Security Awareness Blog

Security Awareness Training - Scheduled or On Demand?

I'm noticing a trend in awareness training, one I wanted to share and see if others are seeing the same thing. In general there are two ways to deliver training, what I call Scheduled or On Demand. Scheduled is what you think of for traditional training. A certain time and/or place is set and people have to attend the training, such as an onsite presentation or a scheduled webcast. On Demand is training that allows people to take the training when they want to, such as with online videos, downloadable podcasts or reading a newsletter. In general I'm finding Scheduled training to be a dud, people just do not have the time or a stable schedule to attend such events. In general this is not their fault. People have very busy work schedules that often conflict, such as business meetings, last minute conference calls, meeting a partner or vendor, being sick or vacation. Even more challenging can be connecting with part-time employees or contractors. For one organization I lead three security awareness seminars every day, for five consecutive days. After holding the fifteen separate events only 5% of the organization attended. While not quite as bad, I'm seeing similar challenges with webinars.

Now, there is a possible solution to this, simply record and archive any Scheduled events and make those archives available online. Unfortunately I'm finding this approach does not work well either. Recorded presentations often have poor sound quality and were not designed for video taping, resulting in boring, hard to hear content. Archived webcasts loose their ability for interactive communications, becoming nothing more then a recorded slide show presentation.

With On Demand training, I'm finding it much easier to reach and engage people. With this approach people can take the training when they want, such as when traveling, on the train or perhaps even from home In today's hyper connected world I feel we should deliver training based on the needs of people, not the other way around.