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Why Automated Security Awareness Training is Key to Success

Automated Security Awareness Training

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It would be great if there was a way to automate the setting up, management, and ongoing upkeep of a security awareness program. But is there a way to do this cost-effectively and that makes the most of all the aspects needed for a successful security training program?

The answer to this is yes, and it’s called Automated Security Awareness Training.

How Automated Security Awareness Training Works

The overhead of managing a Security Awareness Training program can be off-putting for a busy IT department. The costs associated with planning, developing, and managing a Security Awareness Training program can mean a company may simply decide not to perform the training. Worse still, the company may take on Security Awareness Training but not get the most out of a program.

Being able to automate an awareness program and have programmatic help in defining and managing tasks, offers a cost-effective way to get a robust and effective security training program up and running and keep it going.

Automation improves your Security Awareness Training by covering several areas:

Security Landscape Intelligence

The type and level of cyber-threats are highly fluid. Cybercriminals are adept at taking advantage of any changes in the way that companies do business. The at-home working conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic is a case in point. The pandemic saw a large increase in certain types of attacks; ransomware, for example, saw a 500% increase during the pandemic.

Automated Security Awareness Training is provided by third-party specialist vendors who do the legwork of keeping up to date with the latest threats. These specialists make sure that your training reflects the current threat landscape helping to make the training more effective. Training templates can be modified, or delivery parameters adjusted to reflect the conditions of the threat landscape and deliver a more targeted program of security education.

A Who’s Who of Employees

Automation of Security Awareness Training begins with knowing who will be trained. Just as you need to have visibility of assets to protect them, you also need to know who will take part in the training program. Security automation provides feedback metrics that can be used to further tailor the program to your employees on an individual or department basis.

This level of personalisation of Security Awareness Training gives improved results, ultimately meaning that your company is better protected against cyber threats.

Security Awareness Campaign Planning

Fraudsters are great planners, they create phishing campaigns that focus on an attack technique to improve success rates. An organisation should also plan to automate a security awareness campaign across an entire 12-month period.

This plan should map back to your employee who’s who, to plan, manage, and deliver the most appropriate elements to the right audience at the right time. Using an automated tool that plans out your security training is a guidepost in your automated Security Awareness Training.

A campaign planner should cover all areas of training, including:

  • Tailored eLearning
  • Critical policies
  • Relevant blogs
  • Simulated phishing emails (see below)
  • Risk assessments
  • Surveys

Each of these plays a role in the incremental build-up of employee understanding of how security techniques and tactics work and how accidental security events can happen.

Automated Feedback and Metrics

Automated Security Awareness Training also provides an important audit trail. The metrics and audit of awareness training across multiple touchpoints can be used to feed data back into the awareness training to improve it. These audit trails also support the regulatory defence required in the event of a breach or during a compliance audit.

Integrated Automated Phishing Simulations

Simulated phishing is a vital mechanism for educating your employees on phishing and social engineering tactics. These simulations train your employees to identify typical tricks used by fraudsters. This covers a multitude of techniques including, Business Email Compromise (BEC), infection via malicious attachment, malicious links, spoof sites, and so on.

The templates used to simulate phishing campaigns are regularly updated, by the specialist vendor, to reflect any changes in the phishing landscape. During the phishing simulation, employee reaction to the spoof phishing message is automatically collected as part of the simulation exercise. This generates metrics that show how well the training is progressing and helps to tailor the phishing templates to improve overall education on phishing.

The Benefits of Automated Security Awareness Training Programs

Automation benefits all stakeholders in the delivery of, management, and end-user experience of Security Awareness Training.

Some of the most important benefits of automated Security Awareness Training include:

  • Enhancement of organisational resilience against cyber threats
  • Help to establish a culture of security reflected in a shift in employee mindset and behaviour change
  • Generate buy-in and commitment towards cyber security initiatives
  • Improve audit results and demonstrate regulatory compliance
  • Reduce human error and remediate security risks
  • Reduce the time and resources required to plan an awareness campaign
  • Create 12 months of awareness activities, identify areas of overlap and user fatigue
  • Have centralised control of policies, phishing simulations, eLearning, and surveys

The MetaCompliance automated security awareness platform enables organisations to automate their Security Awareness Training for the entire year. Using a “set it and forget it” approach, automation of security training allows CISOs to save time and resources. This is a proactive and organised way of carrying out effective training programs, as opposed to hoping that an ad-hoc approach to training will be enough.

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