Companies are increasingly discovering that their most effective defense against cyberattacks is the security awareness of their own employees. This is why more and more CISOs and other company leaders are making cybersecurity awareness training (CSAT) a core part of their cybersecurity platform.
However, the mere existence of CSAT programs at a company isn’t enough to ensure that employees are actually learning how to defend themselves and the company from cyberattacks. For organizations of all sizes and in all industries that are adopting CSAT programs, it’s essential to focus on whether they are actually having their intended effect. This means consistently assessing the state of employees’ cyber readiness and addressing any gaps in their knowledge with engaging and relevant cybersecurity training content.
With this in mind, our colleagues at NINJIO have laid out several ways companies can build CSAT platforms capable of sustainably changing employee behavior.
- Regularly test employees on key cybersecurity skills and concepts. When it comes to measuring the performance of their SAT platforms, testing is one of the most essential tools companies can deploy. For example, phishing tests give companies an accurate picture of how many employees are capable of spotting emails, texts, and other digital communications that contain malware.
- Use gamification techniques to engage, teach, and assess employees. Gamification has a proven record of facilitating learning and information retention. According to a study in the International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, “Retention rates and academic performance increased, and there was a positive correlation between students’ scoring highly on the app and achieving higher academic grades.”
- Reinforce cybersecurity education frequently and consistently. It’s necessary to constantly reinforce what employees have learned and provide them with information about emerging threats. By maintaining consistent engagement with employees, companies can also continually assess the state of their cybersecurity knowledge and preparedness.
As companies continue to invest in cybersecurity and digital threats keep evolving, it isn’t enough to check the cybersecurity awareness training box with a few company guidelines and meetings. Cybersecurity has to be integral to all operations and departments, and companies have to know if their training programs are getting the job done.