Learning about cybersecurity doesn’t have to be a yawn-inducing experience. On the contrary, it can be simple, quick, and even – dare we say – fun.
We’ve put together an easily-digestible guide on how to take the tedium out of cybersecurity training. Let’s get cracking.
1. Make A Game Of It
Irrespective of age, games are universal crowd-pleasers and are an excellent way of teaching dull subjects, so consider morphing cybersecurity learning into interactive games.
For example, create a quiz that offers prizes for correct answers to make it less monotonous and more enjoyable.
- Are clear about the goal: These games shouldn’t inadvertently confuse or mislead participants about actual security practices. The focus should be on reinforcing accurate knowledge in a fun way, but don’t let that override the purpose.
- Be mindful of sensitive information: Avoid using real employee data or sensitive company information that could accidentally leak while conducting the games.
2. Escape Room Challenge
Who doesn’t love an escape room challenge?
Why not engage your team’s problem-solving prowess by orchestrating a cybersecurity-themed escape room challenge?
In this scenario, participants must decipher security-related puzzles and unlock clues to prevent hypothetical digital data breaches – again, being mindful of not using actual data.
- Balance the challenge level. Puzzles should encourage critical thinking but not be overly complex, which will potentially discourage participants and divert focus from cybersecurity concepts. Remember, the end goal is learning in a fun way.
- Time management: Keep the time frame reasonable. If the challenge is too long, participants might lose interest or be unable to complete it within the given time.
3. See It In Action
Instead of just droning on about cyberthreats and hoping it all sticks in your employees’ brains, try using interactive tactics by visualizing a scenario where they open a suspicious email attachment, triggering a simulated security breach.
- Keep it ethical: Make sure that the simulations and demonstrations adhere to ethical standards. Avoid using techniques that could inadvertently promote harmful behaviors or replicate real cyberattacks.
- Stress management: While simulating breaches, be mindful of the emotional impact on participants. Some might become anxious, so ensure a supportive environment, and don’t chastise them if they don’t get it right straight away.
4. Use Real Stories
Most of us, unfortunately, have first-hand experience with cybersecurity boo-boos.
So why not put them to good use by sharing real stories about security incidents and the repercussions or the near-misses?
For example, you might know of a situation where a VPN static IP played a crucial role in preventing a data breach. Use it to your advantage and play it out with your team to teach them what could’ve been done better or, on the contrary, what was done really well.
Knowing that these threats are very real and could happen at any time will help drum up the importance of being cybersecurity savvy.
- Anonymity: When sharing these stories, keep the incidents and people involved private to avoid inadvertently exposing individuals or organizations.
- Focus on the lessons, not the failures: While sharing real stories, emphasize the lessons learned and the preventive actions taken rather than dwelling on the negative aspects.
5. Digital Scavenger Hunt
Another great way to make cybersecurity learning a fun and successful experience is with a digital scavenger hunt.
Start by crafting a series of hypothetical challenges relating to online security, like phishing attacks and what they look like, for example.
Each challenge should then lead participants closer to unlocking clues that ultimately guide them to a final reward – as well as imprint the necessary knowledge.
- Use appropriate platforms: Make sure that the digital platforms used for the scavenger hunt are secure and won’t inadvertently expose participants to phishing or malicious content.
- Provide clear instructions: This will help prevent misunderstandings or frustration during the hunt.
6. Step Into Their Shoes
Empathy is a powerful tool, so use it to encourage your team to step into the shoes of both hackers and defenders.
Start by dividing participants into groups, with one team assuming the role of the hackers and the other team taking on the part of the defenders working to thwart the hypothetical attack.
Remember, the first step to beating cybercriminals is knowing how to think like one.
- Boundaries: Be sure to clearly define the boundaries of the game. Participants should understand that this is a controlled exercise and not an endorsement of actual hacking or malicious activities.
- Safe environment: Create a safe space for participants to share their experiences and insights. Avoid creating a confrontational atmosphere between hackers and defenders.
Once you harness the right tools to make cybersecurity training fun, easy, and immersive, you’re onto a winner with your teaching success.
By adopting more creative and enjoyable approaches to training, you’re not only succeeding in providing the knowledge but also creating a good learning atmosphere for your team.
So, dig in with these techniques and watch as your team becomes vigilant cyber-savvy defenders against cybercriminals everywhere!