The New "Netflix" Spin on Cybersecurity Awareness Training Videos

Posted by Denmark Francisco
April 22, 2021

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Security Awareness Program Owners (SAPOs) are often faced with the hard reality that their security training programs just aren’t working. While there are many reasons a program is failing, training videos often play a crucial role in the equation.

In order to capture your team’s attention over video, you have to find the right content to spark their interest. Viewers want entertaining videos with a storyline they can follow to learn, not stuffy educational videos that feel like a chore to complete. 

To keep employees engaged, cybersecurity education companies are producing a new breed of security awareness training video, one modeled much like a TV show— mimicking the formats of drama, sitcom, and other series all while educating employees on security topics.

Living Security is at the forefront of this movement towards episodic training videos, and we’re here to share why they perform so well.

Why “Traditional” Security Training Videos Don’t Work

Unfortunately, it’s a hard reality that cybersecurity awareness training videos can be boring and outdated. Translating technical content into a fun format for non-technical learners can be a challenge. And since technology is ever-evolving, it’s hard to create content that will be relevant months to years after the video is produced. 

Besides being stiff and quickly outdated, many cybersecurity training videos heavily push fear and panic. They hit watchers with a laundry list of threats and make them feel scared instead of building their confidence in avoiding them. Worse still, some videos even paint the watcher in a bad light, making them feel dumb for falling for phishing scams or similar attacks.

What watchers really want is to learn technical skills in a way that empowers them to make smarter decisions to support their company’s security. They want to feel proud for helping to maintain safer security— and that starts with a clear understanding of their role in the equation. In order to truly learn how to help, watchers must find the content interesting and helpful. 

In step the episodic training series... 

How Security Video Series Retain Interest

Training videos that weave security education into a TV series-like format are more deeply engaging and teaching employees, particularly because: 

1. Episodic training videos have a storyline.

Most cybersecurity training videos address one topic in a formal educational format, where the watchers know their sole purpose of watching is to learn. By contrast, security videos in an episode format with recurring characters and a real plot are seen more as entertainment than education. Sure, the watcher is learning, but they’re also engaged in a storyline with “drama” and “suspense” and feel like they’re Netflixing versus listening to a lecture. 

2. Episodic training videos share realistic, applicable examples. 

Unlike corny security videos that feature hackers in a black hoodie in a dark basement, Living Security shows realistic examples of threats as they apply to an employee’s real work or home environment. 

The storylines are believable because they are relevant and demonstrate actual scenarios playing out before watchers’ eyes, as opposed to verbal descriptions of attacks with corny stock photos or clips. It’s apparent these modern training videos move beyond theory alone and actually show attacks in action.

3. Episodic training videos leverage micro or nano-learning. 

Microlearning is the idea of teaching in short, focused segments and is known to create 50% more engagement. It’s the same principle on why Netflix shows are broken down into 30-minute to hour-long episodes. They know the recipe to engagement is creating memorable mini-plots in each episode — and security training videos that mimic this format are more effective in retention. 

Nano-learning modules like this in cybersecurity make learning a quick, fun break from the workday, like kicking back at their desk to watch TV and calling it “work.”

Security Videos for Everyone

Here at Living Security, we understand that streaming service watchers like, and need, different types of content.

That’s why we sort our episodic video series by:

  • Topic/learnin g concepts. Will this video series be focused on phishing or insider threats? There are a few handfuls of topics, covering diversion cybersecurity lessons.
  • Genre. Do your employees prefer to watch a drama series or a murder mystery? That’s right, we said murder mystery! We come up with creative themes for our series, ranging from dramas to thrillers.
  • Difficulty level. Is this a Foundational or Intermediate-level lesson? Choose the intricacy of your series based on how much your audience already knows about the topic.
  • Intended audience. Is this relevant for everyone in your organization or only for certain departments, like Accounting? Curtail certain series and lessons to the audience who needs it most. Some episodes may even directly reference specific departments and real-life situations that they might encounter.
  • Episode length. Do your employees only have 15 minutes or do they have 30 to fit in some training? We have shorter episodes as well as longer formats based on the subject and your team’s flexibility to learn. 

Examples of Security Awareness Training Video Series

Alright, we’ve done enough talking about how great episodic security training videos are. Not let’s show you what some of them actually look like by previewing some plots!

Here are a few Living Security-exclusive training series:

  • True Eye. In this heart-pounding thriller, the world’s top-AI company, True Eye, becomes the darling of global innovation with the launch of their latest personal assistant, GUIDE. Everything seems too good to be true until it really is. One employee goes missing, GUIDE begins to malfunction and True Eye’s newest employee, Adrian Bridges, must act fast before he becomes another casualty. Blackmail has its consequences... especially when technology is making all the calls. Learn more about True Eye here.
  • Born Secure. Jacob Webb, codenamed xGhost, never considered a life as a cyber-operative until he was hand-picked as a candidate for a government-funded, cyber training Program. The Program is designed to defend critical assets and infrastructure by operating in the shadows and infiltrating the cyber underground. As xGhost and the other candidates enter Phase 3 of their training, their anticipation of real-world operations grows. But the veil of secrecy leads xGhost into doing someone else’s bidding.
  • The Squad. It’s the year 2027, and the Squad is on the verge of launching their biggest project to date: taking 7G to the moon! However, just before their big day, the Squad’s biggest rival, Copy Dat, announces they’re doing the same thing! How is this possible?! Did Orson overshare on social media? Did Caleb get phished!? It’s a race against the clock to reclaim the Squad’s beloved project from being defunded, replace the competitor’s project with a better one and restore glory to its rightful place. Squad up! This one’s going to be fun.

Keep Up with Trends like Security Videos

If you didn’t know episodic cybersecurity video series like these existed, you’re not alone. Many SAPOs are still discovering the power of incorporating a “Netflix” spin into their training programs.

In this blog, we mentioned how effective microlearning can be for security awareness. In our free ebook, 7 Essential Trends Of Human Risk Management for 2021, we expand on this trend and many others. 

Keep your training program modern and rooted in science-backed improvements by downloading it, today.

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