11 Tips When Using E-Learning for Cybersecurity Training
Stories relating to cybersecurity are appearing more and more in our newsfeeds. Many of these stories relate to ransomware attacks, where hackers take control of an organisation’s data and/or systems and won’t release them until a ransom is paid. The victims of these attacks can be anything from governments to international corporations to small companies.Of course, the issue of cybersecurity has always been important. However, that importance is now increasing exponentially as organisations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia rely more and more on digital systems and platforms. The attacks we have heard about over the past 12 months have put this into even sharper focus.
A central defence that all organisations have against cyber-attacks is to ensure their people have sufficient knowledge of cybersecurity issues and how to stay protected. That requires training, which is where e-learning can help.
So, if you are planning to use e-learning to create cybersecurity training, here are our main tips.
Invest Properly in Cybersecurity Training
A cybersecurity breach can be extremely costly to resolve. Therefore, prevention is not only the best approach in terms of reputation and risk, it is also the most cost-effective. As a result, cybersecurity is not an issue where you should cut corners.
Instead, you should consider cybersecurity training as an investment in your company’s future.
Make Cybersecurity Training Mandatory
The weakest link in an organisation is often where hackers break in, so cybersecurity training should be compulsory for everyone. Full-time or part-time, contractor or employee, junior position or senior manager – everyone has a responsibility in relation to cybersecurity, so everyone should take part in the training.
Get Buy-In from Everyone
While it’s important to make cybersecurity training mandatory, getting buy-in from everyone in the organisation will make the process considerably easier. It will also improve results, i.e., people will get a better understanding of the issues and how they can help protect the business if they are willing participants in the training.
Make sure you get buy-in at all levels to ensure the best results. This means up the chain to the very top, as well as those on the shop floor.
Don’t Blame Employees
Some cybersecurity training content can come across as very accusatory. While it is true that a lot of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error, it won’t help to blame employees.
A better approach is “we are all in this together”. In other words, it’s about being positive and proactive while making sure everyone understands the risks as well as the steps they must take to mitigate those risks.
This point is where e-learning delivers substantial benefits when developing cybersecurity training. When you create cybersecurity training using e-learning, you can include videos, simulations, graphics, gamified elements, interactive quizzes, and more. The aim is to keep the learner engaged with the topic to help them learn as much as they can.
You can also be creative in how you present information to people with different levels of cybersecurity knowledge.
Scenarios allow you to create life-like situations that learners have to navigate through. For example, you could create a scenario where a learner receives an email and has to decide what to do with it. The scenario can then explain to the learner the potential consequences of each action they take, giving them a better understanding of the correct course of action.You can create similar scenarios for other cybersecurity risks. Third parties remotely controlling systems, giving contractors passwords to internal Wi-Fi networks, and protecting customer data are all situations that can be recreated within an e-learning course in the form of a scenario. Crucially, you can put learners in these difficult situations without any risk to the company’s cybersecurity or data.
Assess knowledge throughout the process to ensure you have an understanding of the skills gaps that still exist. This will help you refine and improve existing content and create new content.
Customise the Training for Specific Security Risks
While everyone in your organisation has the potential to cause a cybersecurity breach if they don’t follow proper protocols, processes, and procedures, the level of risk will differ from person to person. The actions of a member of your IT or accounts team, for example, could expose the company to greater cybersecurity risk than others who have a lower level of access to sensitive data and systems.
Therefore, it can be beneficial to customise cybersecurity training based on risk, so those with higher levels of access to mission-critical and/or sensitive data and systems get the highest level of training.
Make Sure You Keep Cybersecurity Training Up to Date
Out of date cybersecurity training can expose your organisation to risks. It can also put off learners, reducing levels of engagement. When you create cybersecurity training using e-learning, it is straightforward to keep it up to date as you can easily change the sections that need the new information. The updated version of the training will then be immediately available for everyone who needs it.
Include Cybersecurity in Onboarding Training
Cybersecurity should be a core priority, so it makes sense to include it as part of onboarding training. Doing so will ensure new employees understand what is expected of them and how they can help from day one.
Cybersecurity Training Should be Ongoing
There are several reasons why it is important to regularly revisit cybersecurity training with new content or refresher courses. For example, cybersecurity threats constantly evolve. You might also find that standards start to slip over time. Ideally, your policy on cybersecurity should be one of continuous training and improvement.
Being Realistic About the Threat
It is impossible to say if your organisation will become a target of a cybersecurity attack or will suffer a data breach. Therefore, it is correct to say it may never happen. However, it is also correct to say the risk is always there, and the consequences of such a risk becoming a reality could be devastating. Having a well-thought-through and implemented cybersecurity training strategy makes sense.
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