Security awareness training is important, but it doesn’t eliminate cyber risk. In fact, when organizations only implement security awareness training and nothing else, it can potentially lead to internal mishaps and security catastrophes. After all, 77 percent of last year’s data breaches involved company insiders.
Instead, organizations need to protect themselves from internal risk and disastrous third-party breaches long after initial training is completed. But this requires a new approach to security awareness. In order to truly improve safety, organizations need to undergo a paradigm shift from being satisfied with check-the-box training completion to striving for comprehension, action, and a security-first culture.
As companies try to protect against breaches, it’s time to take a more proactive approach. Rather than sitting back and reacting, smart companies are tapping into a full ecosystem of data to not only reinforce best practices but also protect against vulnerable spots through ongoing security awareness progress. Luckily, there are now tools organizations can harness to build a safe, security-focused culture.
Real Security Awareness Training Calls for Microlearning
First, if you want training to stick long after the initial test, it’s important to use testing methods that are adaptive and engaging. More importantly, testing should actively pull behavioral data as well as strengths and weak spots from testing. With richer data feeding these assessments, the learner will face a customized experience that improves outcomes through additional exercises. This new approach to security awareness learning uses a tactic called microlearning.
Microlearning includes short training exercises and information that’s delivered directly to the employee’s inbox. If done correctly, microlearning occurs in short bursts that take little time commitment. Sessions should drive engagement through short installments that are easy to digest and tailored to the learner. They should adapt to the learner’s strengths and blind spots. This not only keeps learners engaged but also helps deliver relevant, customized training opportunities in areas that need attention.
Give Employees Job Aids
Job aids are important resources that support employee development. And they’re especially useful when an employee has on-the-job questions or is in unfamiliar territory. Job aids are digital guides that workers can consult, and they reinforce topics that are relevant to day-to-day tasks. This helps the learner pick up training concepts in a more contextual environment.
These aids can also serve as an immediate resource. On demand, they provide prompt answers to questions and serve as confidence builders when employees are unsure about a security safety topic.
Improve Outcomes with Video Learning
It doesn’t matter how dry or technical a subject is; if it’s presented in an engaging way, learners will be more receptive. Video learning is a powerful way to capture and keep a learner’s attention.
Video learning is also a strong tool for busy learners because it can be entertaining without requiring lengthy commitment. Employees can view videos on their own time. When done well, videos make a lasting impact on employees without requiring input.
However, content matters if you want to build positive outcomes. Here are some qualities of highly effective video training tools:
- Content should focus on short bursts.
- Content should present educational material in an entertaining way.
- Content needs to be easily accessible and available at the learner’s leisure.
Use Dynamic Data to Uncover Weak Spots
If organizations want to make meaningful security awareness progress, they need to tap into better data. That means bypassing the one-and-done processes of the past. Instead, training should give leaders insight into deep behavioral data, and these insights can help prevent security disasters in the future.
Dynamic data can uncover at-risk individuals, teams, and departments. It can also point out division-wide or cultural weak spots. This allows organizations to see hazards, and it has the potential to address wider answers to risks. It opens up behavioral data that can feed into a deeper data ecosystem, which can ultimately be used to improve whole systems.
Tap into Analytics to Build a Culture of Awareness
Ultimately, the safest companies understand security training needs to go beyond deploying a test or conducting a seminar. It should build a whole culture of security awareness. And that requires high-level analytics.
Analytics give leaders a window into risky behaviors and individuals, departments, or groups who are especially vulnerable to breaches. It also can measure engagement, which sheds light on what’s working. That means participants don’t just finish training and forget about it; they learn to keep security awareness at the forefront of their daily duties, and that creates an entire culture of security safety.
Wondering how to tie it all together? The best way to create a strategically driven security awareness culture is to work with a training partner that can help build next-level awareness. An outstanding partner will use engaging content, dynamic data, and powerful analytics to cut down risk and encourage an entire culture of cybersecurity safety.