Security Awareness Blog

Addressing The 5% Awareness Training Challenge - Online

In my last post we discussed the challenge of communicating security awareness to people. Specifically, if people have to attend a scheduled event you probably will average a 5% show-up rate. For today's generation, you need to communicate in a manner where they can take training when they want, from wherever they want. I mentioned at least four different approaches that I have seen work well; online videos, blogs, newsletters and stickers. Today I will cover online video training. Done right, videos are an excellent way to teach people. Just take a look at online training sites such as Lynda.com, Khan Academy or many of the channels on YouTube - if you have an idea you want to share people now use videos. For security awareness, key advantages to online video training include.

  1. Being able to take the training remotely, which means people can do it from home, at night, during lunch, whenever it is convenient for them. The use of tablets have made this even more possible. Video training should always include bookmarking, in other words if you do not finish the video it remembers where you left off when you come back.
  2. Videos are relatively easy to translate, compared to onsite workshops where you have to find native speaking, high quality presenters who understand security. I commonly work with organizations that have to translate their training into over twenty languages.
  3. Videos scale. If you have 10,000 people, or lots of remote or international offices, once again getting presenters to each location can be extremely difficult. With online training you can easily scale to literally hundreds of thousands of people, regardless where in the world they are.
  4. Finally compliance, you can easily track who took the training and generate reports for auditors.

The key to successful video training is creating high-impact, engaging videos. The old days of 60 minute, animated power point slides are dead. Videos need to be short, 3-5 minutes at the most. As such you need to extensively research each topic and identify the most important learning objectives, what are the key behaviors you want to change? Then focus on just those specific objectives/behaviors. Videos must also be engaging, describe content in a manner that people care about. Finally the video itself must be high quality. If your training looks like your 13 year old neighbor created it, people will immediately tune it out.

Videos are a great way for people to take training when they want, from wherever they want. In my next post I'll cover how blogging can have an impact to your awareness program.