In today’s technological world, educating people about cybersecurity awareness is an absolute must.
According to one report, 82% of data breaches involve a human element, ranging from social attacks to misuse of technology. These mistakes are not always entirely preventable, as some degree of human error is unavoidable, but proper cybersecurity awareness training can greatly reduce the likelihood of human error leading to a data breach. As business operations increasingly use digital tools and rely on employee behavior for safety, new solutions are needed.
While cybersecurity awareness training can take many forms, most training programs are computer-based. When developing and implementing these programs, it is important to understand which educational methods will be most effective. This training must be geared toward users who may not have any background or knowledge of cybersecurity, and must be effective enough to ensure that security is “not only a top priority, but also fluent in the language.”
For this, gamification is a very effective strategy. There are many benefits to gamifying your approach to cybersecurity awareness training, all of which contribute to the goals of educating employees and reducing risk. Gamification motivates and motivates employees to engage more actively, engage more actively, retain information, and implement behavior change in the future.
Here are five tips for gamifying your cybersecurity awareness training program.
1. Visual aids
One of the most fundamental elements of gamification is the use of visual aids. Visual aids such as graphs, charts, pictures or videos are a quick and effective way to communicate information that might be difficult to understand in text format. Statistics and numerical data are easily converted into visual formats, as can other information. These visual aids can help employees stay engaged with content by breaking up otherwise monotonous blocks of text. They are also usually easier to remember.
Providing a reward for completion or performance is an incredible motivator. Whether the reward is just points in a game or real-life prizes like gift cards, the possibility of being rewarded for hard work is a good incentive for employees not only to attend training but to pay attention and perform well. While policies have been in place before to manage consequences for employees who fail to comply with safety measures, implementing positive influence is just as important to ensure maximum retention and compliance.
Multiple results can be obtained using one simple tool in the form of a quiz. Quiz your employees’ training, asking them to pay attention to training and retain information that is critical to cybersecurity. It also showed them a situation where their performance determined their score, and doing well on a quiz could earn them a reward. When quizzes are used for healthy competition, employees are more motivated to do good.
There are many ways to deploy simulations in cybersecurity awareness training. Putting employees in the context of a real attack, whether it’s a phishing email or a data breach, gives them the opportunity to practice how they would respond if a real incident occurred. It’s similar to the idea behind fire drills: It’s one thing to tell people how to respond when something unfortunate happens, but quite another to actually go through the process of coping. Additionally, simulated security incidents help reassure employees that their training is not just theoretical, but that they should know what to do in a real-life attack.
5. Team practice
Adding a social element to your cybersecurity awareness training is a good practice because it allows employees to work together, just as they would have to in the event of an attack. Employees who feel isolated during training may not trust their colleagues to be reliable in this area, while employees who work together in training are more likely to work together in practice. Collaboration is key, not just for security breaches, but for every aspect of the business. Employees who understand their role on the team and know how to work together to solve problems are not only better prepared in terms of cybersecurity awareness, but they are also better prepared to conduct normal operations.
The digital environment is constantly changing, and so are cyber threats. This, combined with the human tendency to forget information or throw it behind after a while, means that continuous training is crucial. Refreshing information previously learned by employees and providing new information that emerges in the interim will help employees understand that their cybersecurity awareness training is always relevant and current, rather than a distant concern. Depending on the frequency of training and the method used, this will also allow you to track employee progress over time and possibly reward continued good performance or improvement.
Like many things in life, cybersecurity awareness training is often considered essential. While this is necessary, it doesn’t have to be evil at all. Gamification is a very effective strategy for ensuring employees understand and internalize important information, and may even look forward to their training sessions. By leveraging simple concepts like rewards, teamwork, simulations, quizzes, and visual aids, you can provide your employees with experiences that are more engaging, fun, and effective than traditional methods.
About the author: PJ Bradley is a wide-ranging author with a passion for learning and helping others. PJ holds a BA from the University of Auckland and enjoys writing about topics that inspire, drawing on a lifelong desire to understand how things work. PJ spends most of his free time reading and writing. PJ too Polaris.
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(security affairs – hacking, cybersecurity)