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Measure the Effectiveness Of Your Cybersecurity Awareness Program

Nowadays, a lack of measurement is one of the main culprits of why many organizations fail on their security front. If you stop to think about it, how does one measure your cybersecurity training's success rate? This specific question is echoed all over high ranking IT officials within the industry. Measuring and reporting team member behavior after a cybersecurity training is challenging to quantify since you first have to rate the effectiveness of the security awareness training and leave a parameter showing that employees are continually improving their cyber hygiene. As you can see, the measurement requirements are broad, and without consistent, accurate measurement, how can you see an increase in performance?

Funny enough, the answer to this issue is relatively easy to perform. Rather than taking a broad look, take the time to review all the information on a granular level. That way, this ensures a more precise understanding and application of your entire organization's security health.

In this blog, I will detail a few methods that you can utilize to measure your security awareness training effectiveness correctly.

Strategy


It is important to be strategic as your first stepThe first step that all well-planned cybersecurity programs must employ is strategy. Without it, the good intentions of cybersecurity awareness training may run into the potential pitfall of it becoming a wasted effort.

As such, before you think about how to measure the success of training, your time and effort would be best placed into what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it.

For example, let us assume that your organization wants to reduce the number of employees who fail to lock their computers when they step away from their desks by 30% over the next three months. How might you go about that? An excellent methodology could be to implement a clean desk policy. This can mean keeping stock of how many employees leave their computers without password protection, who forgot to shred documents before trashing them, etc. You can even take it towards the fun route, perhaps putting on posters around the office or incentivizing employees with a prize.

Either way, planning on how you will go about the training first will ensure that no wasted time is spent on the semantics on how to measure and conduct the messaging.

Asking Questions


Always ask questions so that you can properly measure your trainingAs the first step, think about what the most critical information is you need to find out. This can be by either asking employees individually or anonymously the following questions:

  1. What do your employees know and understand about cyber hygiene?
  2. When presented with these social engineering attacks, how do they respond?
  3. What do your employees think about cybersecurity?
  4. How confident do you think the employees are in their ability to catch a cyber-attack?

If we circle back to the previous example, what is the most crucial aspect to determine? If you think about it on the awareness front, perhaps employees do not know the risks of not locking a computer screen. For behavior reasons, maybe you will want to determine why employees behave in the way they do with not locking screens.

Metrics


Depict your metrics to make ensure the training is going wellWith step 2 completed, you can now take the most useful metrics you need to monitor. When it comes to measuring your employees' awareness, people's knowledge and comprehension of security can be monitored through online security awareness training performance. Suppose you have access to a customizable training platform that can record these findings. In that case, it becomes a lot simpler to see how much employees know about the best cybersecurity practices.

Online quiz results can truly show whether employees know the risks of leaving a computer monitor unattended. These problems should be remedied on all company levels, from the organizational level to the individual level.

For measuring behavior, the best route usually is through simulated cyber-attacks. Simulated attacks will test the security behaviors of the people in the organization. They are monitoring how people respond to these attacks gives you a metric for security behavior. Another way to measure behavior can indicate a behavioral shift, like measuring triggers or motivations as two key components.

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Timing

A particularly important tell is When measurements are made. Measurements should generally be taken before the cybersecurity training begin. Then, as time begins to pass, measurements will need to be recorded during these intervals. These regular measurements will assist in locating and implementing support to employees that will ultimately prevent breaches.

Why Is Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Cybersecurity Awareness Program Important?

In the past, measuring the effectiveness of these cybersecurity awareness training has always proven to be problematic. Fortunately, in today's day and age, the advent of cybersecurity awareness platforms or customizable training makes the evaluations a lot simpler. After all, when it comes to genuinely reducing the human error in an organization's security, the effectiveness of cybersecurity awareness training is essential.              

Brian Gomez
Brian Gomez

Having graduated from Florida Atlantic University back in 2017, Brian Gomez is the Marketing Specialist at 24By7Security. His background is in international business, event management, content creation, SEO, and digital/social media marketing. To diversify his toolkit for the company, he has decided to try his hand at blog writing!

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