Security Weekly
Blue team, Security Staff Acquisition & Development, Compliance Management, Email security, Vulnerability Management, Security Staff Acquisition & Development, Training, Vulnerability Management

Security Awareness Training – Time for a Change in Philosophy?

Security Awareness training has been a challenge for decades.  Annual training programs have never been highly effective in training users on how to avoid or report security incidents, including phishing.  More frequent training creates too much friction with productivity.  We’ve seen lots of new training solutions come into the market, yet we have not seen a measurable improvement in user’s behaviors.  Maybe it’s time for a shift in philosophy.

We’ve known for years that we need to deliver security appreciation, not just security awareness.  Users need context to understand how a particular security incident impacts them, their company, or their family.  Standard security awareness training without context or potential impact does not help the user appreciate security.  There are many safety examples that help us appreciate things like seat belts, driver alert systems, trip and fall hazards, and even contamination from spills or leaks.  How can these safety examples help us improve security awareness?

Safety has a different level of appreciation than security for most users.  The risk of life and death is a more instinctive behavior.  It is also very contextual, especially in the moment.  How do we bring that level of context, especially in the moment, to our security awareness training?

For a deeper dive into this topic, Emily Huynh and Mandy McKenzie from Mimecast joined Enterprise Security Weekly to discuss their security awareness training philosophy.  This philosophy is embedded within Mimecast Awareness Training best practices to embrace your employees, making them an extension of your security team.  Remember security is a team sport, which requires the hearts of your employees (i.e., appreciation) and the minds of all (i.e., awareness).

Mimecast Awareness Training delivers effective cybersecurity training to employees in roughly three minutes a month. The training modules feel like smart, modern, 3-minute sitcoms and introduce characters your employees will recognize all too well.  Mimecast Awareness Training will help increase employee cyber awareness while having fun in the process.  Success can be measured when:

  • Your employees recognize threats and share it with others in the office to not click on malicious items, creating community defense.
  • Your employees are taking their best practices home to train their families.
  • Your company as a whole is excited about cyber security and see it as an enabler and fun!

Mimecast Awareness Training also includes SAFE Phish. It’s a quick, easy way to convert real-life, de-weaponized phishing attacks into simulation (nothing better than the real thing!). This no-cost Awareness Training feature turns real-life, de-weaponized phishing attacks into training exercises. Users get safely exposed to the real thing. Admins get to transform the way user and organizational risk is measured.

To learn more about how you can change employee behavior and minimize your organization’s risk to human error, watch the interview on Enterprise Security Weekly here, watch their on-demand webcast here, or visit for more information.

Matt Alderman

Strategic Advisor at Automox, security consultant, and wizard of entrepreneurship.

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