30 Most Influential Companies of the Year 2020
security awareness is of prime importance for employees all over the globe as their actions online and clicks can be a factor that can let in a cybercriminal into the enterprise network. To educate their employees, businesses now make them take training programs that involve a lot of paint dry videos and reading a lot of documentation. NINJIO is changing this by delivering premium short-length content that leverages the power of creative storytelling to educate employees about the latest scams and breaches that are happening.
The idea for NINJIO came to Zack Schuler (Founder and CEO) after reading an article in a magazine about the challenges of educating people on the important topic of cybersecurity. He felt that there was a space for a security awareness business that would use Hollywood-style storytelling to raise necessary awareness about cybersecurity, threats, and breaches. But he did not want to create a company that was just providing a training program for people that would be a mere check-box. He wanted to establish a business that would create content that would appeal to the masses.
He reached out to his former college friend Bill Haynes who had worked on over 70 episodes of CSI: NY and Hawaii Five-0 to create the content. He also enlisted animation expert Ben Reynolds, an award-winning creative director/designer Roy Dequina to breathe life into the idea of NINJIO.
Today, NINJIO is the leading security awareness company that educates employees of organizations on how to become more secure through its micro-learning animated and security stories that are not just engaging but are also based or inspired by real companies and their security breaches. “NINJIO produces 3-4 minute long animated episodes that teach the employees of our clients “how not to get hacked.” We do this using Hollywood-style storytelling with famous actors playing the voices of our animated characters,” says Zack Schuler, Founder and CEO of NINJIO. The company creates and releases an episode each month and covers the latest breach or scam in the cyber realm. They have been lately covering a series of COVID-19 scams that are happening as we speak.
“We have been called the “Kings of Content”, according to many in the analyst community. The engaging and real-time nature of our content works to change the behavior of our viewers, and significantly raise the security posture of our clients,” explain Zack. NINJIO currently has an overall rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars in the Security Awareness Computer-Based Training Market according to the leading research and advisory company Gartner Peer Insights.
Engagement- The Key
NINJIO consistently monitors the threat landscape as it evolves and changes for the latest breaches and the latest hacks. This way, the company is able to release an episode in a 30-day cycle which has highly relevant content that depicts what is going on right now. This educates the employees on the latest happenings in the world of cyberattacks and cybersecurity. This goes long way in educating the viewers on the attacks that are currently on the rise, be it a new style phishing attack, a smishing attack, or a new COVID-19 scam. Other solutions in the meanwhile train employees in threats that have been prevalent a year ago and not ones that they are facing today. Everybody knows that content that focuses on old cybersecurity awareness is like watching the news from a year ago, and this is something NINJIO steers away from.
NINJIO believes that keeping people’s attention requires content that appeals directly to them emotionally. For this, NINJIO’s team uses storytelling as a medium for education. The characters in their short 4-minute videos engage the viewers emotionally and never try to lecture them. “We do everything in our power to emotionally engage the viewer in the first scene of the episode, and if we are able to do so, it is not hard to keep them engaged until the end, as each episode is only 3-4 minutes long,” states CEO.
Become a Subject Matter Expert – For Your Family
NINJIO includes “Friends and Family Use Rights” in each subscription. Analysts opined strongly in 2017 that NINJIO’s content easily crossed over well from work to home. This inspired Zack to extend the usage rights to the family of each employee. “It was at that moment where I had the thought – If I can get the family watching the same episode that the employee at work watched, I can create a cybersecurity dialogue around the family dinner table. It will be a game-changer,” reflected Zack. And game-changer it was. By extending the usage rights to the family, NINJIO turned the employee into a subject matter expert on all things security. While consuming NINJIO’s content, an employee is aware that by educating himself he is not just protecting himself but all of his family at home. It has been a massive hit within the NINJIO community.
Meet the Leader
Zack Schuler, Founder and CEO
An entrepreneur par excellence, he foundedCal Net Technology Group in 1995 before establishing NINJIO. Cal Net Technology Group was an IT Services provider to small and medium-sized businesses in LA. The company was acquired by Olympic Valley and Boathouse Capital, and subsequently acquired by NexusTek.He was previously on the boards of Ascension Lutheran Day School and Sherwood County Club Charitable Foundation. He is a member of the Forbes Technology Council.
He has a BS in marketing from California State University, Northridge.