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SoSafe Cyber Security Training Campaign

For many people around the world, the start of the coronavirus pandemic also marked the start of their experience in working from home. We at PTB’s International Cooperation group were no exception, nor were our partner institutions in the technical cooperation projects.
This new situation sharpened our attitudes about the importance of information security and data protection, the skills for which were put to the test when we moved our work outside of the accustomed IT environment.

Cyber attacks are on the rise. Words like “Emotet”, “ransomware” or “security meltdown” make headlines. These threats can affect each and every one of us, both at work and at home. But what do these terms mean, and do they really matter to everyone? The staff of PTB say “yes they do!”, having known the answer at the very least since an IT security awareness training session was held especially for them.

With all of our work processes becoming more and more digitalized, the importance of enhancing information security is continuously growing, including in the field of international project management. For this and other reasons, an e-learning course has been created on the initiative of the Digitalization steering group and is now being offered to partners of PTB’s International Cooperation group.

By using a low-threshold storytelling approach, the course provider, SoSafe, has managed to make content accessible that would normally be perceived as hieroglyphics by most people. Using techniques such as short videos and animations, learners are led through the various modules and visually introduced to important issues of data protection and information security. Short quizzes at the end of each module serve to develop skills and raise awareness.

How do I avoid becoming a victim of malware (“Emotet”)? How can I detect whether an email is disguising content that when launched will install malicious programming that intruders can use to prevent the computer’s owner from accessing or using data, or even block the entire computer system (“ransomware”)? And why is it a good idea to always keep my software up to date (“security meltdown“, updates close security gaps)?

The e-learning course is designed to fit playfully into the workday without taking up too much time. This is why the course stretches out over 10 months. For the course beginning in February, participants from metrology institutes, accreditation centers and other partner organizations of PTB’s International Cooperation group have registered, representing some 25 countries. As our cooperation work becomes ever more digitalized, this awareness campaign is seeking to make our collaboration safer and to clear the way for moving further down the digital transformation path.

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