show are Spc. Zackery Mueller, Spc. Travis Fowler, information technology specialists at USARCENT, and Malcolm Roberts, information system security deputy at USARCENT. In the show, they play themselves, but each has a catch phrase or moniker they are known for.
Mueller yells his catch phrase "Boosh" and throws his hands in the air, Fowler is known as the "counter-analysis man", and Roberts, the "stat man," can spit out cybersecurity stats for any occasion.
With the college and pro football seasons well underway, the familiar style of this show comes at the right time for many sports fans.
"I am a sports fan and love being outdoors," said Thelma Wandahl-Bundesen, information system security office at USARCENT. "I think it was wonderful to learn about cybersecurity in a fun way."
The second iteration of the show was entitled "Privileged Access" and covered some of the biggest insider threats that has affected many organizations from the inside. There are two more shows scheduled to wrap-up cybersecurity awareness month.
At the end of each show, a football is thrown into the audience, handed off or passed to another audience member who is given the chance to answer questions to win a prize. The prize is the joy of knowing the answer or having a good memory of the show when answering correctly.