About Us

People everywhere are using digital tools to surmount old barriers and create new opportunities. These new horizons also harbour new threats from bad cyber actors. But you can learn to protect yourself.  We make the complex world of digital safety accessible through six themes—the six “points” of the CyberSTAR:

Risks

Recognizing digital deception via social engineering, phishing and malware.

Passwords

Protecting assets with strong password management and authentication.

Devices

Securing desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones and other devices.

Data

Protecting important information from unauthorized access, theft and corruption.

Conversations

Protecting text, audio and video exchanges from unauthorized access.

Identity

Protecting personal information that can fuel social engineering and impersonation.

To use this web site, simply choose a digital-safety theme, learn some basics, and apply them to your daily digital life. With each step you take, you’ll be making yourself safer online. And we encourage you to keep going!

(This site presents learning resources in seven languages. If you’re browsing in English or Russian, you’ll also find teaching resources. While these were designed for CyberSTAR trainers, everyone is free to use them.)

So go ahead: dig in and learn to protect yourself from cybercriminals. Or to find our more about the project behind these resources, keep reading below.
 

The CyberSTAR Method

CyberSTAR stands for Cyber Safety Training, Assessment and Response. This is The SecDev Foundation’s unique methodology for strengthening the digital resilience of small, at-risk civil society organizations (CSOs). Thanks to CyberSTAR, more than a hundred CSOs around the world are already protecting themselves, their staff and their beneficiaries from cyber threats.

A full-scale CyberSTAR process starts with a detailed assessment of vulnerabilities in a CSO’s systems and practices. That guides a remediation response to ratchet up their digital hygiene. Finally, a multi-month process of staff training, mentorship and policy support ensures progress will continue well into the future.

Yes, there are other ways to get a low-cost digital audit report. That can be ideal for organizations with IT capacity to follow up. But for smaller CSOs, a report alone can be paralyzing. That’s why CyberSTAR's primary output is not the audit report, but rather measurable progress. That means stronger technical systems and policies—and it especially means staff who are better equipped to stay safe.

How CyberSTAR works

Digital safety diagnostics: a 35-point assessment focused on the most urgent and actionable vulnerabilities.

Direct technical assistance, including real-time preventive remediation of networks and devices.

Individually tailored training and policy support to bake digital hygiene into organizational systems and practices.

 

CyberSTAR in the world

Born in the early 2010s, CyberSTAR has evolved through practical use across Eurasia, the MENA region and Southeast Asia. Many Foundation-supported projects adapt the CyberSTAR method to their local work.

Since 2016, more than 100 CSOs have graduated from formal CyberSTAR programs. In eight Eurasian and six MENA countries, we are also fostering networks of CyberSTAR champions and trainers who will continue supporting CSOs beyond the funded life of regional projects.

We’re always seeking ways to bring CyberSTAR to more CSOs in more global regions. That includes exploring new funding sources and even fee-for-service models. In the meantime, we continue adding resources to this site, in multiple languages. We encourage you to make the most of them on your own journey to digital resilience.

CyberSTAR logo

Our logo evokes the Star of Life, the universal symbol for emergency medical response. Our digital first aid is about assessing the “patient” and taking practical steps to stabilize and enable recovery. This context reminds us: action and results are key.