Meet Mark Brown, Founder and CEO at Cyber Security Awareness Training Platform: Psybersafe

At Psybersafe, we apply behavioural science to cyber security training, because most security issues happen because of poor cyber habits. Backed by proven behaviour science, we deliver fun, expert online cyber training that actually changes the way people do things.

Cyber security is something that SME business owners and managers worry about. A data breach, hack or security issue can affect a business financially and reputationally.

We believe that cyber security training doesn’t need to be dull. In fact, the more engaging and focused it is, the more likely people are to change their behaviours – and the better placed they are to help protect their organisation.

Businesses who take Psybersafe training notice an immediate change. Even better, because the training is online, people can do it when it suits them. So no half-day workshops, no hours spent on a webinar and no interruption of day-to-day working. Just effective, efficient training.
Mark Brown - Founder & CEO - Psybersafe | LinkedIn

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

We were looking at the ways our clients were training their people to be cyber secure. We carried out market research, and a series of interviews and workshops, where we discovered that, in general, the way businesses train staff is not fit for purpose.

We can tick the box of ‘training done’, but the training doesn’t change anything – let alone help people to act safely online. Most training programmes provide information – but just watching a video every now and then is not going to change the way people think or act. Given my background in psychology and behavioural science, we saw an opportunity to develop something that can actually make a measurable difference to businesses security. So, the idea of using proven behavioural science as a basis for training was born.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

The pandemic was a double-edged sword. It took some pressure off as we felt it gave as some time to come to market. At the start of the pandemic, I began a consulting job on cybersecurity awareness, behaviour and culture.

Because of this, I was receiving an income, and was still able to spend time developing the behaviour platform. My client became a Psybersafe client, so things were going well. Unfortunately, I caught Covid-19 just after Christmas 2020, as we were preparing to go live with the first large client. I was in hospital for 6 weeks with serious Covid-19 related complications – I was severely ill. But we kept things moving, albeit a lot more slowly, and the client was very understanding. We started the Psybersafe campaign two months late but, thankfully, successfully!

What can we hope to see from Psybersafe in the future?

Our training is not a one-time set and forget. Sustainable behaviour change requires sustained interventions. Not only do threats change and develop: the way we should act and behave needs constant support, prompting and reward. So, we’re continually developing new episodes to keep the topics fresh and interesting and to ensure that we keep a steady flow of interactive learning moments for our users.

We learn from our them too, and that lets us continually improve our user journeys and episode flows. We want to share big company expertise with small firms at a price that they can afford.

We aim to bring on two or three large clients a year and an ongoing flow of SME businesses. Reaching this goal will mean expanding our customer success team and our content creators. Over the next three years, we will expand our training content carefully, with different types of interactions to support our behaviour change aims. The business will be self-sustaining and will continue to develop its behavioural science roots in other sectors, applying our expertise beyond cyber security into those areas that will benefit from this focused approach.