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I spy with my beady eye ...

18 Feb 2017

28 days of awareness: day 17

With the graphic/visually-oriented materials well under way, it's time to crack on with the supporting ransomware awareness briefings. These are primarily intended to supplement and extend the PowerPoint slides (e.g. as printed seminar handouts), filling-in the details for people whose interest has hopefully been piqued - or simply to appeal to those who prefer the written word and quiet reflection over colorful diagrams and whatever the seminar leader is spouting off about, up front. They are valuable for people who want or need to know about the topic but, for whatever reason, don't get to the seminars, workshops, courses or meetings in person and are unwilling to ponder over the somewhat cryptic slide decks online.
At this point in the month, I have a reasonably clear picture in mind of the whole ransomware topic area, including most of the elements that I believe are worth bringing up in the written briefings. I also have several diagrams and other graphics to hand that will be incorporated to illustrate and break up those monotonous, boring blocks of text or tedious bullet-point lists that plague a lot of technical documentation. Furthermore, the text and images on the slides, plus the accompanying speaker notes, provide donor content and prompts that help me press ahead with writing the briefings. This is my chance to incorporate quotes from and references to relevant content published on the Web - the news stories, advisories, surveys, reports and recommendations made by various parties with an interest in ransomware ... which reminds me that things are and will remain fluid until the module is completed and delivered. As new information comes to light, it gets considered and where appropriate incorporated, making the materials as fresh as the tulips in a Dutch market.

To the left is a list of the 30-odd templates we are using to prepare most of the awareness materials. Templates not only make it quicker and easier to start a new document, presentation or whatever, but give the materials a consistent, professional look and feel. They have been designed, developed, tested and refined continually since NoticeBored was launched in 2003. They also remind us of the preferred structure and layout of each item although of course we can make changes as required - as indeed can our valued customers (e.g. swapping their awareness program logo for our NoticeBored placeholder, and perhaps integrating additional content obtained or written independently).

Having recently revised the template for our usual monthly paper on metrics, it all came together beautifully this time around. We're combining the GQM (Goal-Question-Metric) and PRAGMATIC approaches, generating a unique tabular style of metric that addresses multiple aspects of the topic area in a consistent, business-aligned manner, the whole thing expressed succinctly in a 3-page management-level briefing:


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