Cybersecurity Behavior

How Gamification Impacts Cybersecurity Behavior Modelling

Gamification turns learning into engaging experiences with interactive elements, challenges, and rewards.
Discover Behavior-focused, gamified cyber security awareness courses tailored for specific job roles, industries, and compliance targets with Security Quotient.

The human element has become one of the main factors for cybersecurity resilience. As such, security awareness training is standard practice for organizations looking to improve employee security behavior. Over the years, several training methods have appeared, aiming to help employees proactively recognize and respond to cyber threats.

This article will explore the topic of gamification and how this training approach is revolutionizing cybersecurity behavior modelling.

What is Cybersecurity Behavior Modelling?

Cybersecurity behavior modeling is a strategic approach to security awareness training (SAT) focusing on impacting individual behavioral changes. It takes data from modern security tools and tracking mechanisms to create customized training that addresses the specific vulnerabilities and requirements of each employee.

Cybersecurity behavior modeling follows concepts from B.J. Fogg’s behavior model, which outlines three components influencing behavioral change. These are:

1

Motivation

2

Ability

3

Nudges

Despite the different training tools out there, one challenge many organizations face is their inability to effectively engage their employees to make security training impactful and ingrained in everyday habits.

Gamification as an Important Tool in Behavior Modelling

Gamification is an approach to security awareness training (SAT) that aims to increase engagement through the use of game-like elements and mechanics. This method transforms traditional training content into interactive, competitive, and fun activities, making the learning process more appealing and memorable.

Gamification incorporates elements such as points, badges, leaderboards, challenges, and rewards, tapping into the natural human desires for competition, achievement, and recognition. With its characteristics, gamification touches on all main components in cybersecurity behavior modeling:

1

Elements of competition motivate employees to engage more actively in security training, which also positively affects their ability to react to real security threats.

2

Gamification is highly customizable – with courses that can be tailored for varying job roles, compliance requirements, and geographical regions.

Studies have shown that gamification can lead to higher engagement and retention rates in learning. For instance, a report by TalentLMS indicated that 83% of those who receive gamified training feel motivated, while 61% of those who receive non-gamified training feel bored and unproductive.

Specific to cybersecurity, gamified approaches in phishing simulations have shown to be effective. A piece on Infosec nicely puts together the benefits of gamification.

Measuring the Impact of Gamification

Gamification of training and awareness programs is a relatively new concept that is expected to rise exponentially in upcoming years. But, aside from empirical evidence regarding its growing adoption, are there ways you can measure the positive effects of gamified training within your organization? Here are three approaches to try:

1

Pre and post-training tests

2

Collect data from the gamified learning platform

3

Interviews and focus groups

Final thoughts

Integrating gamification in cybersecurity awareness training is a significant shift towards more engaging and effective learning methods. By tapping into the natural human tendencies for competition and achievement, gamification enhances the learning experience and promotes better retention and application of cybersecurity practices.

As cyber threats continue to evolve, adopting such innovative training approaches becomes crucial for organizations aiming to fortify their defenses. Ultimately, the success of these methods will depend on their thoughtful implementation and alignment with the organization’s specific security needs and culture.

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