Cybersecurity Awareness Training Is A Must
Why should you teach your employees about cybersecurity? As many as 90%of data breaches occur due to human error. As a result, you can get stuck with hundreds of thousands or even millions in attack remediation fees.
Getting employees to care about cybersecurity can feel like trying to get them to care about air pollution; at the end of the day, everyone cares, but the topic comes across as dry and hugely boring.
According to scientific research, the brain is 68%  more involved in a given activity when experiencing a sense of fun. Here’s expert advice regarding how you can make cybersecurity training fresh, fun, and dynamic. Ready, set, go!
1. Rethink Your Messaging
Is your messaging around cybersecurity fear-mongering or guilt-inducing? Spin your cybersecurity messaging into positive, friendly, and motivational language. Your employees will probably appreciate a bit of humor if it’s not too much of a stretch!
2. Skip The Conference Room
In the age of remote work, you may not even have a conference room. Regardless of location, long lectures can leave employees feeling checked out.
However, hosting a virtual all-hands meeting where security experts are available to field cybersecurity questions can be a great way of revving up engagement. When employees are able to engage with speakers, they retain a sense of ownership and empowerment.
3. Computer-Based Training
Due to time zone differences, all-hands calls and other types of formal functions can be difficult to schedule, especially with small teams. If this sounds like your organization, consider gamified computer-based cybersecurity training.
These types of programs offer fun, experiential learning opportunities. Research shows that when individuals enjoy the learning process and are actively engaged, they absorb information without even noticing. It’s similar to how spinach isn’t a popular food among kiddos, but it goes down easy when a handful is sneakily added to a chocolate shake!
A gamified format could be the way to go. Plus, it offers everyone a chance for people to accomplish a goal or to win an activity.
4. Consider Contests
Ask employees to create entertaining 60-second cybersecurity training videos. Gather everyone’s pieces, share them, and create a Slack or mobile-based poll. Encourage everyone to vote on their favorites.
Create a points system connected to the successful completion of cybersecurity-related activities. Employees with the most points can win an actual prize.
5. Try In-The-Moment Training
Real-world, real-time training keeps employees actively engaged in cybersecurity initiatives.
Did you know that as many as 25% of employees have unintentionally clicked on a phishing link while at work? Ask your IT team to send out test-drill phishing emails. See who clicks and who doesn’t and then laugh about it together!
6. Reward Employees For Right Actions
Giving people prizes within cybersecurity games is one thing. Take your cybersecurity awareness training to a whole new level by rewarding employees who identify and report phishing emails. Positive reinforcement makes concepts sticks.
7. Cybersecurity And Onboarding
Another means of building a cybersecurity-focused organizational culture includes adding security training to the onboarding process. In this way, employees learn about cybersecurity risks, initiatives, and who to contact regarding any questions or concerns.
Reinforce that cyber attackers may target individuals, not just an organization as a whole. Hackers do this by friending people on social media, sending fictitious emails, etc. These are particularly important points to communicate to individuals in the C-suite and in other top management positions, although it does pertain to all employees.
For any cybersecurity awareness training that you implement, determine how to measure ROI. Your management team will want to see the results that the program has driven. How have your initiatives increased engagement? How have they augmented the cybersecurity culture across the company? Ensure that you’re able to provide sound metrics and that you can offer a clear-cut accompanying narrative.
As you pilot these training techniques (and measure results), you’ll create a robust culture of cybersecurity awareness. While cybersecurity awareness training is not cheap and it can be time-consuming, it may be significantly less costly than ransomware fees, lawsuits, and reputational damage that commonly coincide with cyber attacks.