Ten commandments for effective security training
Skip the boring lectures and understand how people really learn new information and habits
By Joe Ferrara, Wombat Security Technologies
May 03, 2012 — CSO —
Information security people think that simply making users aware of security issues will make them change their behavior. But security pros are learning the hard way that awareness rarely equals change.
One fundamental problem is that most awareness programs are created and run by security professionals, people who were not hired or trained to be educators. These training sessions often consist of long lectures and boring slides—with no thought or research put into what material should be taught and how to teach it. As a result, organizations are not getting their desired results and there's no overall progress.
To solve this puzzle, it's important to step back and understand how people most effectively learn subject matter of any type.
The science of learning dates back to the early 1950s, and its techniques have been proven over time and adopted as accepted learning principles. Applied to information security training, these techniques can provide immediate, tangible, long-term results in educating employees and improving your company's overall security posture.
1. Serve small bitesPeople learn better when they can focus on small pieces of information that the mind can digest easily. It's unreasonable to cover 55 different topics in 15 minutes of security training and expect someone to remember it all and then change their behavior.
Short bursts of training are always more effective.