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Digital skills

How NCC reached busy state legislators to improve cyber hygiene

State legislators wanted to correctly handle sensitive data, they just didn't have time to learn

The National Cybersecurity Center is one of the largest cybersecurity education non-profits in the world, tasked with educating primary schoolers through the leaders of nations to prevent cyber attacks.

Role of learner
State legislators

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"We really were looking for something that could help just drive the key points that we needed to make in a really simple, low-barrier manner."


▶️ Completion rate of 95% with new state legislators signing up daily
▶️ Supported an average of 8 out of 10 learner course rating

The challenge

Since the National Cybersecurity Center (NCC) was formed in 2016, they’ve educated everyone from grade schoolers through leaders of nations on cyber security safety. When they reached out to Arist, one of their latest initiatives had been educating state legislators. This particular audience handle sensitive information regularly. And yet they aren’t often required to take trainings and tend to have very busy schedules.

While NCC had made some ground by offering individual video trainings when they fit into the schedule of legislators, scheduling individual meetings with thousands of busy individuals was magnifying learning challenges by many fold. In context of ongoing educational efforts at this time, NCC needed a low barrier way to delivery training at scale and support similar learning outcomes to their existing highly manual solution.

How NCC used Arist to reach state legislators at scale

Program Director Mattie Gullixson began designing training with VP of Programs, Forrest Sent and knew from the start that accessibility and actionability needed to be front and center. They converted their hour-long live-training session into a 5-day text message course. Each lesson was centered around a particular action that participants would need to complete, read some supplementary information about, and report back on.

With greatly increased ease of access for course participants, NCC was able to gain data on what was working and what wasn’t, and has continued to build our their programming with Arist since.

Learning snapshot

❓Text back: 1-2 accounts that you store personal or financial information in! This could be your email, social media, or financial apps., Apple Wallet

Thanks for sharing! Now, of the accounts you named above, log into each and find your Settings” or “Account Information” tool, and select the security or privacy option – there should be a way to enable multi-factor authentication.

Protecting state secrets in less than 5m a day

Within days of launching the Cybersecurity for State Leaders Arist course, NCC had data driven feedback showing learner engagement on levels they had never seen. All without the hassle of needing to schedule and attend live training sessions. With a 95% completion rate, the course continues to reach new cohorts of state leaders every day.

Gullixson even noticed new states joining in: “We've had states where we had nobody attend a live training, but by sending [the Arist course] out, we had a few people sign up and they've taken the course. And so I think it just speaks to that really low-barrier aspect of the tool.”

Currently, the NCC team is looking into how text message learning can revolutionize their training programs as a whole, and help cybersecurity become as simple as a daily text message.


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