Team Member

Brandon Laur, M.G.C., M.A.

Brandon Laur The White Hatter

Brandon Laur’s background includes a varied assortment of academic studies and professional work placements. He earned a master’s degree in Professional Communication, specializing in phishing cyberattacks. Professionally has been employed with Personal Protection Systems working as a White Hatter for over 12 years. Since May 2013, Brandon has been operating in a management position in the organization overseeing special project developments; most recently, developing the White Hatter production studio and the subsequent YouTube channel, livestream, and webinar platforms.

Brandon actively facilitates educational programs designed for students of all ages, parents, teachers, and business professionals on the topics of privacy, security, digital literacy, and online digital intelligence gathering. In addition to these responsibilities, Brandon is multi-certified and continuing to receive ongoing training in Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) to use in conjunction with his security experience and academic pursuits. Brandon’s real-world experience using social media and the internet has played a major role in the growth of all internet and social media safety programs offered by The White Hatter.­

Along with the master’s degree, his bachelor’s degree is in sociology, with a minor in technology and society al which further contributes to Brandon’s societal and behavioural approach to cybersecurity, privacy, and social media management strategies. Current research interests include the social aspect of phishing cyberattacks, employer social media screening with online background checks, and the use of technology on human sexuality.

Academic research is not the only skillset Brandon uses and educates. He also demonstrates how OSINT investigative techniques are of value in social media marketing and analysis. Brandon also instructs working professionals how to leverage the same skills used in online background checks and investigations to enhance marketing campaigns. In addition to proactive strategies, Brandon uses OSINT tactics on monitoring business or personal reputations in part of a comprehensive reputation management framework.

Brandon’s Achievements

British Columbia Medal of Good Citizenship

Co-received along with two other White Hatter team members. This recognition comes, in part, from the life-changing and sometimes lifesaving social media safety presentations or workshops hundreds of thousands of students have attended across North America, but especially in BC. More importantly, this award recognizes the community support by The White Hatter helping students, teachers, parents, and other adults in need, both online and offline, who find themselves in uncertain or dangerous circumstances. Using our combined team expertise, we will always do our best in providing guidance and support well beyond any single presentation you may experience with us.

As an organization, our passion and pride are in the community work we do. Certainly, this accomplishment could not have been achieved alone. The countless students and others who have contacted us online or via phone seeking help for themselves or help for a friend in a dangerous circumstance are all past recipients of this award. Our community, The White Hatter Nation, is an enormous component of the backbone in what it is we do and it’s often a resource we can call upon in a time of need.

Masters Degree

Graduated in 2018 with a master’s degree in professional communication. Brandon’s thesis research focused on phishing, one of the primary methods of scams and manipulation online. Part of his research involved interviews with active information security practitioners and an analysis of the ways phishing is researched and understood in the news media.

BC Social Innovation Youth Award

The BC Government & Radius SFU awarded Brandon, with the 2017 BC Social Innovations Youth Award for his work and advocacy with youth, tweens, teens, and adults in the areas of social media safety and digital literacy.

Derek K Miller Award

Co-received along with two other White Hatter team members for “Most inspiring social media user” for unique advocacy and community support in the area of internet safety and digital literacy both in Canada and the USA.

Open Source Intelligence Investigator

Trained and experienced in the collection and analysis of online available information for the purposes of conducting investigations. Received training from both academically accredited insinuations and industry experts. This works involves deep and dark web information collecting involving both overt and covert methods.

Sociology Degree with a Minor in Technology & Society

Graduated in 2016 from the University of Victoria, Brandon’s other passion is studying interpersonal communication through digital mediums. Academically, Brandon recognized a need to adopt the social sciences in the analysis of security, not just solely relying on computer sciences and engineering. In his experience, cybersecurity is not all about firewalls and antiviruses. A considerable part of security and privacy is the human and social factor, including the communication components of security, both proactive and reactive. From a privacy standpoint, communication is the sole element in that field of study, from policy analysis to the implementation of systems that mediate private communication. Without communication, these issues would not exist. Recent research projects that Brandon has participated in include social norm development in virtual environments, digital biopower, internet addiction, disinhibition, technological vulnerabilities in the medical industry, and social network capital.

Along with his sociology degree, the Technology & Society program at UVIC explores engagement with technological change and its rapid transformation of contemporary society. In a global culture driven forward by dramatic developments in technology, no aspect of politics, culture, and society is left undisturbed. designed to critically engage in the formal exploration, understanding and critical assessment of technological change in a wired and wireless world. Throughout the program, Brandon routinely explored the security and privacy implications of new technology on our society

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