Make cybersecurity training more fun with gamification

As the cyberthreat landscape evolves, Campbell businesses have to improve their cybersecurity measures. And since human error is the main cause of data breaches, improving employees’ cybersecurity awareness through education and training should be every company’s priority.

But employees have grown tired of dry and boring PowerPoint presentations and endless talks about online safety. One trick you can use to improve security awareness training, however, is gamification.

What is gamification?

This is the act of applying game elements to nongame contexts like cybersecurity training to make it more engaging. Simply put, it’s about making cybersecurity training fun for your employees. Encouraging interaction makes your staff more likely to absorb the training material and practice it in the real world.

How can I gamify cybersecurity training?

Here are some ways you can gamify your cybersecurity training sessions:

#1. Quizzes

Instead of showing examples of phishing scams to your employees, why not let them identify phishing emails themselves? By immersing them in certain situations, they get to actively think about what constitutes a phishing email.

For every correct response, award points that they can exchange for prizes such as food or gift certificates. You can also promote healthy competition by making them compete for points. This way, your staff is always motivated to learn about cybersecurity.

#2. Simulation exercises

Much like earthquake and fire drills, a cyberattack simulation tests businesses’ reaction times and defenses without going through a real disaster. It also points out strengths as well as areas for improvement, allowing companies to better prepare for cyberattacks.

You can send out a fake phishing email to everyone in the company and see who falls for the bait. Or stage a malware attack to determine if your employees are fast enough to prevent their files from getting infected. Reward those who did a satisfactory job, and provide a quick refresher course to those who struggled.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) also has the “Cyber Awareness Challenge.” It requires players to prevent the occurrence of future security incidents by promoting awareness of the impact of current cybersecurity issues. The challenge also teaches best practices to keep information and IT infrastructures secure.

#3. Team exercises

Team exercises encourage your employees to work together to learn proper cybersecurity habits. One good example would be a “murder mystery”-inspired game, where players are tasked to find out whether the system is compromised and prevent future cyberattacks. This motivates your staff to do their part for your company’s cybersecurity efforts while having fun along the way.

You can also try escape room games. These should tackle issues such as malware, phishing, passwords, and data breaches, and require problem-solving skills and cybersecurity best practices to unlock clues and complete tasks.

How often should you conduct cybersecurity training sessions?

Consider retraining your employees at least every six months. Keep in mind that new threats may emerge, so employees must be aware of them.

Your employees tend to be the weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity, and just one mistake could cost your business its reputation and revenue. So by getting creative with cybersecurity training, not only are you teaching better online habits, but it also reduces the chances of your organization falling victim to a cyberattack.

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