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Traditional vs User-Tailored Cyber Awareness Training: Time to Change?

Cybersecurity is not just a luxury but a necessity for companies of every size and scope. Cybersecurity awareness training plays a pivotal role in fortifying a company's defences against the countless cyber threats that one may encounter. It empowers employees with the knowledge and skills to identify, respond to, and prevent potential security breaches. An informed workforce acts as the first line of defence; through ongoing personal security training, every team member can become a vigilant custodian of cybersecurity, reducing the risk of costly data breaches and safeguarding the company's reputation.

However, training methodologies, just like cyber threats, have also evolved. Cyber awareness training is moving towards a user-tailored model, which customises learning for the risk factors of each employee.

Traditional training vs user-tailored awareness training

Traditional cybersecurity training

In most cases, traditional cybersecurity awareness training is designed to apply to a wide audience, rather than being tailored to the specific needs of individuals or departments within a company. This is what's meant by a "one-size-fits-all approach. This training usually involves:

  • Regular seminars that all employees are required to attend. These seminars provide information on general cybersecurity principles and best practices.
  • Online courses may also be part of this training. These courses are typically standardised and discuss fundamental cybersecurity ideas. They're made to be understandable for everyone, regardless of their previous experience with cybersecurity.
  • Teaching materials like manuals or guides are also included in traditional cybersecurity training. These written resources provide detailed information on cybersecurity rules and can serve as a reference for employees when needed.

User-tailored cyber awareness training

A personalized approach to digital cybersecurity education. It's designed to address each individual's unique needs and knowledge gaps, identified through an initial risk assessment and regular follow-up re-assessments. The training is adapted to fit the user's role, prior knowledge, and learning style, making it more effective than traditional, generalized programs.

  1. Evaluating Current Risk is the first step in the process. This phase involves understanding the current cybersecurity knowledge and behaviour of an organization's employees. The goal here is to identify any potential risks or vulnerabilities that might exist due to a lack of awareness or understanding of cybersecurity best practices.
  2. Gap Analysis Quiz is the tool used for this assessment. The purpose of this quiz is to determine where the "gaps" in knowledge exist. In other words, it helps pinpoint what specific cybersecurity information an employee does not know but should know. These gaps could be anything from not knowing how to identify a phishing email to not understanding the importance of regularly updating software.
    The quiz will likely include a range of questions covering various aspects of cybersecurity, tailored to the individual's role within the organization. For example, someone in a data-sensitive role might be asked questions about data protection, while someone in a less technical role might be tested on basic cybersecurity hygiene, like password security.
    Once the results are analyzed, they provide a clear picture of each employee's current understanding of cybersecurity, highlighting areas where training is needed. This gap analysis is crucial because it will tailor training programs to address these specific gaps, making the training more relevant and effective.
  3. Automatic Course Assignment: Once the system identifies the training needs, it can automatically assign appropriate courses to users within the company. This eliminates the need for manual enrollment and ensures that all users receive the training they need without delay.
  4. Regular, digestible learning: This leverages the power of engaging videos and interactive content to enrich the training experience, making it not only more captivating but also more impactful. The key advantage here is the regular nature of this digital training, allowing employees to absorb the information in bite-size sessions, but on a regular cadence. This structure significantly boosts both engagement with the material and retention of the crucial cybersecurity knowledge, as learners are not rushed through concepts and can revisit content as needed for better understanding.

The benefits of user-tailored cybersecurity awareness training

While traditional cybersecurity awareness training has served many businesses well, new platforms and systems that offer user-tailored training offer some key advantages.

  • Targeted Knowledge Enhancement: By prioritising the specific areas where each employee lacks understanding, user-tailored cyber awareness training directly addresses the most critical vulnerabilities within the organization. As employees learn to identify and mitigate potential threats, such as phishing emails or the risks associated with outdated software, as users apply their newfound knowledge in their daily activities, they collectively enhance the organization's cybersecurity posture. Their ability to identify and mitigate threats directly contributes to the organization's overall web safety strategy, turning them into vital participants in safeguarding the organization against cyberattacks.
  • Greater knowledge retention: by swapping irregular, lengthy training sessions for regular, focused learning, knowledge is easier to absorb and retain.
  • Reduction in Cybersecurity Incidents: The cumulative effect of individual behavioural changes across the organization significantly reduces the likelihood of cybersecurity incidents. With each employee acting as a knowledgeable participant in cybersecurity efforts, the organization's overall security posture is strengthened.
  • Culture of Cybersecurity: Over time, these behavioural changes contribute to the development of a strong cybersecurity culture within the organization. This culture promotes continuous learning, vigilance, and shared responsibility for web safety, further embedding cybersecurity into the fabric of the organization.
  • Resilience Against Threats: An organization with a workforce that understands and applies cybersecurity best practices is more resilient against threats. Employees can recognize and respond to potential security breaches more effectively, minimizing damage and preventing future attacks.
  • Reduced pressure on internal IT team: Internal IT teams usually have responsibility over a wide range of systems and processes. Running cyber awareness training is critical but often postponed or de-prioritised due to conflicting projects. By moving from traditional training, you'll reduce the workload of your IT team while increasing cybersecurity awareness throughout the business. Win-win!

Automate your user-tailored cybersecurity awareness training

User-tailored cyber awareness training provides a range of benefits over traditional cyber awareness training. Your IT team will have less on their plate, your staff will receive regular, compact training sessions, and your overall cybersecurity awareness will drastically increase.

Perhaps best of all, is that this user-tailored training can be automated with Enabl's comprehensive Human Risk Management platform.

If you want to learn how you can take your cyber awareness training to the next level, get in touch with our team.