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10-Minute Module Teaches Data Security to Users

A company founded by computer science faculty members at Carnegie Mellon University that specializes in developing software-based training recently introduced a new security module that teaches people how to keep data safe when they're working outside of their offices. Wombat Security Technologies' Security Beyond the Office was developed specifically to combat data breaches caused by end users.

Wombat's training module, which takes about 10 minutes, teaches users how to use free Wi-Fi safely, the risks of using public computers, and how to safeguard company equipment and information at home and on the road.

"By teaching employees how to make better and safer decisions when they are outside the boundaries of the office, 'Security Beyond the Office' is a valuable tool in a company's defense against the rise in cyber security attacks," said Wombat President and CEO Joe Ferrara. "Instead of relying on boring videos or presentations, Wombat's training modules utilize interactive software and leverage learning science to change employee behavior."

The latest module is one in a series. The others address cyber security issues including email security, password management, social networking, smartphone/bring-your-own-device vulnerabilities, phishing, and social engineering. Reporting capabilities built into the learning module platform provide individual and aggregate data to guide follow-up activities and monitor improvements in understanding over time.

Pricing for Wombat's training products, according to Ferrara, start at a "couple of dollars per user per module," as an annual license. "It scales down based on the number of users and the number of modules." The training release is available in a hosted version or as an on-premises application.

Wombat was started in 2008 by three Carnegie Mellon instructors, all involved in a major national research project on combating phishing attacks, sponsored by the United States Army and the National Science Foundation. Based on the results of that research, the company was formed to commercialize the technology used in the project and to develop cyber security training software.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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