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How to Make Your Cyber Security Training More Effective

Posted by Charlie E. Bernier on Feb 1, 2023 1:29:05 PM

Cybersecurity breaches make up a large majority of insurance claims every year. The number of cases, and the costs associated with these cases, continue to rise. Cybersecurity is a significant threat to businesses worldwide, even for those with robust security systems. One event could put your business in financial distress, and potentially harm your reputation. Employees who are not thoroughly trained in cyber security can pose a risk to your business. This is due to the fact they are often handling sensitive information, and are targeted by phishing schemes that can be challenging to detect. 

The key to ensuring your employees follow standard risk management practices is to provide them with proper cybersecurity training. This training is mandatory in many states for employees, and it can be tempting to just hit the minimum requirements instead of providing thorough, helpful training. However, this will only put you and your employees at a greater risk of experiencing a cyber breach. Cybersecurity education should be an opportunity to engage employees with expert knowledge on how best to protect themselves and any information they may handle. Use the tips below to develop more effective training for your employees, and set your business up for risk management success. 

Take a Multi Content Approach 

To keep employees engaged in your cyber security training, it's important to make sure the presentation is exciting and informative. While a manual may provide all of the information needed, a presentation that includes videos, quizzes, live speakers, and interactive aspects will keep employees' attention, and help them digest the information better. Ensuring the videos and information in modern and relevant to the current time will also help employees feel more connected to the information, and more likely to resonate with the training. The more diversity in your training materials, the better. 

Involve Multiple Teams

Teams that handle technical aspects of a business aren’t the only ones at risk of a cyber breach involvement. Everyone from operations, administration, sales, and management likely handles information that could be desirable for cyber hackers. The training should involve all aspects of your business, and touch upon multiple scenarios for all employees. Encouraging members of all company teams to involve themselves in the training by participating in Q&A sessions, quizzes, and other training modalities will increase cyber awareness in departments that may not be considered high-risk. 

Use Real World Examples

One of the best ways to engage employees in your cyber training is by using real-world examples. Your training could outline a recent cyber breach, walk through the process of how it happened, and what steps could have been taken to prevent it. You could also present hypothetical situations using employees and staff, and encourage your peers to identify potential risk factors, and subsequent risk management steps. Personalizing your training in this way will drive employee engagement, and prevent the training from feeling dull. 

Invite a Cyber Security Keynote Speaker

More often, businesses are including keynote speakers in cyber security training sessions. This is a great way to make the presentation more exciting, and have experts with real-life experience share valuable information with your employees. Inviting a keynote speaker can transform cyber training into a “workshop” style event, where employees can experience real-world advice, and in some cases an actual walkthrough of a hacking scenario. If your business is primarily remote, a webinar is a perfect opportunity for this type of event. These demonstrations have proven very effective and will help your employees feel empowered in their role of protecting themselves and others from cyber risks.

Create the Training Based On Your Business Structure 

Businesses sometimes use generic cyber training materials to save time and investment. This, however, may not provide adequate training depending on the structure of your business. In 2023, many businesses will continue to operate on a combination of remote and in-office employees. If your cyber security training only addresses risks associated with office employees, the percentage of remote employees will lack awareness of their risks. Many businesses have aspects of their work that sends employees on business trips, fieldwork, or other activities that take risks outside of the office. Your training must incorporate all roles and work environments for it to be effective. When building your training materials, it’s important to keep in mind all the potential ways employees could face a hacking threat. It’s also beneficial for employees to understand the risks associated with roles outside of their own, so if they ever take on duties that may be beyond their standard job title, they can still effectively follow risk management processes. 

Debunk Misconceptions

In the digital era, most people have a basic understanding of cyber risks. There are, however, a lot of myths and confusion around some cyber topics. Public wifi, encryption, privacy laws, and compliance are just a few common areas where employees tend to have questions. Listing out common myths and areas of confusion, and sharing the most updated and accurate truths associated with them is the most effective way to keep employees in the know. The training should provide clear and concise answers to all questions, so employees leave the training feeling confident in their cybersecurity awareness. 

Keep the Training Positive

There is a lot of anxiety and fear around cyber security, and it’s common for employees to feel pressured to know everything. Yet, with the rate in which cyber security and hacking continues to evolve, it's nearly impossible to know every single detail until it’s shared with you. Using a positive and encouraging tone throughout the training can help employees feel more comfortable asking questions, and discussing challenging topics. Some of your employees may have been involved in cyber breaches in the past, so it’s important to never “wrong” an employee's understanding of something, but rather create an open environment where questions and discussions are welcome. 

Gamify Your Training

If you want to spruce up your training, adding a game aspect can be a great way to share important information while still having fun. A study done in 2019 showed that 88% of participants feel happier and more motivated through gamified training, and 89% believe they would be more productive with gamification. There are plenty of creative ways to approach gamification and many software available that can turn your training information into a game for you. Elements like prizes, scores, and badges for high participation can help drive engagement and make employees more motivated to participate. 

Protect Your Business from Cyber Threats with ECBM

Even with the best training in place, there is still a risk of your business experiencing a cyber threat. That's why a cyber insurance policy is a crucial form of protection in the event of a claim. As cybersecurity becomes increasingly sophisticated, our agents and experts keep up with cyber trends and education to best serve our clients. If you need cyber insurance or want to review your current program, our team is here to help. Contact us for more information on our services.