Wyoming CAN! (Cybersecurity Action Network)

Strategic Goal:  Bring up Wyoming’s level of cyber-hygiene[1] using local, existing resources. Get cybersecurity programs and communications local!

Research Statement:  Between June 2019 and December 2019, the Wyoming CAN committee researched effective public service campaigns, national cybersecurity programs available for Wyoming’s use, other state cybersecurity strategies, theories for communicating technical issues, statistical research applicable to Wyoming internet crime losses, and Wyoming cyber programs in place today.  The result is the Wyoming CAN! Strategy and Communications Plan.

According to a study published in September 2019 by the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust called What Separates Victims from Non-victims? prior knowledge of a scam reduces susceptibility.  In fact, 30% of those that did not engage with the scammer knew about the scam before they were targeted. 

Since prior knowledge is key, the same study asked people where they were more likely to learn about fraud.  42% said that public service announcements on TV and radio were needed, 64% said news stories were needed, and 48% said websites were needed.  However, in our research with the senior citizen market, we realize that other non-technical scam notification options may be important for that target market. The Wyoming CAN Communications plan addresses all of these outlets.

In our research the Wyoming CAN committee studied effective public service campaigns such as the drunk driving campaign (Friends don’t let friends drive drunk).  The elements of a successful campaign include

  1. A memorable tagline
  2. Defining the target audiences well
  3. Using humor for touchy subjects (there is shame in being a cyber victim)
  4. Testing your ideas and tweaking them for the different audiences
  5. Donated media + paid media

Taglines for the campaign:

Wyoming CAN! Cybersecurity starts with me!

Wyoming CAN! Make 307 Secure!

Wyoming CAN! If you care, be cyber aware!

While other states have cybersecurity strategies, only a handful of states address business needs and almost none address citizens or senior citizens.  Wyoming is a small enough state where we can include these vulnerable communities into an all-encompassing communications plan.  The target markets are: citizens, senior citizens, businesses/nonprofits/small healthcare, small municipalities, and students/parents.

The public awareness campaign is simply to generate awareness of the problem and funnel the target markets to the education and resources available locally.  The primary coordinating agency will be named Wyoming CAN.  Secondary coordinating agencies in the state will use their local network to reach their specific target markets. 

[1] Cyber-hygiene refers to the use of best practices in web browsing, password management, emailing, and other online activities to decrease the risk of fraud, scams, and other cyber attacks.