Cyber Security Awareness Training for Millennial Employees

By Michal G
image December 07, 2020 image 3 MIN READ

The Millennial generation, also known as Gen Y represents the largest generation in the workforce. The entrance of Millennials into the workforce in such a meaningful way means that companies must revisit, rethink, and reset previous practices and processes, including cyber security awareness training.

Cyber Security Awareness Training – Why it’s more important now than ever

Cyber attacks are a constant threat to every organization today. One reason for cyber attack’s large potential danger is because threat avoidance relies on human interaction and decision making processes, making employees the first and last line of defense. Protecting against cyber attacks puts a lot of pressure on employees and can generate palpable friction within an organization.

An effective security awareness training program is the one proven way to significantly reduce the risk of cyber attacks. But not all companies are up to date with their training. Many still run traditional security awareness training programs that are tedious, time consuming, and fall short in engaging employees or changing cyber security culture. Outdated security awareness programs focus on ticking the boxes rather than on actual employee learning.

How to adapt cyber security awareness training for Millennials

With millennials making up a significant part of the workforce, organizations are starting to rethink how they design and deliver content. Millennials are used to operating in fast-paced environments. Millennials are digital natives with a ‘digital first’ approach to many aspects of their lives. So, how do we improve security awareness training for Millenials? How do we ensure security awareness programs engage 100% of the workforce?

For those searching for a security awareness program that appeals to millennials, here are some tips on how to design an awareness program for their learning style and some examples of how we’re doing this at CybeReady:

1. Actionable learning

Millenials have a generational aversion to wasted time and prefer learning that focuses on what they need to “do” rather than what they need to “know.”

Actionable learning is at the heart of CybeReady’s security awareness training. Knowing the theory behind a topic is handy but providing employees with tools they can immediately use in the real world is much more effective and is the only way to truly change the cyber security culture within the organization.

2. Bite-sized content

Millennials are keen to learn new things and improve on their skills. However, many of those working with Millennials observe that traditional long-form training doesn’t resonate, and is difficult to consume. As such, the most effective training methods for Millenials offer content in bite-sized units. The content needs to be as short as possible and only long enough to ensure the learning process is effective.

At CybeReady we pioneered a new training approach that tackles the challenges of low employee engagement. We created a training program that consists of short engaging bites delivered continuously and seamlessly throughout the employee’s daily routine. This helps create soaring levels of engagement and an easy ability to identify and optimize your overall awareness training program where it’s needed most.

3. Self Paced Learning

Millennials want information they can learn at their own pace, on their own time and terms. Most organizations roll out an annual training program and think it’s sufficient, but we all know that it’s not really enough in today’s threatening cyber landscape. To be effective in cyber security training needs to be ongoing and continuous, with employees dictating the speed at which they learn.  

CybeReady’s Continuous Awareness Bites (CAB) are all about giving the employee the freedom to choose when and what to learn.

4. Regular, just-in-time feedback

Millennials respond very well to regular and meaningful feedback. The internet is fostered around a culture of ongoing communication and immediate feedback, so it’s no surprise that this is the style of feedback that resonates best with millennials for security awareness training.

With CybeReady, employees receive ongoing and just-in-time feedback on their actions and performance while the learning experience is taking place. We understand the burden of “information overload” and out of context training and have learned that that training is most effective while done “in the golden moment”.

Adapt you cyber security awareness training and survive the change

With Millennials becoming the largest generation in the workforce, the security training landscape must adapt to a new reality. When planning and executing an employee awareness training program, know your Millennial employees and stay on top of their needs, know their skill sets, what motivates them, and what unique challenges they face.