Is It Possible to Make Cybersecurity Training Programs More Engaging?

Is It Possible to Make Cybersecurity Training Programs More Engaging?

The short answer is yes.

Is it easy to get staff to actively participate? No.

Some employees will show eagerness to learn, while others would rather work on their daily tasks. That’s unfortunate because if your staff are fully engaged with your cybersecurity initiatives, you’d be running a much safer business that’s protected from both internal and external threats.

But don’t worry. Here are some expert tips to make your business’s cybersecurity training more engaging.

Simulate an actual cyberattack

While conducting cybersecurity training, your company’s IT leaders might mention a few cybersecurity buzzwords like “malware,” “denial-of-service attacks,” and “phishing scams.” Those who work in the IT department will easily grasp the concepts behind these terms, but the rest won’t. Instead of giving lectures about phishing scams and its different types, make them experience being attacked by one.

Symantec reports that in 2017, organized cybercrime groups used spear phishing in 71% of their attacks. What better way to teach staff the repercussions of this statistic than by sending phishing emails to them and seeing how they’ll react? A user who takes the “bait” will be more careful about opening emails from unknown senders, clicking links from potentially malicious emails, and providing sensitive information in the future.

Reward staff who consistently complies

Humans are the weakest link in a business’s IT infrastructure. If your organization has never experienced a cyberattack due to employee negligence, consider yourself lucky. You can make sure it stays that way by incentivizing those who consistently comply with your information security policies.

One way you can do this is via gamification, a process of immersing employees in cybersecurity training programs by using the mechanics of any type of game. This “game” should complement traditional training methods and must be fun yet informative.

For example, your tech team could launch a game that involves rewarding those who avoid triggering security alerts for a specified period of time (e.g., 6 months to 1 year). This allows you to identify those who are security risks — who should then be put through more rigorous cybersecurity training programs — and encourages good security practices.

Start cybersecurity training on Day 1

Educating newly hired staff about your company’s cybersecurity awareness policies will surely make a lasting impression on them. While there’s no guarantee that everyone will absorb everything they need to learn about keeping their computers, network, and company data safe, they’d be much better prepared for future threats.

On the other hand, an equivalent strategy for long-term employees would be to...

Conduct continuous training

Cyberthreats are highly unpredictable and don’t discriminate targets, which is why conducting continuous training to tenured employees should be mandatory. The nature of cyberthreats evolve and your cybersecurity training programs should, too. You can keep it interesting by introducing new topics in your gamified, up-to-date cybersecurity training plans.

Use relatable examples

Teaching staff about the dangers of viruses, ransomware, and other types of malware is necessary. But using scenarios they can relate to in your cybersecurity training programs will help them conceptualize abstract concepts and learn how to avoid them.

If you’re providing guidelines on keeping company-issued devices safe, highlight the fact that safety measures like using a VPN when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network also protect their personal devices. If your cybersecurity training modules cover the safe storage of mission-critical business data, why not expand it to include handling personal files?

With their smartphones and data at stake, they wouldn’t mind learning a few more safety tips about combating hackers.

If you’ve tried to make your cybersecurity training more engaging but aren’t seeing the results you were hoping for, we can help. The IT consultants at our Brandon, Florida offices will improve your current cybersecurity training program or create one for you. Get in touch with us today!