Cybersecurity Wellness Program

Cyber Wellness Program Helps SMU Community Discover Its Strengths

Cybersecurity Wellness ProgramLast October, SMU offered employees the option of participating in a pilot of our first-ever Cyber Wellness Program. The Cybersecurity Wellness Program is based on the award-winning book, Well Aware: Master the Nine Cybersecurity Habits to Protect Your Future by SMU’s CSO, George Finney. Well Aware helps make security easy by making security a habit.

As we all should now realize, cybersecurity is critical for success in our modern world, and learning to master your cybersecurity habits will not only help you to protect your company and your career but also your family and your future.

The nine cybersecurity habits are Literacy, Skepticism, Vigilance, Secrecy, Culture, Diligence, Community, Mirroring, and Deception. The first four habits are all internal habits that individuals employ when working on their own. The final five cybersecurity habits are all external habits that we use when collaborating with others. It takes a well-balanced team of individuals to combine their strengths together to achieve our goal of making the SMU community safer.

The program began with participants taking a cyber personality test that helped individuals find their biggest strengths when it comes to cybersecurity. The course itself consisted of a series of videos and interactive exercises that customized themselves based on the individuals’ unique cyber personality type. Instead of simply receiving a course completion certificate at the end, individuals printed their own personalized habit recipes to use as a roadmap to help them be more cyber-secure.

In the graphic, each of the quadrants represents one of the internal cybersecurity habits, while the rings represent each of the external cybersecurity habits. Out of all the organizations that have taken the personality assessment, SMU has a very high percentage of users who had Cybersecurity Literacy as their primary internal strength. Cybersecurity Diligence was also very high compared to the external strengths of other organizations. SMU can leverage these two strengths as anchors to improve our overall cybersecurity habits as a community.

internal cybersecurity habits graph
The internal cybersecurity habits as messured by SMU Participants.

All the participants were asked to complete a survey about their experience with the new cybersecurity wellness program, and 9 out of 10 people preferred the new training to previous cybersecurity training.

While many of the participants won prizes like a free meal pass to the campus dining centers, the grand prizes were free vacation days. Congratulations to our grand prize winners, Gayle Freeman-Staggs, Carone Carson, Nicholas B. Tafacory, and Carrie Nixon, and thank you all for participating in this new program.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Published by

George Finney and Ian Aberle

George Finney is the Chief Security Officer at Southern Methodist University. He is responsible for implementing and monitoring a diverse security infrastructure to protect the University network and data.