Skip to main content

Cyber Readiness Institute

Online Learning System for Cybersecurity Training Non-Profit

The Big Picture

Businesses invest significant resources in buying cybersecurity products to help reduce their risk. Yet, the most common cause of cyber events is still human error. There are basic behaviors and best practices that anyone can do – for free – that can reduce their businesses’ cybersecurity risks. The Cyber Readiness Institute was founded to teach leaders within small businesses how to take these simple free steps to better protect themselves and their bottom line.

The Backstory

The Cyber Readiness Institute was founded in 2017 by the chief executives of Mastercard, Microsoft, IBM and PSP Partners. The organization brought in executive leadership with experience in government and corporate cybersecurity, compliance and change management to develop the Cyber Readiness Program. The Program is designed to teach “Cyber Leaders” within small businesses about the fundamental cyber risks – passwords, phishing, software updates, USBs – and provide them with training materials and policies to guide their internal team. 

The first version of the Program launched in 2017 to initial excitement. Then over time, use of the program waned, and Cyber Readiness Institute leaders looked for new ways to revitalize and increase engagement. CRI leaders partnered with Punch to transform and evolve the Program experience.

Quick Facts

  • Established in 2017
  • Founded by Mastercard, Microsoft, IBM, PSP Partners
  • Free online training and resources
  • Designed for small businesses

Building the Brand

The initial version of the CRI brand was driven by a specific illustration style and limited color palette. In the refresh, Punch expanded and evolved the brand palette to allow for greater flexibility, to modernize and to incorporate more of the human element to better connect with business leaders.

Logo Design
New Color Pallete
Icon Design

Completing the Vision

Punch proposed a new solution for CRI that would include an engaging, informative online experience, along with an interactive learning management system to better facilitate online training.

The Full Story

The Challenge

CRI’s existing platform was built on Craft CMS. The original platform had been custom designed and built from scratch to meet the organization’s requirements at the time. In addition, the current version of the Program was in need of a written refresh to make the content more accessible to a broader user base. CRI needed a system that was future proof, and didn’t require heavy development to add new features and content. They needed a system with robust metrics and reporting on performance. Punch proposed the combination of a WordPress front-end website, and Thinkific Learning Management System to best support the objectives and provide better flexibility, scalability and interactivity.

Project Goals

  • Revise and refresh the brand and message
  • Create a more efficient and better managed online platform
  • Improve Program signups
  • Improve Program completions
The Full Story

The Solution

Punch worked closely with the CRI team to revise the Program experience from the ground up. Punch strategists revised, restructured and rewrote the Program content to meet a more universal reading level, more approachable tone, and follow a clear, instructional order from information to implementation. 

The creative team developed new supplemental content and resources, including video, quizzes, downloadable training guides and checklists, as well as an implementation playbook with helpful policies and plans, and a training toolkit with useful resources and communications tools. 

Punch technical team built out the revised Program by customizing Thinkific learning management software – a leading SaaS platform for online course creators. The Thinkific LMS site is paired with a WordPress front-end website and integrated with MailChimp for communications. The strengths of each system converge to create a more robust, flexible and scalable platform for CRI to grow and support its user base.

Scope of Work

  • Brand refresh, messaging and design system
  • Website design, copywriting and development
  • Online training course strategy, architecture, writing and design
  • Buildout / customization of learning management system
  • Creation of video content
  • Supplementary training materials 
  • Comprehensive involvement of strategy, design, content and development teams 


The Cyber Readiness Institute now has an online platform that more effectively meets the organization’s needs and more effectively reaches and engages with the students of the Program. More robust reporting allows for greater insight into student behavior. New collaboration tools within the platform increase engagement for students. The simplified structure of the WordPress back end allows greater flexibility to post resources, events, and other public-facing content, while the LMS with its interactive content, videos and downloads creates a more immersive experience for students. CRI is now positioned to reach a broader audience, and engage more fully with each participant.

The Cyber Readiness Institute can better engage with its constituents, and now has an online platform that is designed to facilitate learning.

  • Next ProjectGCA Cybersecurity Toolkit


Let’s talk about your next big idea.
Come by and say hi! Coffee’s on us.
Join our team of talented creatives.
Stay connected with Punch.

2700 S. Quincy Street, Suite 220
Arlington, VA 22206