3 min read

The History of Best Ever, 9 Years Running

The History of Best Ever, 9 Years Running

Cybersecurity awareness is crucial not only for safeguarding sensitive information but also for ensuring the integrity and reliability of our digital infrastructure. As cyber threats become more intricate and pervasive, understanding the fundamentals of cybersecurity, recognizing potential risks, and adopting best practices for online safety have become essential for everyone, from digital novices to tech-savvy users. 

Our annual event "The Best Free One-Hour Cybersecurity Awareness Training Ever!" helps to address this critical need by equipping participants with the knowledge and tools to navigate the complex world of cyber threats, fostering a more secure and resilient digital environment for all.

Since 2015, we at RoundTable Technology have been hosting this annual, free cybersecurity awareness training for nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations in an effort to give a fun, interactive, and engaging training experience that people would actually attend and remember. This event has grown year over year to its 8th iteration in 2023 hosting over 800 live attendees that got to mark their annual cybersecurity training off of their to-do list, and hundreds of nonprofit organizations that were able to get training for their staff.

This article will briefly go over the history of this event.

The Inception (Year 1)

The very first instance of “The Best Free One-Hour Cybersecurity Awareness Training” (AKA “Best Ever”) was in 2015, and while the “Best Ever” moniker was not yet invented, the theme and goals of the event were created here.

At its inception this event was grounded in a set of founding principles and goals tailored both to the needs of our clients at the time, and an amalgamation of our staff’s personalities. Our goal for the event was to help our clients protect their data, people, and donations. In an era where digital security is paramount, the event aimed to empower our clients with the necessary tools and knowledge to safeguard these essential components against the ever-growing spectrum of cyber threats. 

Equally important to us was our ambition to redefine the genre of cybersecurity awareness training. Traditional approaches often suffered from a perception of being dry or overly technical, leading to a lack of engagement and retention. To combat this, the event was designed to be a departure from the norm – “something kind of goofy and fun”. 

It was crafted to be an experience that participants would not only enjoy attending but also actively engage with. This unique blend of serious cybersecurity education with an enjoyable and memorable delivery was aimed to ensure that attendees not only absorbed the crucial information but also applied it in their daily digital interactions, thereby fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness that was both effective and sustainable.

The theme for this first event, as you can see from the title slide below, was a play on the popular song “99 Red Balloons”.

The Growth of Best Ever

In its second year, 2016, the event finally gained the name it would be called hereafter, “The Best Free One-Hour Cybersecurity Awareness Training Ever!” - note that for full effect you’re supposed to read the name as fast as you can!

Below are some clips and slides from previous years, so you can get a feel for how “Best Ever” has progressed

2016

The year that the name "Best Ever" was born!

2016

2017

As you can hear in the recording, we no longer have to call into webinars - my how technology has changed! Joshua Peskay, our 3CPO can be heard in this clip espousing the importance of Two-Factor Authentication and Yubikeys in particular - which our organization is still using to this day.

 

2018

As always in these annual trainings, we have striven to make them as entertaining and engaging as possible, keep the 'boring stuff' to a minimum!

2018

2019

123456 is in fact NOT the best password. As always we recommend using long passphrases or even better something like Single Sign On.

2019

2020

Our continued growth of finding ways to make cybersecurity fun.

2020

2021

The year of the GIFs! While all Best Evers have GIFs this was probably the first year where we might have had... too many. (Our staff would like to note that it is, in fact, impossible to have too many)

2021

2022

The debut of our Weekly Cyber Tips and Tricks hosts "Tater & Stache" as part of Best Ever.

2023

This year was all about "Jeopardy!" Or for copy-write purposes, "Security!"

 

The 9th Year and Beyond

The ninth "Best Free One-Hour Cybersecurity Awareness Training Ever!" is happening on January 25th, 2024 at 2pm Eastern. This year, we're bringing back our favorite talking potato and mustachioed cowboy (Tater & Stache) to talk about the latest in keeping safe online. They'll share some new tips on staying safe, and we've got some fun new ways to make learning about cybersecurity interesting. 

So far, we've helped more than 5000 people who work at nonprofits and SMBs learn how to protect themselves online through these yearly events. We're excited to keep doing this every year. We want to make sure it stays engaging and helpful for everyone. Remember, learning how to stay safe on the internet is incredibly important, both personally, and to help protect your organizations and their missions. The bad guys keep finding new ways to cause trouble, so we need to keep learning new ways to stop them.

Save your seat for this year's Best Ever! →

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