8 out of 10 cyber attacks start with a human being. That fact alone places Cyber Awareness in the center of cybersecurity discussions, not only in InfoSec departments but also in boardrooms.
However, it is easy to get Security Awareness programs wrong. Sometimes, it is a matter of limited budget, lack of knowledge of the full capability of a well-oiled program, lack of headcount to execute, or even the idea that Security awareness is just a compliance box to check.
In organizations where the importance of Cyber Awareness programs is acknowledged, the question is: how to optimize budgets and headcount and still create the security culture that improves organizational safety and resilience?
The problem: Ineffective Security Awareness
Current Security Awareness programs and solutions foster a one-size-fits-all culture. That means that all users are treated as if they were the same. And as we see in all successful learning apps (Duolingo, Elevate), users want to learn according to their schedules, lifestyles, and knowledge gaps.
So, treating everyone like they are in a production line, pretending your cybersecurity analyst has to go through the same phishing training content as your designer, is ineffective Security Awareness at play.
The one-size-fits-all spirit manifests itself in other aspects of training, such as
- Format: long, boring slides or videos that are often not updated for years and do not speak the language of your organization.
- Lack of interactivity: the users are passive spectators of the content, and interactivity is limited to a feedback form of a standard quiz that lacks knowledge of their vulnerabilities.
- Check the box vibe: training is measured in the presence and – best case scenario – whether the company was breached, but there’s no apparent connection between user profiles and results.
And you’d think this “one-size-fits-all” mentality would make life easier for InfoSec teams. In reality, these solutions/programs take too much effort because they require manual labor to set up, onboard users, deploy training, and measure results.
The result? Ineffective Security awareness is:
Boring for employees
Time consuming for InfoSec teams
The Solution: Automated Cyber Awareness Programs
So, on the one hand, we have ineffective Security Awareness based on One-Size-Fits-All solutions, and on the other, we have the challenge of budget and headcount limitations that prevent InfoSec teams from creating more sophisticated, next-gen programs.
That’s where automation comes to fill this gap.
Automated Cyber Awareness programs deliver four main benefits that turn Security Awareness from a box in cyber leaders’ to-do lists into a resource that promotes real change and supports long-term behavior change and corporate security.
- Targeted training: automation delivers the content each user needs. Each employee has a knowledge gap, a vulnerability that needs addressing. From an initial assessment and continuous reinforcement/validation, an automated Cyber Awareness program knows what users need to learn to fill these gaps. And training deployment happens individually without requiring InfoSec teams to set them up.
- Granular risk ratings: automated training that knows users’ vulnerabilities across different topics allows the creation of risk ratings for each one of them, for each user, for departments, branches, and the organization. This drill-down ability gives Cybersecurity leaders the power to mitigate human risk on all organizational levels and threat categories.
- Custom content: training content that speaks the organization’s language resonates with corporate culture and seamlessly integrates with the employees’ routines has a much bigger success rate. Automation facilitates custom without stressing InfoSec teams with excessive labor.
- Simplified onboarding and deployment: bringing users in and sending training campaigns when the programs focus on individuality may seem like a considerable effort, but automated cyber awareness is a significant help in that as well. SSO and other integrations eliminate the need for Infosec teams to do much more than just set up initial parameters.
How We Do It: Right-Hand’s Ally Foundations
Our Cyber Awareness solution, Ally, provides organizations of all sizes and industries the ability to create this automated Security Awareness program through six core foundations.
Like how an exercise app might assess your current health, Ally starts by learning about each user’s current understanding of cybersecurity, digital safety, and the threat landscape. After establishing a benchmark, the system will operate autonomously and assign tailored content based on a user’s knowledge gaps.
Ally is compatible with any mobile or desktop device. It allows users to choose where they want to enjoy their learning experience, improving their chances of success in the Security Awareness program.
To drop the passive experience of slides and videos we described previously and to adapt to users’ dynamic lifestyles, Ally delivers bite-sized scenarios and simulations based on real-life security experiences. The hands-on training will translate practice into long-lasting positive habits.
Recognition, rewards, and competition are powerful learning drivers to drive motivation. Ally incorporates leaderboards to illustrate how users fare in comparison with their peers. That friendly competition pushes users to engage more with the content and retain the knowledge better. Badges and rewards are also a significant part of this mechanic, rewarding behavior and results.
The forgetting curve is real. Studies show that the degradation of knowledge is so deep that users remember roughly 20% of the training content after a month of learning. Spaced learning is built into Ally to automatically ensure users receive the training reinforcement they need when they need it the most.
With Ally, onboarding takes minutes. And once everything is ready, the ongoing training runs autonomously through a single pane of glass for admins and employees. With that, admins can pour more time into other critical security priorities and prevent employees from having significant distractions or deviation from their core job.