Educating laypeople about security is difficult. The nuts and bolts of safe digital practices is often rooted in very technical knowledge. Even the most knowledgeable of security experts will admit that understanding and implementing the best practices is both boring and laborious.
So for a company to launch a program intended to teach its employees about proper security measures is commendable. And to try and make it as approachable as possible is also a good tack. But every so often what was devised as ‘lighthearted’ and ‘colloquial’ turns into something truly bizarre.
Take Cisco, which just released a video showing off its internal application security training program.
In the company’s most recent blog, entitled “The Cisco Security Dojo,” the networking company writes about how it helps its “good citizens” create a “greater level of understanding and a desire to put security first in their development efforts.”
This program takes place in what Cisco called a virtualized “dojo,” where experts discuss and educate others on the basics of application security. The dojo, which appears to be a green screen with a seeming karate studio transposed in the back, is a metaphor… I guess.
Cisco keeps running with the ninja symbolism: Dojo participants earn virtual belts as they learn more about proper digital protections. And then there are props.
For instance, in one scene we can see all of the people sitting in the dojo wearing fake dark-coloured mustaches. In another scene participants are dressed in full ninja garb, carrying samurai swords and jumping onto strange objects like treadmills.
In another scene a ‘samurai’ picks up a fly entitled “SQL INJECTION” with a pair of chopsticks and then eats it.
There’s also an ongoing trope of a cat that stands in the background at random points in the video. This is never fully explained but I take it to be a way to better understand network security.
The program seems like a Saturday morning cartoon meets bizarre how-to video from the ’80s meets Tim And Eric sketch. And while the Cisco Dojo was likely made with the best of intentions, it is just plain odd to watch.
You can watch the full video below.