‘The CyberHero Adventures Show’ distills complicated cybersecurity info that’s entertaining, engaging and useful to a variety of organizations.
Origin Story [ awr-i-jin stawr-ee, or-i-jin ] noun: A backstory, or established background narrative, that informs the identity and motivations of heroes and villains in a comic book.
Why comic books?
As the host of “The CyberHero Adventures Show” podcast, my mission has been to shine the light on the unsung cyber heroes who toil in anonymity to keep us safe online at work, home and school. Twice weekly, we listen and learn from thought leaders in the cybersecurity and IT communities, focusing our discussions on the 16+ Critical Infrastructure Sectors of the DHS/CISA and on current events in the cybersecurity arena. I was fortunate to meet Alan Shimel, MediaOps CEO and founder, and we are honored to have formed a joint venture with MediaOps to enhance the quality of our production, our outreach and, most importantly, global distribution of the show.
‘The CyberHero Adventures Show’ Backstory
As the CEO of a highly successful marketing and research firm with about 100 team members, I was fortunate to sell 49% of our company to a global marketing organization. Everything was going great until it happened—right under my nose: A trusted insider and a tech contractor “cloned” my entire company. The contractor spoofed our website, redirected calls to their shadow company, hacked our car (according to OnStar, there were 36 people attached to my account) and much more. There were at least 19 attack vectors.
This went on for years until we had to close the company, and we lost everything. Unable to receive any justice due to the complexity of attribution and obfuscation, I pivoted from victim to advocate. I decided to share my story and the lessons I learned with the goal of helping others avoid being hacked and to share best practices on how to recover.
The next step for me was to learn all I could about cybersecurity. I began to read “Cybersecurity for Dummies,” believing I’d find my answers there. After the first 10 pages, I was utterly LOST! I phoned the author and told him this: He broke out laughing! He explained that the book is not really for beginners. I knew that there had to be a better way to distill complicated cybersecurity and tech information into something that was entertaining, engaging and useful to a wide variety of organizations. I was at the movie theatre watching Spiderman when the lightbulb turned on: superhero comics!
My head was bursting with ideas, but I realized there were three huge obstacles to overcome:
- I knew nothing about cybersecurity.
- I knew nothing about how to tell technical stories.
- I knew nothing about making comics.
Other than that, I was perfect for the mission (ha!).
I realized I needed a lot of help. I began to attend cybersecurity conferences around the country, amassing knowledge, badges and friends. The community responded with support, advice, story ideas and respect. I felt so indebted for the kindness received, I endeavored to elevate them through the comic, creating “defender” characters that embodied several of those incredible individuals I met. Over time, I met cybersecurity professionals from many industries and organizations and decided to start my podcast as a way to give them a platform and to continue sharing factual, reliable information about cybersecurity practitioners.
The result is a comic book series dedicated to the community of unsung heroes who toil in anonymity to keep up safe at work, home and school.
“The CyberHero Adventures Show” video podcasts further added dimension to the portrait of the cybersecurity professionals, the defenders who toil in anonymity to keep us safe online. They are selfless, highly intelligent, funny and virtuous. They are dedicated to their mission. And many of them love comics!
I am certain that MediaOps and Cyber Heroes will forge a long and satisfying relationship.