How Neuroscience-Based Security Training Can Keep Employees Engaged

Posted by Living Security Team
January 28, 2022

Share Article

Many organizations struggle with this one question: Why isn’t our security awareness training program working? While there are a number of possible reasons behind this issue, it’s probably because no one wants to sit through a 2-hour presentation on cybersecurity—and your training programs won’t be successful if you can’t keep your audience engaged. 

Instead, provide them with gamified, interactive training that’s proven to be effective and help keep your organization safe. In fact, as Salesforce notes, gamification “can increase company productivity by up to 50% and employee engagement by 60%, and 72% of people believe that gamification inspires them to work harder”.

Below, we’ll discuss the qualities of engaging online cybersecurity training and how to create an engaging, effective program for your organization. 


Three Qualities of Engaging Online Cybersecurity Training

If I shouldn’t deliver a presentation on cybersecurity, how can I use learnings from neuroscience to make my online security awareness training more engaging? Here are three scientifically proven ways to get your team’s attention: 

1. Microlearning

Microlearning, or learning in small doses, is proven to help us retain more information. Research shows that learning in short intervals can help us retain information up to 80% more effectively than long presentations. 

Instead of a lengthy presentation or day-long workshop, break up your training into small modules. 

There are many different types of microlearning options on a variety of topics that can keep your organization engaged. For example, our Campaign in a Box is a multi-message, month-long program that supplies your organization with the information they need to stay safe. 

Previous Campaign in a Box "Mini Boxe" leverage microlearning and have covered a number of different topics, including some of the most prominent cyberattacks, including: 

In addition to discussing the attacks, we cover how to prevent similar situations and what individuals can learn from these cybersecurity breaches. 

2. Storytelling

By using effective storytelling to show your audience the main point of your training, they’re more likely to remember and utilize the skills they learn. Offer relatable scenarios or actual events where people and companies were victims of cyberattacks—in other words, base the takeaway on a story, rather than statistics and processes. 

Leverage the power of storytelling. Use this tool to show real-world examples of situations your team members could be involved in to improve their memory, enhance their experience, and build a genuine interest in cybersecurity. 

This engagement can help build retention in your programs. By training with diverse, Hollywood-style content and intriguing storylines that remind them of their favorite TV shows,  you’ll be able to effectively train your users on the concepts that matter most. 

3. Humor

While cybersecurity is a serious topic, humor can play a critical role in understanding the concept as it helps people pay attention and remember what they’ve learned. 

Michael Rousell explains that “Dopamine, the motivator neurotransmitter most closely linked with humor, is also linked to motivated learning and attention.”


How To Create a Customized Training Plan for Your Organization 

Online security awareness training is not one-size-fits-all, so you need to customize your program to fit your audience’s needs. Once your employee’s mindset on security awareness has changed, you need to tailor your training to your audience. 

Here are a few ideas to help you customize your organization’s cybersecurity training program: 

  • Consider individual vs. group training. A company-wide training program is a great place to start. After a few months, you may notice some employees who need more attention or training. This is when you’d shift your attention to focus on what the individual is struggling with and provide specific training to help empower them. 
  • Run interactive training that rewards and engages. Experiential learning increases engagement, boosts retention, and helps make learning about cybersecurity more fun. By rewarding and incentivizing employees, you’re more likely to have a higher percentage of engaged participants who are excited about the training program. 
  • Understand that your training program will not stay the same forever. Since cyberthreats are always changing, your online security awareness training program should always be evolving. One way to provide consistent, up-to-date information and training is to utilize an ongoing program, such as Campaign in a Box


Create an Effective Cybersecurity Training Plan for 2022 (and Beyond!) 

By creating an engaging training program, you’ll have employees who actually look forward to learning more about cybersecurity. We work with organizations daily to bring an immersive training experience that builds security awareness.

For example, we host online escape rooms with Fortune 10 organization AmerisourceBergen that are built with integrated puzzles that had to be solved leveraging teamwork in a virtual group setting. This helped them learn more about the latest cybersecurity best practices while still utilizing a virtual meeting setting they work with every day. 

Ready to learn more about what to expect from cybersecurity in 2022? Find out how cybersecurity is shifting and this year’s top trends in our Essential Trends for 2022 Guide! 


essential trends (1)


Subscribe To Learn How To Prevent Cybersecurity Breaches

Additional Reading