I know what people see when they look at me. A suave, cool, good-looking, confident pot of Scouse, with wit, impeccable comedic timing and a voice like Clint Eastwood blended with crème fraîche.
But here’s the truth you won’t expect.
You can’t scroll past Ian Murphy. He can turn the most seemingly abstract, impersonal topics into memorable stories that brighten up your day.
Ian delivers cybersecurity education using funny and memorable videos that surprise and entertain. His unique sense of humor proves to be significantly more effective in helping people improve their cyber savviness as opposed to the usual doom and gloom in the industry.
Case in point:
Seeking to learn the story behind his remarkable approach, I asked Ian if he’d have a chat about his almost 30 years of cybersecurity experience and everything beyond it. I was not surprised – and certainly delighted – to find honesty, authenticity, and a set of strong beliefs in his anecdotes and experiences.
Listen to this episode to learn:
- The importance of humor in creating and promoting educational content in cybersecurity [07:23]
- How experiencing failure only brings the best in you and helps you make better decisions [21:40]
- How to get people to pay attention and help them build their cyber-savviness – plus what it actually means [32:44]
- The real-life habits of cyberattackers and how to recognize them [34:10] ; [51:41]
- Why using vulnerability and humor in videos (infotainment) has more impact on people than being serious and dramatic [38:46]
A few ideas that stuck with me:
- Humor gives you a better chance of becoming memorable as you help people make a change in their daily habits
- Asking your closest ones for advice can help bring you down to earth and help you make your best choices
There’s always been experienced people to learn from, and I would sit down and listen to them.
- Only being aware of the potential risks doesn’t protect you from becoming a victim of cyberattacks. Practicing security tactics is what keeps you away from danger.
- One way to make the most of the limited attention people give you is to give them an enjoyable experience that resonates with them.
About Ian Murphy:
A storyteller, the joker in the room, and a great mentor who brings humor and lightness to serious, complex topics, Ian Murphy creates some of the most impactful educational content in the cybersecurity industry.
It was a teaching experience to learn about his background, from his apprenticeship in engineering to his early years of playing football. As you’ll hear for yourself, Ian has an uncanny ability to observe and learn valuable lessons from both wins and losses. These experiences taught him that you can only grow and get better at any skill after making a bunch of mistakes.
Right after graduation, Ian pursued a gut feeling that ended with him founding CyberOff and leading it as CEO. From his role, Ian constantly contributes to creating real change in mindset and habits through his jovial and humorous approach.
What I want to be able to do is use that infotainment to make small bite-sized chunks of that information and make it repeatable as well.
Ian Murphy is that charismatic and joyful mentor who captures your attention, gives you an instant mood boost, and makes you more cautious about cyberattacks, all while you inevitably laugh your heart out. After all, we all remember the witty, funny people in our lives, don’t we?
Connect with Ian:
Resources mentioned in the episode:
- Ian’s videos – the CyberOff Youtube channel
- Vanilla Ian – Rapping about using safe passwords
- Cyber Sexline (it’s NOT what you think – or is it?)
- The Cuckoo’s Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage by Clifford Stoll
- Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell
- The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It… Every Time by Maria Konnikova