How to Run a Successful Security Awareness Training Program



As thinking about how to strengthen your security awareness training program is probably top of mind.

Luckily, we've got you covered with helpful tips you can use to run a strong security awareness training program in your organization! We asked our Security Awareness Advocates for their expert advice on questions like how to get started, how to motivate your users, and how to develop a strong security culture over time. Hear what they had to say:

 

Critical components of a successful security awareness program:

 

Key takeaways:

  • Use good, high quality content that’s highly relevant to your users
  • Reinforce the training with regular simulated phishing attacks
  • Stay current with what is happening in real phishing attacks - mirror the topics and methods used by cybercriminals

How to motivate your users to do their training on time:

 

Key takeaways:

  • Lead with a carrot, not a stick! Reward users upon completion (could be a sticker, certificate, raffling off a gift card, etc.)
  • Make it a game and create healthy competition between departments or other groups
  • Get your leadership involved publicly - make sure it’s well known and seen. It will make the rest of the organization want to follow in their footsteps

How to gain and maintain executive support for your security awareness program:

 

Key takeaways:

  • Speak their language: Don’t get too technical, and tie it to business objectives (risk, reputation, business benefits, profit and loss impact, etc.)
  • Address the “why” and how does it help your organization be more successful
  • Talk about cybersecurity in the news, how it was a result of human error, and how this program will help to mitigate human error

How to measure the benefits of a successful security awareness program:

 

Key takeaways:

  • Track metrics like the phish-prone percentage of your organization or number of phishing emails reported over time
  • Conduct surveys with different stakeholders to gauge their perception of the program’s success
  • Whatever you use to measure success, make sure it is defined, agreed upon and tracked

How to develop a stronger security awareness culture over time:

 

Key takeaways:

  • Evaluate your organization against the 7 dimensions of security culture, and measure it against your industry’s benchmarks (we have done studies on this!)
  • Tie your security culture into your overall organizational culture so the two are not at odds
  • Understand that there is no fast track to a good security culture - by consistently following the advice above, you will develop a strong security awareness culture over time

We hope these tips can help you implement a lasting and successful security awareness training program in your organization. We also have a PDF with all of these security awareness program tips on one sheet.


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products-KB4SAT6-2-1New-school Security Awareness Training is critical to enabling you and your IT staff to connect with users and help them make the right security decisions all of the time. This isn't a one and done deal, continuous training and simulated phishing are both needed to mobilize users as your last line of defense. Request your quote for KnowBe4's security awareness training and simulated phishing platform and find out how affordable this is!

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