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Gamifying Security Training Will Increase Employee Engagement

by Josh Biggs in Tech on 22nd May 2019

In a time when cyber threats have become the norm, it can be surprising to learn that only 38% of organizations are prepared for sophisticated cyber-attacks, according to Business-2-Community.com. Typically, a great cyber-security posture starts with employee awareness. While some of the organizations on the other side of these statistics might claim to have well-outlined security awareness programs, the reality paints a different picture.

Most of the security training initiatives go to waste as the employees aren’t motivated enough to follow them. Only those organizations that manage to capture the attention of the employees can truly build a culture of security awareness within their workforce. Luckily, gamifying the security awareness process might be what you need to create this culture.

Here is why you should consider gamifying the security awareness programs:

The Problem with Conventional Delivery Methods

Though 70% of today’s workforce is disengaged, most businesses still rely on the borderline mundane PowerPoint presentations to train employees. Some who have realized that PowerPoint slides might not be working have shifted to online training, but this is only a step in the right direction. More often than not, these businesses transfer the boredom from the classroom to the employee’s desk.

The good thing about gamification is that everyone loves games from a young age. The rush that comes from being rewarded from achieving something simple might be enough to keep employees engaged. Furthermore, gamification ensures that employees can receive security awareness training information in the form of milestones which can be celebrated after every stage.

Gamification Makes Security Training Immersive

Ideally, employees should be aware of cyber security threats such as phishing and identify them from a mile away as they proceed with their daily activities. The only way that this can be achieved would be if they were to be fully immersed in the training program. Sadly, preparing slides and having a trainer take them through three-hour sessions of training is the complete opposite of being immersive.

What’s even worse is that the average attention span of human beings has been on the decline. As a result, such long sessions cannot be compared to the self-rewarding and short sessions that gamification has to offer.

Pick the Right Reward Systems

The security department is feared for its reputation for punishing people who engage in bad behavior. Having a reward system can not only turn this reputation around but also create a collaborative relationship between employees and this department. However, the rewards should be appropriate enough with your company’s culture and the subcultures that exist.

Rewards can range from simple feedback from the security department to certificates and even monetary gifts. To make the reward system effective, you should offer different rewards depending on the achievement of the employee. For instance, offer a small reward for baseline performance and a bigger one for outstanding performance. Be sure to measure success using the necessary metrics instead of employee participation levels as not all employees might be moved by the reward system.

Success will depend On the Program’s Design

You will be in control of the various aspects of your gamification efforts, and taking engagement into account will poise your training effort for success. Start by ensuring that visual aids are a great part of the gamification program. On the other hand, the training sessions should be not only short but also fun.

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You should also avoid anything that might not augur well with the employees in the line of their race, gender, and even religion. Most of all, ensure that the department leaders support the training sessions.

Conclusion

Security awareness programs can only be successful with the right employee mentality. The more engaged employees are, the more secure your business will be. Consider gamification to improve the ROI of your security awareness programs.

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