Getting Employees Engaged in Cybersecurity Training

As a small business owner, you have a lot to focus on each day to keep your company running smoothly. Adding a cybersecurity awareness program may seem daunting. But with no training, your employees could inadvertently click on a suspicious link or fall victim to a phishing email which puts your business at great risk of a cyber attack. Employee Engagement in Cybersecurity Awareness Training is Proper training is essential in today’s world. It engages your employees to be your first line of defense and can end up saving your business.

Why Cybersecurity Awareness Matters

social engineering attacks
  • Cyber attacks are increasingly sophisticated. If employees don’t have basic cyber hygiene, your company data and assets are vulnerable.
  • Most cyber attacks rely on social engineering to lure victims. A phishing attack through email is often the entry point for ransomware or malware.  Without training, employees are more likely to fall for these traps.  
  • Security awareness prevents incidents before they happen by arming employees to identify threats.

Making Training Relevant to Employees’ Roles

Make training specific to employee roles
  • Better employee engagement comes from role-based training. If using real-life company scenarios, choose examples relevant for each department to consider cyber risks that apply specifically to them.
  • If sales team uses email or external drives frequently in their daily operations, focus on how to do so safely.
  • Show developers the risks of public code repositories and having insecure coding practices.

Encouraging Participation Through Gamification

Cybersecurity Awareness Training Gamification
  • Leverage human nature to increase participation by turning cybersecurity training into a game or competition.  
  • Give each employee security discussion topics or quizzes to research or complete. The first one back with a correct solution wins. Now they have done your training, and you have tested their skills.
  • Make teams around office areas and have friendly competitions to get the highest monthly score. Hand out recognition or small spot prizes to the teams and members that engage the most.

Building a Positive Cybersecurity Culture

Cybersecurity Culture
  • Lead by example. Have managers enthusiastically participate in activities to stress the importance of security awareness for everyone.
  • Openly discuss and promote positive security habits in company meetings and internal communications.
  • Make cybersecurity know-how a desirable skill employees want to prove, instead of an extra task they have to complete. Celebrate security wins when someone identifies a possible cyber incident and prevents a potential attack.

Getting Leadership Buy-in and Support

Leadership cybersecurity awareness support
  • Educate leadership on how a lack of training directly affects company profitability and reputation risk after a cyber attack.  
  • Develop metrics to track and show the ROI and improved security posture from continuous awareness training. Some metrics could include: phishing click rates, employee vigilance is reporting suspicious behavior, length of time for employees to report potential incidents.  
  • Having leaders model secure behavior amplifies the importance throughout the company. 

Following Up After Training to Reinforce Concepts

Follow up with employees after cybersecurity awareness training
  • The biggest information retention happens in the first 24 hours after consumption. Have short, scenario-based quizzes ready for employees take shortly after completing a training module.
  • Send out helpful reminders or quick tips to refresh employees on what they learned and keep security top of mind. Especially after holidays or vacations when they disengage with work, remind employees to be extra observant returning to their work devices and emails.
  • Continue challenging employees by adding new games, quizzes and competitions over time on different security topics so skills stay sharp.   

Measuring and Improving Employee Engagement

Measure the effectiveness of cybersecurity awareness training
  • The easiest metric to track is course completion rates over time. Set an expected monthly or quarterly benchmark per employee group and gain leadership support to enforce participation standards. 
  • Technology like security awareness platforms can measure employee comprehension through dynamic quizzes and give admins visibility to who may need to targeted retraining.
  • Watch for security reports or submissions to your help desk coming from employees and teams. Growing participation indicates positive awareness behaviors taking root. Leverage this employee knowledge and continue identifying and educating teams slower to engage.  

Staying secure requires constant awareness. Equipping your employees with effective training leads to more security-minded behavior. They become your greatest asset to reduce business risk and fearlessly grow your company online.

Leadership involvement creates a top-down cybersecurity culture focused both on preventing incidents and celebrating vigilance wins when employees do catch threats early.

Ongoing awareness is essential for every organization in the world we live in today. Make employee cybersecurity training a habit rooted into company culture for the greatest cyber protection over the long term. 

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FAQs

Make training interactive and role-relevant with competitions, incentives, and leadership support to build a security-focused culture.

Leverage online security awareness platforms with dynamic content like videos, games, and simulations tailored to different user roles and skill levels.

Increase participation by gamifying training with points, leaderboards, rewards and recognition for employees who demonstrate retention and application of security best practices.

Cybersecurity training gives employees the knowledge to identify threats, resist social engineering, and make smart security decisions that lead to earlier threat detection and prevention.

Incorporate friendly team competitions, spot prizes, certificates, leaderboards, and supplemental content like comics and cartoons to reinforce concepts and keep security top of mind.

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