South African Adventures.

On 29th February, we made our continental debut. In Africa. If you’re an avid fan of our CEO, Amy Stokes-Waters, on LinkedIn, you might have seen that she mentioned it more than a few times… so here’s how the day panned out…

As part of an afternoon of activities, organised by the teams at CISO Alliances and KnowBe4 Africa, our interactive escape room games went down an absolute treat with the locals. The event, held in Northcliff, was a huge success, with nearly 50 senior security awareness and infosec leaders in attendance.

Having never been to Africa before, we were unsure of what to expect, but it was an absolutely fantastic experience. The people are so welcoming, the food (and wine) was amazing, and the atmosphere and energy in the room was unparalleled. And with a view like this, who could have wanted a better location for an event?!

Amy Stokes-Waters, CEO of The Cyber Escape Room Co.
– Amy Stokes-Waters, CEO, The Cyber Escape Room Co.

Hosted by Leigh Thomas, the afternoon packed in plenty of excitement, kicked off by our escape room activity. For this event, we ran our Executive’s Dilemma scenario which sees players attempting to recover an organisation’s data following a ransomware attack.

Using critical thinking, teamwork, and plenty of communication, teams must really work together to identify a path through the puzzle to reunite the business with its data. And they start with just four items: a locked briefcase, a smartphone, a wallet, and a notebook (pictured below).

Following the escape room activity, players were asked to identify learning outcomes they’d taken away from the event. Unsurprisingly, teamwork was mentioned several times. However, one of the other recurring themes was the need to take a step back when faced with a challenge, remain calm, and plan a more strategic way to tackle problems.

Alongside learning opportunities for cyber awareness purposes, we’re pleased to see that our escape room activities can resonate with people of all levels of technical ability. Those in the room were specialists in the awareness space, so it was delightful for us to hear that they were still able to take away some learnings from the activity.

But the day wasn’t all about us, oh no, no, no! We were then treated to an overview of the security awareness space lead by Fred Sieberhagen, Sales Director for KnowBe4 Africa. His talk brought to life the reality of security awareness problems we face in the industry, and we were definitely relieved to see that the challenges faced in Africa didn’t differ much from our own here in the UK.

From there, the room was split into groups to focus on identifying a pathway for organisations to follow to improve their maturity in cyber culture and awareness, with the results being collected by Leigh and his team to be published to the wider CISO Alliances group at a later date.

We finished off with a traditional braai (or barbecue for those not in the know), with plenty of drinks and networking. We’re hugely grateful to have been able to participate in the day and cannot wait to be back in this glorious country again next week with our friends at NClose. Watch this space for more info!

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Amy is the CEO and main driver behind esc. With over a decade of experience in the IT sector, Amy's built a reputation as a force of nature, disrupting the industry with her no nonsense approach.