As modern businesses and corporates grow in complexity and reach, the existence, use, sharing, and disposal of data is also growing exponentially. Businesses have huge amounts of confidential data, pertaining to employees, competitors, and customers. The usage, disclosure, sharing, and disposal of this data must adhere to strict laws and rules laid down by regulatory authorities. Individual organizations also have stringent rules in place to ensure the appropriate handling of such sensitive data.
Protecting and handling confidential data has come into the limelight with the electronic boom. With multiple copies of the documents being available in electronic format, it becomes difficult to monitor their usage. Companies that misuse or inadvertently leak confidential data face multifold consequences ranging from lost reputation to expensive lawsuits and fines worth millions of dollars.
Sometimes, though aware of the rules, employees are not aware of the consequences of not adhering to them and end up ignoring the rules. Employees might have doubts regarding what they ought to do and what to avoid.
Given this context, it becomes a paramount concern to educate employees on the importance of handling data and adhering to the regulatory rules.
E-learning courses provide an excellent, interactive, engaging way to educate learners on regulatory compliance procedures and the consequences of non-compliance. The most effective ways in e-learning can be through the use of scenarios and gamification.
In e-learning courses, scenarios can be used very effectively to teach learners the Hows, Whys, Dos, and Don’ts, and What-ifs of information security.
It is very important to frame scenarios that mirror situations that employees will actually come across in their daily work related to the usage, handling, and disposal of data.
Ensure that the scenario is well-defined, and use proper, umambiguous options that will compel the learners to pause, reflect, and select the best alternative. Thus, scenarios can also be used to build their decision-making skills.
In this approach, feedback is a vital element. It should be used to reinforce learning and not just convey whether the answer selected is correct/incorrect.
In this approach, a single, often fictitious case (maybe of a company/team) is used in the background of the course. After a few elements are discussed in the course, the case comes to the forefront to check how learners apply the knowledge gained so far.
Here again, it is crucial to keep the case as realistic as possible and weave it right through the course. It should test learners on all relevant issues and should contain all the information needed to take well-informed decisions.
Apart from these approaches, e-learning can be used to educate employees on Information Security and its importance very effectively. A guided approach with an avatar can be used to take learners through the course. The avatar can also be used provide feedback on assessments and focus on the important topics. This approach works well in cultures where learners are comfortable with guided learning and don’t view it as an intrusion.
Using appropriate interactivities, visuals, and quizzes, e-learning can make Information Security a very interesting topic to learners so that instead of seeing it as an unavoidable issue, they will be engaged in the subject and retain and apply all its compliance rules and regulations.
So, what are you waiting for? Use e-learning to educate your employees on Information Security; dispel their doubts, safeguard your reputation, and ensure you protect all confidential information in your company to build credibility – which goes a long way in fostering long-lasting relationships.