Putting together cyber security plans and budgets for 2023 is in full swing for many of us. Within our plans will be the development or continuation of a successful security awareness program. With ransomware such as Conti and Lockbit active in the UK in 2022, and the war in Ukraine increasing the levels of scams, companies more than ever need to ensure that their Security Awareness Training is successful.
Now is the time to strategise on how to ensure your Security Awareness Training works. To help, MetaCompliance discusses five elements that will make your Security Awareness Training a success.
Five Elements of a Successful Security Awareness Training
Here are five key elements to include when planning a Security Awareness Training program for 2023:
Kick-Start and Continue Training with Automation
Continuity and scheduling are vital elements of a successful security training program. People respond well to consistency, and regular and engaging training is more likely to turn into positive actions and memories. Consistency in training also helps to build positive relationships and trust.
A great way to simplify regular training is to use a Security Awareness Training automation platform. The platform will allow you to manage and schedule your annual security awareness program, ensure continuous training, and meet regulatory compliance. In other words, Security Awareness Training automation is a great place to kick-start your program and make delivery more efficient and consistent.
Tailor Training to your Business and Your People
Personalised training programs are more effective as they are relatable. However, personalisation is also used by cybercriminals to target specific roles and individuals in an organisation. For example, IT administrators are an ideal target for spear phishing campaigns used to steal login credentials.
To make your 2023 Security Awareness Training program successful, ensure that the program is tailored to organisational roles. Role-based cyber security training has many benefits, including highly tailored training that focuses on specific types of scams, such as Business Email Compromise (BEC).
Phish, Your Employees
A 2022 report identified the UK as a significant target for phishing: the study found that 91% of companies were targeted by a phishing campaign and 84% had at least one email-based ransomware attack. Therefore, roles-based Security Awareness Training must include training that targets employees by using carefully crafted simulated phishing campaigns.
The campaigns teach employees the tactics to trick them into clicking a malicious link or downloading an infected attachment. Therefore, teaching employees about phishing is vital to a successful Security Awareness Training program.
Make the Security Awareness Content Work
The last three elements will only make a Security awareness program successful if the content is exciting and fun and uses feedback in a constructive way. People learn when engaged, and the material is understandable and relatable; plan to use ‘point-of-need learning‘ in your training program.
A security awareness program should use a training platform that can apply point-of-need learning to enhance understanding and promote learning. Point-of-need learning is a type of interactive education used to ensure employees learn from their mistakes; an example is a warning notice that appears on-screen if an employee clicks on a malicious link.
This interactive education is ideal for explaining the dangers of poor security behaviours. Point-of-need learning can also be used to teach a user how to avoid performing a dangerous activity in future.
Use the Results to Optimise your Success
One of the essential factors in making something a success is knowing where and when to make improvements. This is where security training metrics come into play. A Security Awareness Training program must be able to collect and analyse data from training sessions.
This data can then be used to generate actionable insights that help to tailor teaching events. For example, an advanced training program should take advantage of reporting dashboards that can display an at-a-glance analysis of simulated phishing sessions; this analysis can help identify employees struggling with the concepts and help tailor a training campaign that makes training more effective.
The types of metrics that help to build more effective and, therefore, more successful security training include:
- The percentage of users that are vulnerable to attack
- The devices used to access the phishing email
- Which departments and user groups are clicking on links
These metrics can then be analysed, and the insights used to adjust awareness programs to ensure the training improves and your program is optimised.
From Security Awareness Program Success to Cyber Attack Failure
An old proverb says, “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” Likewise, making your security awareness program successful needs effective planning. Start as you mean to go on by creating an engaging, relatable, and continuous program of security training events. This way, your success in security awareness will result in cyber attack failure.