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Make security awareness training relatable to the individual

Security awareness training is the single most important investment you can make in your company’s security program. Humans are often the weakest link and to mitigate this you need to make sure they understand how their actions can affect the company. However, there’s no point in doing security awareness training if it’s not effective. The best way to ensure that it will be well received is to make the training relatable to the person’s job function. This means having security awareness training that is specialized to the needs of the person, this increases the training’s overall effectiveness as well as makes it more engaging for the people receiving the training. In this article, we will go over how to make security awareness training more relatable to individuals.

Use similar data types to the company


One way to make it more relatable is to use data types that employees will be interacting with regularly. So if the company is a healthcare provider, use sample patient data or if it’s a financial institution show them how they can properly handle that data to maintain privacy. You can show them what to look for or be aware of with the data that they use every day, this makes the training much more useful.

Understand the employees' job titles


Depending on the employee job titles they would need different types of training. For example, if you’re doing security awareness training for executives, then you would need to focus on spear phishing, phishing attacks specifically crafted to target individuals, because this is the type of phishing attack executives are likely to experience. If you are dealing with auditors, then the training should focus on what the internal auditors need to look for when doing their assessments. The idea is to tailor the training to show what each job title needs to be aware of from a security point of view.

Relate to compliance regulations


One thing that you can do to drive home why security awareness training is important is to show its relation to the company’s compliance regulations. This will vary depending on the industry that the company is in but most people will be aware of the importance of compliance regulations in their industry so this can be an easy way to show people why this training is important.

Use examples of well-known companies


When explaining different security concepts, using well-known companies that have fallen victim to these attacks or vulnerabilities is a good way to make it stick in people’s memory. People are more likely to remember an incident with a well-known company like Google, Facebook etc than a no-name company, even if the no-name company was hit harder.

Use examples of past company data breaches


If possible, work with your Security/IT team of the company to figure out what data breaches in the past have been caused because of human error and tailor your content around that. If you know that employees in the company have a tendency to fall for certain phishing schemes or they constantly make certain mistakes that are causing privacy issues, that’s probably the best place to start.

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