5 Key Ingredients for a Winning Security Training Recipe

When it comes to crafting a winning recipe for security training, there are a few secret ingredients to add that can greatly improve the flavor of your sessions.

1. Covering the Basics (1 Cup)

If no security training session has been given before, a key component is bringing everyone to the same level — at least in the beginning. There is a good chance that some might know their way around security more than the average Joe, but what about those who know less? A solid foundation is necessary for building a stable training process.

These basics sessions should be versatile when it comes to the topics covered; it could be on a wide spectrum of security domains or a bit more specific, with topics such as application security, network security and risk management. As long as they are simple to digest, cover the topics that seem relevant for your organization.

2. Know Your Crowd (2 Packs)

It’s important to remember that not all of your colleagues come from the same background. Even when the training is cross-company, it doesn’t mean that every session should look the same. For example, developers would probably want to hear about coding and how to prevent loopholes in your application or software. Those in information technology (IT) might be interested in network security, access management and audits. Product managers and business analysts could ask you about the cost outcomes of a security breach in a product and how to deal with a poor security reputation.

As for quality assurance, the areas of security testing, building control gates for passing/failing a product version and assisting testing tools are on their minds. Let every session be unique and crowd-aimed for better implementation.

3. Audience Participation (4 Tablespoons)

No matter what time it is, there is probably at least one person (and that is an underestimation) who is preoccupied with his or her cell phone, notebook, trying not to fall asleep or dealing with another type of distraction. Engaging with your crowd and asking them questions is a good practice for any training, especially in security training since there are so many topics that could be open for discussion.

Just be careful you don’t embarrass anyone who isn’t completely listening by addressing them out of the blue. Create participation points in advance where you can direct your attention toward the crowd and ask them for their opinions. Doing so will refresh and stimulate both you and your audience.

4. Hands-On Exercises (3 oz.)

When training employees, don’t be afraid to challenge them. The things you spend more time solving or exercising are usually those you remember for a long time. You don’t want to let the knowledge rest for a day on your employees’ minds and then let it be forgotten.

Why not have a little exercise? Create a scenario and let the trainees work for their education. You could use a website you find interesting or a lab you constructed with the company’s IT department. If it’s a long session (half a day or more), the exercise could have multiple steps to help trainees feel like they are making progress in their security training. You could also use this phase as part of the your organization’s internal certification process.

5. Security Training Case Studies (A Dash)

Other than having hands-on exercises, it isn’t easy to prove a claim during training while discussing things in general terms or fooling around with demo labs. In the real world, security is an issue, and attacks occur every moment (with or without your knowledge).

Sometimes, it’s very useful to take a real case and examine it in order to demonstrate the outcomes of insecure practices. The cases could be technical and aimed for research and development training sessions or financial for product/business units within your organization. Dealing with a security breach isn’t fun, but it can be a valuable lesson that you can benefit from when it does not happen to you.

More from CISO

Everyone Wants to Build a Cyber Range: Should You?

In the last few years, IBM X-Force has seen an unprecedented increase in requests to build cyber ranges. By cyber ranges, we mean facilities or online spaces that enable team training and exercises of cyberattack responses. Companies understand the need to drill their plans based on real-world conditions and using real tools, attacks and procedures. What’s driving this increased demand? The increase in remote and hybrid work models emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the priority to collaborate and…

Why Quantum Computing Capabilities Are Creating Security Vulnerabilities Today

Quantum computing capabilities are already impacting your organization. While data encryption and operational disruption have long troubled Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), the threat posed by emerging quantum computing capabilities is far more profound and immediate. Indeed, quantum computing poses an existential risk to the classical encryption protocols that enable virtually all digital transactions. Over the next several years, widespread data encryption mechanisms, such as public-key cryptography (PKC), could become vulnerable. Any classically encrypted communication could be wiretapped and is…

6 Roles That Can Easily Transition to a Cybersecurity Team

With the shortage of qualified tech professionals in the cybersecurity industry and increasing demand for trained experts, it can take time to find the right candidate with the necessary skill set. However, while searching for specific technical skill sets, many professionals in other industries may be an excellent fit for transitioning into a cybersecurity team. In fact, considering their unique, specialized skill sets, some roles are a better match than what is traditionally expected of a cybersecurity professional. This article…

Laid Off by Big Tech? Cybersecurity is a Smart Career Move

Big technology companies are laying off staff as market conditions change. The move follows a hiring blitz initially triggered by the uptick in pandemic-powered remote work — according to Bloomberg, businesses are now cutting jobs at a rate approaching that of early 2020. For example, in November 2022 alone, companies laid off more than 52,000 workers. Companies like Amazon and Meta also plan to let more than 10,000 staff members go over the next few years. As noted by Stanford…