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Why Online Information Security Training Makes a Difference

Almost every day you hear some news or the other about an information security breach in some organization. But you don’t pay too much attention to it because your first thought is that it cannot happen to your organization. Besides, it is not your job to worry about it. After all, what else is the IT security team here for? They know their job and will handle anything to do with information security at your workplace. But hang on – if you had always thought that implementing information security at the workplace was none of your concern, then you are in for a surprise. It has got everything to do with you, as people are the biggest reason for information security breaches.

I remember reading an article on the data theft that happened in a major healthcare insurance company. Confidential information such as birth dates, social security numbers, and medical IDs of millions of customers were stolen. And all because one gullible employee clicked a phishing mail that gave hackers access to the company’s IT system. If this can happen to one company, it can happen to others too. That’s why investing in cyber security training becomes mandatory. But why opt for online training? Read on to know why online information security training makes a difference.

Standardizes Information Security Training

Classroom training for information security is primarily dependent on the instructor to deliver content. The chances of training being inconsistent are higher, especially when you have different instructors training different groups of employees. Online information security training addresses the problem of inconsistencies by ensuring standardized training for all employees in the organization, and delivers relevant training.

What do we mean by relevant training in information security? Data security laws differ from one country to the other. If you are part of a global organization, then remember that the data privacy laws in Europe differ from that in the US. E-learning makes it easier to deliver relevant training on data privacy laws that are specific to employees in a country.

Increases Awareness on Information Security

The Internet is the gateway to accessing information on a variety of subjects, but it has also opened up ways for cybercrime to occur. Something as simple as using a secure password, avoiding access of unauthorized websites, or being careful with phishing emails, can ensure that the organization’s information security is not compromised. A comprehensive online information security training is a good strategy to ensure that employees are aware of the IT security policies in your organization.

Let’s consider an example of companies in the US associated with Protected Health Information (PHI) that will need to go through a mandatory compliance training on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). But this is not the only training that employees will need. Employees who have access to this sensitive data also need to know how to keep it safe. Delivering an online information security training increases the reach of the training program, and makes it easily accessible to learners.

Makes Information Security Training Engaging

Information security awareness typically involves going through a set of guidelines to be followed. Instead of going through a manual on the IT policies and guidelines, it’s far more interesting to go through an e-learning course on information security.

For one of our clients who required an online training on data privacy for its employees, we made use of scenario-based learning and a gamified data privacy challenge that engaged learners in the learning process. The online training also helped learners identify whether they are the cause for an information security risk. By using interesting characters and real-life work scenarios, the course ensured that learners were involved in the learning process.

Facilitates Reinforcement of Learning

Any training program is ineffective unless it translates into improved performance. The nature of training content on the information security policies to be followed in an organization is such that, learners tend to forget it quickly. One way to deal with this is to help learners relate to the training and help them understand what happens when they do not follow information security policies.

Also, training on information security is not a one-time affair. Training needs to be repetitive so that information is drilled down, and employees make a conscious effort to follow the IT rules in the organization. Periodic training reinforcement is possible through e-learning. Or if your organization chooses to follow blended learning for security awareness training, make use of microlearning modules that empower learners and aid training reinforcement.

Makes it Easy to Update Security Awareness Training

Constant change is one of the challenges faced in information security training. As technology evolves, business requirements keep changing and so do security threats. This requires security information training to be updated frequently – which is extremely difficult to do through classroom training because of the logistics involved in rolling it out across the organization. With an online information security training program, the updating process is easier and training can be quickly rolled out, as compared to a classroom training program.

It’s impossible to know when a cyber-attack will hit your organization. Why not get your employees on the same page regarding IT policies, with an online information security program?

Have you used online training for security awareness in your organization? If yes, please use the Comments section to share the benefits you observed.

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