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How to Strategically Build a Cyber Community:

Lessons from the Chessboard

Presentation at 2024 VigiTrust Global Advisory Board Meeting, Dublin, Ireland

Recap of "How to Strategically Build a Cyber Community: Lessons from the Chessboard"


Last week in Dublin, I had the privilege of addressing a international audience at the Vigitrust Global Advisory Board meeting, presenting a strategic framework for building cyber communities inspired by the game of chess. Here's a recap and the key takeaways from the session.

Presentation Overview

The presentation focused on the strategic parallels between chess and the development of cyber communities. Just as chess requires foresight, strategy, and an understanding of each piece's role, building a cyber community necessitates a clear understanding of objectives, member roles, and the regulatory landscape.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Define Purpose and Goals: Just as the purpose of chess is to achieve checkmate, the purpose of a cyber community should be clear and defined. For CyberSC, our goal is to serve as the connective tissue between industry and practitioners to drive the proper evolution of our discipline.

  2. Know Your Pieces: In chess, knowing the capabilities and movement of each piece is crucial. Similarly, understanding the roles and strengths of each community member can help in effectively managing and leveraging their skills for the community's benefit.

  3. Establish Rules and Guidelines: Just like the rules of chess, clear guidelines in a cyber community help maintain order and ensure that all members are aligned with the community's objectives. These rules should cover behavior, engagement protocols, and ethical standards.

  4. Implement Engagement Strategies: The initial setup in chess involves positioning your pieces for both defensive and offensive plays. In community building, this translates to establishing initial engagement strategies such as hosting welcome events, encouraging introductions, and fostering discussions that promote active participation.

  5. Adapt and Grow: Chess players must adapt their strategies based on their opponents' moves. Similarly, community leaders should be receptive to feedback and ready to adapt strategies to meet the changing needs and dynamics of the community.

  6. Foster Leadership and Participation: Encouraging members to take on leadership roles and actively participate can be equated to developing your pieces in chess. It's crucial for sustaining engagement and building a resilient community structure.

  7. Ensure Longevity and Legacy: Planning for the future of the community, much like planning for the endgame in chess, is essential. This involves identifying potential leaders, setting long-term goals, and continuously engaging the community to keep it vibrant and relevant.


The session concluded with a call to action for all attendees to apply these lessons and strategies within their organizations and to actively participate in CyberSC's ongoing initiatives to foster a robust cyber community.

As we continue to build and strengthen our cyber defenses, the lessons from the chessboard remind us that every move counts. By strategically planning and collaborating, we can create a safe and vibrant digital environment for all.

The SC Cyber Association , a 501(c)(6) non-profit that provides professional development and connection opportunities in the Palmetto State.

The SC Cyber Foundation , a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides funding for cyber education in the Palmetto State.

CyberSC is a member affiliate of CyberUSA


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