Cyber Distribution brings online cyber "escape room" to Australia

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Cyber Distribution brings online cyber "escape room" to Australia
Mark Winter (Cyber Distribution)

Cyber Distribution, the latest venture of inTechnology Distribution’s Mark Winter, has brought the online version of cybersecurity training platform Cyber Escape Room to Australia.

Cyber Escape Room was developed by US-based LivingSecurity, a security training specialist that runs both in-person “escape rooms” and online cyber awareness training solutions.

The escape rooms were retooled to become online-only earlier this month as Cyber Escape Online on the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, with Cyber Distribution officially launching the offering in Australia this week.

The offering lets a team of six to ten participants, plus one facilitator, work together to solve online puzzles within a set timeframe while learning security fundamentals. The platform supports video conferencing solutions like Zoom, Skype, Webex, Google Hangouts.

Cyber Distribution CEO Mark Winter told CRN the company previously had been working with cyber awareness training providers that had very broad, generic and outdated content and were not at the forefront of security.

“We went out looking for a solution that was going to reignite, and be a real game changer, in the industry when it came to cybersecurity awareness training,” Winter said. “We came across Living Security at the end of last year, and when we brought them on board we saw phenomenal interest in the Cyber Escape Room.”

Winter said Cyber was just about to launch the in-person escape rooms to its first five orders just before the restrictions that came with the coronavirus pandemic were put in place.

“Both customers and partners still said that they saw value in the product and really wanted to continue it, and the feedback we got was, ‘Is there a way of doing it online?’.”

Winter said Cyber Escape Online can help organisations re-engage their teams working from home while also educating them about cybersecurity.

The platform can also accommodate organisations with staff spread out across the country, compared to an in-person session where it would be a struggle to fit 10 people in a single room.

“As far as partners are concerned, they can actually go and target everybody within the organisation with the escape room content, whether it be in-person post-coronavirus but certainly now online,” Winter added.

The platform has gained interest from banks, insurance companies and government departments, as well as other large enterprise clients.

“With the in-person escape rooms, we were sort of focused on large enterprises, but Cyber Escape Online allows us to provide the same type of experience that a large company would get in a small business.”

LivingSecurity co-founder and chief security officer Drew Rose told CRN the product was developed in his experiments to try creating a more engaging way to teach security awareness, teaching how to identify phishing emails, good password hygiene, what kind of information can be shared on social media, among others.

Rose came up with the idea of an escape room, where participants would have to solve some puzzles and objectives related to the cybersecurity fundamentals mentioned above within a certain timeframe to help them escape the room.

“[The platform] became a cool thing for users where they actually want to play and want to go deeper into, versus me trying to bribe them into a conference room for lunch and learn,” Rose said.

LivingSecurity was then launched in 2017 with Cyber Escape Room as its flagship product. The company arrived in Australia earlier this year via Mark Winter and Cyber Distribution, a new cyber security distributor that was launched alongside the partnership.

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