By Jason Hoenich on Mar 21, 2019
You’re all-in for creating a security awareness training program—or maybe reviewing the one you’ve got—and the first thing on your mind is a deep, deep dive into finding the right partner. But we know you’re smarter than that. You know you’re smarter than that.
Phishing simulation platforms and security training vendors are a dime a dozen and come in a variety of flavors: open-source, free, and paid. But let’s be honest: Every vendor is basically doing the exact same thing.
So skip the extensive analysis of the bells and whistles and look for a partner who can set you up with the right tools based on actual experience so you can focus on strategizing, planning, and managing your program. Here are the qualities to look for:
1. Do they have real-world experience?
Ask yourself this: Does the vendor have actual, real-world experience? Or are they basing their security awareness training programs on market research and endless data? You don’t want to dish out training based on numbers; you want to deliver training based on real people and real-world experiences.
You don’t need a partner who is trying to reinvent the wheel based on the freshest, most mind-blowing research and data out there. You need a vendor who can talk about how actual people get tripped up with security and how actual people can be trained to adopt better habits and build a culture of security.
2. Are they forward thinking?
Gone are the days of death by PowerPoint and other forms of boring security awareness training torture. The right partner gets how the modern worker works—and learns. According to market-research group Nielsen, American adults spend more than 11 hours every day interacting with media in one way or another, so make it worth their while.
Find a partner who gets digital transformation, nomad employees, remote workers, and the challenges that the BYOD office creates.
3. Do they offer plenty of flexible, integrated options?
Pick a partner who has a variety of content, covering the gamut of topics: Phishing, password security, using public Wi-Fi, you name it. Also, make sure they’re able to customize things to your specific needs, including:
- Custom branding
- Multiple languages or translation
- Matching your company’s workplace vibe and culture
If you need a partner who offers self-service training or video options, make sure they can work with your learning management system (LMS), too. It would truly suck if you went all-in and bought a security awareness training program only to find out it doesn’t work with the systems you’ve already got in place and that your employees know and love.
4. Do they get what creative and hilarious looks like?
Don’t think creativity and a sense of humor are important for security awareness training? Think again. Employees spend an average of 34 hours every year on training, so when they enter your security awareness “training,” they’re bringing a steamer trunk full of expectations on how it’s going to go down, so flip the script!
Your training needs to be simple and easy to understand, which means pressing play on a 40-minute training video or a PowerPoint written by legal is not the way to win over your workers and get their buy-in on good habits and a security-minded culture.
Short, funny, and even animated videos are a great way to dish out a creative approach to security awareness training. Deliver enough humor to reinforce the training, but don’t go nuts. The right partner will get that delicate balance and deliver.
5. Are they like-minded and compatible with your company?
Yes, it’s important to work with a partner whose onboarding process is super smooth and easy, but more important than that? You’ve got to make sure your partner’s personality vibes with you and what your company needs.
You’ve got a vision, and your partner needs to respect and embrace that vision by delivering the services and tools that work with your company’s unique goals and needs. Forty-three percent of employees report that training they’ve received isn’t effective, so your partnerships are pretty crucial. In fact, your training will be only as effective as the content you deliver, and if you’re getting your content from a partner, it’s just got to work.
Request a consultation now to see what real-world experience parlayed into an effective security awareness training program really looks like.