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December 13, 2016

Security Training Best Practices

Written by Chris Gibbs

Security Training Best Practices

As we progress through the education system, we find ourselves honing in on topics or skills that we enjoy and excel at. This, in turn, leads us into our chosen careers and to organizations where each team member brings certain skill sets, experience and qualifications that all go towards shaping successful organizations.

While focusing on day-to-day work, in any environment, whether that is finance, marketing, creativity, sales or customer service, it is also important to be aware that knowledge on security and information is required across all departments, to ensure organizations are kept safe and secure.

Good security practices are essential and critical to organizational success.

Learning new information and applying it in the workplace is not easy. In a fast-paced customer environment, it is easy to take information down during a call, without recognizing aspects of it that are classified as ‘sensitive’ and consequently disposing of the information in an unsecure way. The lack of security when dealing with emails, can be likened to sending information on a postcard, for all the world to read, a lesson that doesn't seem to be retained very often.

You can almost hear the collective, deflated sigh across any organization when the annual email  hits inboxes, with notification of the next security update training session. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

With the availability of a variety of online tools, content that was previously pushed out in a webinar, or presented as a lecture in a classroom (and most likely, promptly forgotten) can be recreated in memorable ways.

Oftentimes, the security team usually takes control of the training; however, the learning and development teams are expert at understanding and planning successful ways of sharing information.

Taking security training away from the security team is the first step to updating the security training for your organization. Remember that repetition is key to retaining information when learning, along with providing bite-sized pieces of information.

You may also want to consider some other new approaches:

Advertisements: Use important key points to create short ads to accompany other online learning topics that are regularly run across the business. This will reiterate the points you need to make and keep them fresh in people’s minds. To help you with ideas, think about ads you have seen that you find memorable and consider what makes them memorable. Maybe even rope the marketing team in to help!

Video learning: Many organizations use video learning where training is recorded, so team members can watch as many times as they need to. If this is a tool your company can use, make sure the information you give is new and that you do not just record training programs that have already taken place on previous occasions. Include memorable images rather than endless bullet points, use metaphors and wrap up facts and figures into a story to make it more memorable.

Videos can be a great resource for learning. Using excerpts from video sharing websites of popular television programs, will instantly connect with many. It isn’t necessary to include a full episode, just a couple of minutes of something relevant should be enough to break up the training, make the connection and inject something different.

Interactive learning: Once a topic has been taught via an online channel, instead of a multiple choice quiz to check the team has been able to retain the information, users should interact in a game or a challenge using leaderboards. Some people thrive on a challenge and would love the opportunity to crack a password set by the head of security.

Gamification: People can spend hours on social media, building towns, villages and farms, competing against their friends for the place at the top of a leaderboard. Using your resources, develop a game around key security issues that characters need to pass, using skills they have acquired along the way,

Security training is vital for all organizations, so make sure that you use all of the online skills and resources available. What is seen by many as a boring topic and a chore, can easily be made into bite-sized fun and memorable learning experiences.



Chris Gibbs

Chris Gibbs is a software training and implementation specialist, and founder of Pincus Solutions Limited.

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