What’s The Best Way To Get Employee Security Awareness Training?
Once they understand the value, business leaders often want to provide security awareness training for employees. Many times, they don’t know their options for and the pros and cons of each.
At Kelser, we believe so strongly in the value of security awareness training that we include it in our comprehensive managed IT support services. But, managed IT isn’t the right solution for every organization.
What is the best way for you to get this valuable service?
If you are a business or IT leader asking these questions, this article is for you!
In this article, I’ll outline the options for providing employee security awareness training. I’ll spell out the pros and cons of each option so that you can confidently determine which solution is best for your organization.
How Can I Provide Security Awareness Training For My Employees?
There are numerous ways to implement employee security awareness training. The first decision you need to make is whether you want to provide in-person, online, or hybrid training.
In-person training means that your users and the trainer are physically present in the same space and training modules are presented live.
The main advantage of this approach is the ability to customize the training for your organization and pivot the discussion in response to issues that are raised by attendees.
When the trainer is in the room, there is more flexibility to veer from the script and directly address relevant, specific questions that may be raised in the course of the training.
Effective trainers have a gift that brings training materials to life which could lead to more buy-in from your employees.
The biggest disadvantage to live training is the cost. Depending on the length of the training, you may need to cover incidentals like meals for attendees and hotel accommodations for the presenter, as well as renting training space.
Finding a site to house a large group of employees can be difficult and (also add to your cost). And, with busy schedules, it may be difficult to get everyone together in one location.
There are a couple of options when it comes to online training.
The training could be pre-constructed modules that are delivered electronically and completed independently.
It could be a live-streamed event in which training is provided in a group setting with opportunities for questions and feedback.
Or, it could be a video training where employees log in, but don’t directly interact with each other or the trainer.
One of the biggest advantages of online training is that it costs less than in-person training. (Some online options are even free!)
While these may not be the most comprehensive trainings, they could be a good fit for an organization with minimal risk and a small workforce.
You don’t have to worry about logistics. There are no training rooms to book, no meals to plan, and no speaker accommodations to worry about.
The convenience of being able to complete training at a time and location that is convenient for your users is a distinct advantage to online options.
By doing research, you can be sure that you are hiring the training experts that will be the best fit for your organization's risk and needs.
Online options provide opportunities to track completion rates and also comprehension of information via quizzes.
Unless the training is interactive, people may tune out which reduces the effectiveness of online training.
Trainings that are developed with a wide audience in mind, will likely be general and won’t take into account specific needs of any one organization or industry. It may not be enough for your needs.
We’ve all been tempted. You turn on a training session and unless there are buttons to click and quizzes to take, you might respond to an urgent email (or 10) during online training.
The human brain can only tackle so many things at one time, so guess what will take priority and get your full attention? Not your training.
Some online options are one-way and don’t allow for interaction with users who may have specific questions.
As the description implies, the hybrid option offers some organizations the best of both worlds.
When part of the training is presented with a personal touch, the trainer has the capability to dive deeper into some areas than others and address relevant issues that are raised during training.
Obviously a hybrid option also provides the opportunity for your users to interact with the trainer and ask questions relevant to their daily experience.
Having an in-person component can be helpful in providing targeted training that is specific to your organization or industry.
Everyone learns differently. By combining both options, you provide a little something for everyone and the opportunity to reinforce information for different types of learners.
While this option may be a little more expensive than online options, it’s not as expensive as fully in-person training.
Cost is likely less than fully in-person training, but more than online options.
A hybrid training needs to be highly coordinated in terms of schedule and content. Without coordination, this can easily look like a hacked together approach.
How Can I Access Security Awareness Training?
Once you’ve decided whether in-person, online, or hybrid training will best fit your organization’s needs and budget, explore your options.
Some organizations have an extensive internal network of IT experts and may have someone on staff who has the knowledge, experience, interest, and training skills necessary to provide the training.
The disadvantage of using internal experts is that unless you have the ability and budget to add another staff member to your organization, you will have one less staff member to respond to the daily IT needs of your organization as they take on this new assignment.
For organizations that don’t have an extensive internal network, there are always outside providers for training options.
Because security awareness training is somewhat specialized, you may want to consider organizations that specialize in IT training rather than a variety of training subjects.
Many managed IT support service providers also offer employee security awareness training.
When using an external provider always do your homework to ensure that the organization you select has the experience and expertise your organization needs.
Related article: 3 Topics Every Cybersecurity Awareness Training Must Include
After reading this article, you understand the options that exist for providing security awareness training for your employees. You understand the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of in-person, online, and hybrid options. You also know how to access training support.
The next step is to decide which option is best for your organization, do your homework to check out providers, and then start moving forward to put the training in place.
Read this article for an honest cost-benefit analysis of security awareness training.
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