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It’s an All New OUCH! Newsletter, See What April is All About

Posted on: April 3rd, 2019 by

We are excited to announce April’s edition of the OUCH! newsletter – Making Passwords Simple. Strong passwords are the number one step to protecting your online life, but far too often passwords can be confusing or overwhelming. Learn three, simple steps that will lock down your online life helping protect your finances, reputation and career. Led by SANS Instructor Justin Henderson, share OUCH! with family, friends and co-workers.
Making Passwords Simple

OUCH! Archives:
Here is an amazing opportunity to get high-school girls involved in cybersecurity and potentially launch them into an amazing career!

1. 25 State Governors personally launched a high school girls talent program on March 20th called GirlsGoCtyberStart (

2. In the first week 5,400 girls have begun playing the game, testing their aptitude, and in many cases being surprised by how good they are and how much fun cybersecurity can be. Additional girls have until April 12th to sign up.

Here’s how one teacher described the impact in a note to her state’s governor:

Before I recruited girls to be a part of this wonderful program I struggled to get girls to realize they could be computer scientists. I had girls actually saying they were too stupid to do this until I said, ‘Just try it.’ Some of my girls found out they were good at puzzles, some found out they liked programming. I now have girls asking our counselor about computer science degrees at our local community college.”

The students are also writing notes. Here are two:

Thank you for allowing girls in our state to have this exposure that we are not receiving in school. You have motivated me to pursue cybersecurity as a possible career and believe that I actually have a chance to succeed.”

Thank you for this opportunity. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and now I do thanks to this program.”

Why does it work? Here’s how one girl described it to her classmates. “Go online. Play a game. Find a career.”

The game is challenging but not based on what people already know. It is evaluating the curiosity and tenacity and capacity to learn. Here are teachers describing how it works:

Thanks for giving our students an opportunity to try something completely new and discover that they are smarter than they think. My students were completely engaged and requested that we work on Saturday because they were enjoying it so much. They would dig for hours and were thrilled when they solved a difficult problem. Several times they expressed that it was really fun and they really learned a lot.”

Three of the our girls spent most of Saturday and Sunday in my classroom with me! And it was the beginning of their spring vacation. There aren’t too many things that would get high school students to sacrifice two days of vacation to work on education!

The real reward for me was watching my students work very hard on the puzzles. The best part was when they struggled but persevered and finally got the correct answer.” 

The game is completely online so it works as well in rural and intercity schools as in well funded urban and suburban schools.

Thank you so very much for bringing this experience to my students who were able to participate in something they normally would have no knowledge of in our rural area. At first, they were unsure they could even figure any of it out. By the end, they were yelling and jumping up and down as they finished a challenging section and moved on to the next. They were so sad the time ran out on this experience.”

Thank you!! I am a teacher in a low socioeconomic area and this challenge empowered my girls!

A college program with direct access to internships and jobs, called Cyber FastTrack, ( begins on April 5.

To see the current leaderboards:
For the high school program:
For the college program:

SANS Online Training offers the same content, instructors, and learning results as live training, all without the costs of travel. Options include OnDemand, vLive and Simulcast to fit your learning style and schedule. Don’t miss SANS Online Training Special Offers available this month with your OnDemand or vLive course. You can also Test Drive your next SANS course by taking any of our 39 available Demos on the OnDemand Platform.

Justin Henderson (@SecurityMapper) is co-founder of H & A Security Solutions, a Certified SANS Institute Instructor and author for the SANS Cyber Defense and SIEM courses. He loves all things cyber defense and has been consulting for fifteen years.


Lance Spitzner
Director, SANS Security Awareness
Twitter: @lspitzner

The two day course on building secure behaviors –

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