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Vivida Launches “Anti-cybersecurity Awareness Month” Virtual Escape Room Platform

VIVIDA, the interactive and immersive training company, announced the launch of a customisable virtual escape room for remote training – just in time to miss cyber security awareness month. Following close collaboration between Vivida and the NCSC, the security training modules have been designed to combine security best practice with gamification, to deliver a more compelling and effective security training experience. It has been released in November to highlight the importance of security best practice all year round, not just during arbitrary awareness months. British broadcasting giant, ITV, is one of the first businesses in the UK to use the service – training more than 5,000 members of staff.

The new training platform involves small teams solving security puzzles, stealing credentials, identifying phishing emails and identify vulnerabilities – as part of a 45-minute escape room in which participants go undercover to expose the hackers. Participants use both their smartphone and desktop / laptop to complete tasks, and the platform was specifically designed for businesses with a remote workforce. The platform also utilises the principles of gamification to reward participants for correct answers and encourages teams to compete for high scores. Once the session is completed, the platform provided data and materials to help organisations assess their staff, understand potential weaknesses and plan for how to address employee security weakpoints.

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The whole experience is fully customisable, including the script and the puzzles themselves. This allows businesses to make their training sessions specific to their industry, matched to their security policies and priorities. These customisation options also enable businesses to convey their unique personality, since Vivida believes storytelling is essential to effective and engaging training sessions. In the case of ITV, it added the Family Fortune buzzer sound for incorrect answers and had a celebrity voiceover for each session.

Vivida is also renowned for creating unique VR training scenarios including the escape from a burning building (for fire safety training), and being put in the shoes of a young black man entering a corporate environment (for diversity training). The company, is highly averse to the corporate culture of businesses only training diversity and security topics during cyber security and black history month respectively.

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Vivida founder and CEO, Simeon Quarrie commented “If I were a cybercriminal, you bet I would target businesses that dust off the same cybersecurity training sessions every October. Security is one of the biggest challenges facing every organisation in the world, and it can’t be solved by a few PowerPoint slides or questionnaires.

“Even before the pandemic, traditional security training modules were not fit for purpose. They were tired and unengaging tick-box exercises, having little-to-no impact on the people forced to take them. The growth of remote working has only compounded these existing issues. By contrast, we’ve made our training specifically for this audience. We use gamification and immersive story-telling to engage participants and improve long-term knowledge retention. I believe that platforms like this represent the future of training for businesses that embrace flexible working. Our training is focused on the socio-technical side of cybersecurity, helping transform the entire workforce into a human firewall.

“Our emphasis on teamwork is also aimed at combatting the bigger issue of workplace culture being under threat. Many employers are concerned that their employees no longer have the same kinds of interpersonal relationships with each other. The reality of modern work increasingly involves people working in isolation. It’s why we felt it was so important to bring people together to challenge each other and solve problems as a team. This is how company cultures are formed and maintained.”

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