How to Increase Employee Interest in Security Awareness Training Programs

Content and delivery methods that can connect the dots between abstract security concepts and their tangible impacts on the individual's daily work life make the learning experience not only more relatable but also more impactful.

Security awareness training (SAT) has become a staple for proactive defense against cyber security threats. However, many training programs fall short in their ability to effectively engage the audience, make the material stick, and impact workforce behavior.

Let’s explore why engagement is a crucial factor in security training and outline a few strategies to boost engagement in your security awareness efforts.

How Does Cyber Security Training Engagement Impact Workforce Behavior?

The value of engagement during learning has been highlighted in many scientific studies. If you think about your favorite subjects during your university or high school years, likely, your interest didn’t merely depend on the content but also on the professors and how they taught.

The same principle applies to cyber security training. Content and delivery methods that can connect the dots between abstract security concepts and their tangible impacts on the individual’s daily work life make the learning experience not only more relatable but also more impactful.

Moreover, engagement in training fosters a proactive security culture within the organization. Employees who find the training sessions interesting and relevant are likelier to participate actively, ask questions, and engage in discussions.

The Power of Engaging Cyber Security Training

The science of student engagement shows that students are most engaged when actively participating in their learning. Employees should care about what they’re learning. But learning about password policies or VPNs doesn’t sound too exciting. However, if you explain to employees the reasoning and benefits behind each training session, they’re more likely to follow the material and implement what they’ve learned.

Social engineering and phishing have been the main causes of security breaches for decades, and you should emphasize this so employees understand how crucial security awareness training is for the organization’s overall well-being.

How to Design An Engaging Security Awareness Training Program?

Here is a step-by-step process that will help you design an engaging security awareness program:

1. Understand your audience

Good teachers or trainers spend the first class or two getting to know their students. With this knowledge, they can direct their class in a way that maximizes engagement and learning. In the same way, you should begin the security training design process by understanding the audience. Learn about their job roles, location, level of cyber security skills, and all other things that will help you customize the training and make it as relevant as possible.

2. Develop engaging content

The next step in creating an engaging security awareness program is developing the content itself. To effectively engage with the audience, the content has to be more than just informative. To achieve this, incorporate a variety of training programs, including videos, quizzes, real-life case studies, and other engagement-boosting activities. These elements will keep employees interested in the content and may make it fun.

3. Foster interactive learning

One way to make your training program more enjoyable is to incorporate interactive elements. Humans have evolved to exchange knowledge. There’s a reason study groups are so popular. To tap into this natural inclination, consider adding elements like group classes, discussions, and collaborative projects to your training program.

4. Implement gamification elements

Gamification is a growing trend among security training providers, and for good reason. Gamification makes learning fun and interactive using game-like elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards. You could also organize security challenges or contests to encourage some friendly competition. While cyber security is a serious topic, how we learn about it doesn’t have to be so serious.

5. Keep cyber security top of mind

Cyber Security threats evolve rapidly. So, creating and implementing a security awareness program isn’t a one-time event. It’s a long-term strategy where new, engaging content is created regularly to reflect the latest threats, technologies, and best practices. This approach will reinforce core security concepts among the workforce, equipping them with the tools and cyber security skills they need to protect the organization.

The Value of Personalized Security Awareness Training Experiences

When designing a security awareness program, especially for larger organizations, it’s common to make the training material too broad and generic. This will make it harder for the training to resonate with employees and their everyday challenges. How do you fix this? By personalizing the training into several segments specific to the job role, location, or industry. It would be pointless to train employees in the Middle East about regulations that only apply to Europe.

Personalized learning is very effective because it tailors the content to meet each audience segment’s unique challenges and requirements. This will enhance engagement and ensure that the training is immediately applicable, leading to more effective behavior and a stronger security culture within the organization.

Boost Workforce Training Engagement with Gamified Cyber Security Awareness Courses

Provide an engaging and effective cyber security awareness training with a host of behavior-focused gamified awareness courses from Security Quotient.

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