Choosing the Right Cybersecurity Awareness Training Solution: Your Ultimate Checklist

By Daniella Balaban
image October 01, 2023 image 4 MIN READ

Email-based attacks spiked almost 500% in the first half of 2023, making phishing the most popular form of cyberattack for opportunistic hackers. There’s no doubt that onboarding a cybersecurity awareness training solution has become a modern imperative, both for security and compliance. 

For security decision-makers, this is too important a decision to get wrong. Choosing any security tool comes with its risks, and it’s the CISO’s responsibility to make sure it’s worth the effort and the budget. To ensure the process is easy and effective, consider this checklist for success. 

1. Reduction in IT Burden

Many security awareness training solutions will offer a wide range of content templates and educational videos to choose from. At first glance, this flexibility can feel like a perk of the platform. However, in reality – it’s just added work for your IT professionals. Someone will need to review the content, customize the templates, decide which group gets sent which content, and track the results. Deploying, operating, and managing a training solution can become a full-time job in and of itself. 

Your preferred choice should be a solution that reduces the burden on IT staff and runs autonomously in the background, with little to no effort on your part. 

2. Proven Methodology that Changes Employee Behavior

Make sure to ask your vendor of choice about the psychology and methodology behind their security awareness training. You’ll find that this helps sort the men from the boys. While some solutions will offer generic simulations that are one-size-fits-all, others will include contextual knowledge and performance-based suggestions. Don’t be afraid to ask your preferred shortlist to prove their worth by showing you the concrete data to back up the promises they make. 

When it comes to the training element itself, studies have shown the importance of ‘Just-in-time’ feedback, where learning occurs at the exact moment the error has been made. Employees who don’t receive this immediate feedback are less likely to experience behavioral change. 

How to Select a Cybersecurity Awareness Training Solution - A Checklist

3. Powerful and Adaptive Engagement Tools

No two employees will ever be exactly alike. As a result, a cookie-cutter tool will be, by nature, unsuitable for a wide range of employee needs. Look for a solution that can autonomously adapt the learning experience to each employee’s performance and progress, as well as offer simulations and learning in each user’s native language, and across different roles and departments. 

Mandatory training can lead to issues of low employee engagement, so it’s critical to consider how you’re going to keep employees motivated. The best practice is to offer 60-90 second training bites (micro-sessions) which are short and engaging, and truly put the employee into the mindset of the hacker. 

4. Streamlined Reporting and Analytics

Imagine onboarding a security awareness platform and then realizing you’re still not audit-ready. The strongest solutions will automatically deliver necessary compliance training to your entire workforce, and allow you to edit content to meet local regulatory needs. The business should also receive regular reports with your campaign summary, and periodic business reviews that can be shared with management to report on progress. 

When it comes to data analytics, speak to your vendor about how they measure the performance of their solution. You want a firm yes to questions including: 

  1. Is there a built-in Business Intelligence tool, such as Microsoft Power BI?
  2. Does the vendor offer risk score distribution? 
  3. Can you drill down to view employees, departments, and locations based on risk and performance? 
  4. Will you be able to filter data by historical context and specific campaigns?

Making Security Awareness Training Effective & Effortless

5. Enterprise Integration and Support

Don’t fall into the trap of a solution that’s easy to use once onboarding is complete, but a headache to set up or when it’s time to make changes. Easy integrations are key here. At a minimum, ensure you can integrate with Azure Directory, Google Workspace, and Elastic Security Program so that you can easily onboard new employees automatically, even if your workforce is distributed. 

If a problem does occur, you need to make sure you can get hold of someone who knows your business. The right vendor will offer you a dedicated Customer Success Manager who works alongside you to plan and execute campaigns, communicate progress, and steps in if there’s troubleshooting to be done. 

6. Making Security Awareness Training Effective & Effortless

At CybeReady, we make it our business to know security awareness training solutions like the backs of our hands, and there’s no more comprehensive or practical choice on the market than CybeReady. 

Our autonomous training platform is easy to onboard, brings training expertise that’s already embedded into the platform, includes in-depth reporting and analytics features, and operates with just 1 hour of IT time per quarter. Best of all, it has been proven to dramatically change employee behavior towards cyberattacks. 

The truth is in the data. Within 12 months, 100% of our enterprise customers see an average of 83% decrease in their high-risk groups, as well as a 4x improvement in their Employee Resilience Scores.

As employees continue to embrace a hybrid work reality, and attackers begin to leverage AI to launch ever more sophisticated scams, choosing a security awareness training solution is no longer a decision you can afford to ignore. Let’s make sure you make the right choice. 

Ready to see how it works for yourself? Schedule a free demo and consultation with one of the CybeReady team.