Studies show that companies are spending a lot of time and money on employee training. So, we know that companies care about getting employees up to speed, but the real question is: "Is it working?" There are multiple ways to measure the effectiveness of any training program and, more specifically, a security awareness training program.
Observe Behavior Changes
Start with visual confirmation. For instance, your employees complete an e-learning training course that teaches them not to walk away from a printer before completing the print job as one step towards improved security behaviors. After the training, what do you see taking place when employees go to print? Do they walk away to make coffee or take a break leaving the documents on the printer tray? Or, the training video may reinforce that it is not secure to hold doors open for others when those doors require code or badge access. Note what type of behaviors you observe taking place after the training.
Measure Success with Phishing Campaigns
Another good way to measure knowledge learned is to test your employees. For example, employees taking phishing training courses can have their knowledge put to the test. You can send out a phishing email campaign to see how many employees would click on the bait, then send out another phishing email at various intervals. Test them by sending out a phishing campaign every 30 days. If the same employees continue to fall for your emails, automatically assign them to enroll in the appropriate courses for remediation. TechGuard's Security Awareness Training provides in-depth analytics and reporting so you can keep track of employees' training progress. It also includes automatic remediation upon phishing campaign clicks, allowing you to reinforce phishing awareness to those who need it most.
If You Can Teach It, You Know It
See results by assigning individuals to teach their newfound knowledge to others. Require employees to take various courses and plan meetings with designated employees leading the discussion on the material. The benefit is that if someone can teach it, then they grasp the concept. Employees can also engage each other in discussions on how to best apply the knowledge at work and in the real world. If you know you will lead a group discussion on a particular topic, you are more likely motivated to learn the content of the course assigned.
Use Role-Based Training
Confirm that employees are receiving training that matches their role. Using a training platform like TechGuard's provides the option to assign role-based courses. For instance, the Chief Financial Officer is often a unique target for attackers versus a lower-level employee and needs security training more specific to their role.
Reinforce with Communication
Send a follow-up email or survey after the training and ask your employees how their new knowledge will affect their behaviors in the workplace. Discover what topics they found most valuable and least valuable. Reinforce what they learned by providing them with cheat sheets and visuals such as supplemental materials posted throughout the workspace, reinforcing their security awareness knowledge.
Without practical follow-up and assessments, employees will lose most new skills within a year. Unfortunately, many companies do not take this necessary step towards measuring their training's success. As a result, they may struggle to provide an ROI for training and lose investment from upper management. That would be a devastating blow to security, as a lack of sufficient training creates vulnerabilities hackers are more than eager to exploit. Measuring success also helps overcome obstacles like employees who are reluctant to change or don't believe it necessary. To overcome these challenges, commit to following through with these educational reinforcements. If you are investing in training, it makes more sense to go all-in.
Learn more about TechGuard's S.H.I.E.L.D. Security Awareness Training and start educating your workforce today.
Written by Elizabeth Dasenbrock
Elizabeth Dasenbrock is a marketer/graphic designer whose mission has always been to creatively express stories and ideas. Her skill set allows her to convey concepts to particular audiences in a visually appealing way. At TechGuard, she works on the marketing team with a focus on graphic design. In her free time, she can usually be found working on personal creative projects, tending to her houseplants, or spending time with friends and family.