How Gamification Is Changing Cybersecurity Awareness Training
I value innovation and creativity, but this does not have to be limited to the arts or the creative industry. Applying creative thinking to every field is vital, particularly in those that most people consider highly technical or even dull, like cybersecurity.
I was delighted to host Scott Wright, CEO of Click Armor, on my podcast, the MSP show, to talk about how his company uses games and exciting simulations to teach IT users to be more vigilant of cyber threats.
We discussed what gamification of cybersecurity training is and how MSPs can use it to make their cybersecurity solutions more appealing to businesses and more effective to users.
What Is Gamified Cybersecurity Training And Why Is It Important?
Because human mistakes and oversight are commonly to blame for most security breaches, improving cybersecurity awareness must be at the forefront of companies’ employee training.
What’s more, millennials who have grown up with the internet being a crucial part of their lives are raising children who have never experienced a world without the web or computers. So, these parents should also teach their children online safety. Who knows, the knowledge could even motivate them to take up careers in cybersecurity.
As an MSP, giving your clients long PowerPoint presentations and endless lectures won’t cut it anymore for many of their employees: More often than not, the audience members will struggle to pay attention to the whole thing.
According to Scott, “If people aren’t paying attention in the first place, they’re not going to learn how to defend against [cyber threats].” You need not simply demonstrate the different types of malware or phishing attacks but use creative ways to provide an immersive experience — that’s where the gamification of training comes in.
Gamification means using game thinking and mechanics to engage your users in problem-solving while motivating them through competition and a reward system. Many companies already use gamification to help them with customer engagement and onboarding, but the same approach can be highly effective for enterprise-wide cybersecurity awareness training.
How Game-Style Training Works Better Than Traditional Methods
According to a Pulse Learning study, 79 percent of the participants picked from among college students and corporate learners claim they would be more productive and motivated if they learned in an environment like playing a game.
The same study shows that gamification of learning offers other benefits that MSP clients could benefit from, including improved performance feedback, higher productivity, and better engagement.
Still, we find that for gamification of cybersecurity training to be most effective, there are certain conditions:
Keep it short and sweet: Drawing from Scott’s experience with Click Armor’s cybersecurity awareness products, the most effective way to train clients is in short bursts. For instance, ton-minute training sessions for several weeks are more effective than a single, hosting a 3-hour-long session.
Use a modular design: Your training will keep your trainees’ attention longer and be more memorable if it has short modules and levels. Users can also go back to re-do the sections they did not score well instead of repeating an entire course.
Give rewards and encourage competition: Two things motivate people to play games more than anything else – the reward for completing a level and the recognition that comes with being better than your competition.
Offer self-paced training: Gamification lets you provide a full learning architecture and deliver it in a low-stress manner to let users undertake cybersecurity training at their own pace.
How Cybersecurity Awareness Gamification Helps MSPs
My chat with Scott provided some interesting insights into how providing gamified cybersecurity training can help Managed Service Providers. Besides the obvious benefits to your users as outlined above, there are a few very specific benefits for MSP marketing:
Provides a unique selling point: The MSP industry contains thousands of companies, all offering their clients and prospects similar solutions. By providing game-style cybersecurity training to your clients’ teams, you gain an edge over your competition as it provides you with what Scott terms a “competitive differentiator.”
Realistic simulation: A game-like training and awareness session allows you to accurately simulate real-world security risks that users may not have experienced before, allowing them to identify the dangers when they encounter them easily. Exposure to different threat scenarios within a game helps you and your client see user reactions in a controlled environment that does not endanger your operational systems’ security.
Instant feedback: Within a gamified environment, you can easily gather every action or click that a user performs, allowing you to collect feedback instantly and put together highly detailed analytics to measure the effectiveness of the training program.
Brand identity: When users interact with a training game containing screens with your company’s logo, it helps them build familiarity and affinity for your brand. This connection is particularly important if the trainees include decision-makers or industry influencers.
Cost-effectiveness: When you host a game-styled training environment and make it available to your clients, you make significant savings on staffing, time, and materials. You could use the savings to boost your bottom line or pass them on to your clients, making your cybersecurity training even more attractive.
Talk To Us For Innovative And Creative Marketing Solutions For Your MSP Business
A basic understanding of the cyber threat environment is critical to your business’s survival and those of your clients. As a result, you need to train employees to boost their cybersecurity awareness continuously. Taking a fun and innovative approach to training will make a huge difference as it engages employees and makes them more proficient in detecting cyber threats.
Most of all, gamified cybersecurity awareness training shows your clients that you are a creative, forward-thinking business in touch with modern methods. At Ulistic, we have more than a decade’s experience in marketing managed services providers by highlighting to potential clients what makes them different and the benefits of using their services over their competitors. If you want to find out how we can turbo-charge your marketing efforts and build your brand’s story, contact us today.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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