Managing cybersecurity learning in the age of hyper connectivity
How cybersecurity firm, ERMProtect, uses e-learning to train employees to fight back against hackers
Data is collected at every interaction point - whether a consumer is aware of it, or not. As our devices get smarter, the more data is produced. An estimated 16.3 zettabytes of data is generated annually and that number is estimated to increase to 163 zettabytes by 20251. With the average smartphone user tapping their device 2,617 times a day, the metrics around data usage is staggering2. As we continue to barrel into this highly tech-savvy, networked society, users become less conscious about their digital footprint or the information they share.
Cybercriminals know this, and are taking advantage:
- Compromises of personal and sensitive data are at an all-time high, with huge breaches reported in recent years by Marriott International (500 million customers), Yahoo (3 billion user accounts) and Equifax (143 million customers).
- The business sector breaches affected 31 million records, or 54 percent of all records affected. The costs of cybercrime are growing. The average cost of data breach globally was $3.86 million in 2018, up 6.4 percent from $3.62 million in 20173.
- All types of sensitive information are being compromised – customers’ personal and credit card information, intellectual property and trade secrets, even classified government employee and other data.
- Besides financial damages, data breaches ultimately hurt an organization’s reputation. According to 90% of CEOs, striving to rebuild commercial trust among stakeholders after a breach is one of the most difficult tasks to achieve for any company – regardless of company revenue4.
Cybercriminals often succeed because they know how to exploit human behaviors, luring people to visit malicious websites, open malicious emails, or engage in other online behaviors that expose their organization’s data.
This massive problem is what ERMProtect, leaders in cybersecurity solutions and training, help solve for customers and partners. ERMProtect was recently recognized by Gartner, the world’s foremost IT research and advisory firm, as a Vendor of Note for its suite of Security Awareness Training. ERMProtect security awareness training content teaches users how to be vigilant online and offline so they don’t open their organizations up to damaging cyberattacks. ERMProtect content includes whiteboard animation video modules, lecture video modules, cyber dictionary term video, and games. ERMProtect security awareness training modules are brief and engaging to keep users tuned in and learning. The content is written by experienced IT security experts in the field everyday fighting threats to industries across the globe. The content can be customized quickly, on-demand to incorporate specific workplace scenarios, job roles and organizational challenges into the trainings, and even branding if desired. This training establishes a cyber aware culture in organizations to protect customers and stakeholders.
“As the use of data has increased, there has been a steady increase in the demand for up-to-date, relevant content to support the ever-evolving nature of cybersecurity,’’ says Silka Gonzalez, President of ERMProtect. “We initially started our Security Awareness Training Content journey by developing educational whiteboard animation videos and posting them on YouTube. The overwhelming response we received propelled us to develop a division within our company focused on developing security awareness training content. We quickly realized that the content format was just as important as the content itself,” she said.
As cybersecurity experts, ERMProtect decided to partner with Instructure to utilize the Bridge Learn platform to host its content.
To distribute ERMProtect’s security awareness training content, the company needed a solution that would:
- Scale easily to address learning and development for a broad range of audiences
- Efficiently train employees on new cyber threats and regulations, on an as needed and on-going basis
- Incorporate several learning modalities to engage users
- Enable real-time insight into learner completion to meet corporate, audit, and compliance requirements
The ERMProtect Approach
ERMProtect’s IT security experts created engaging, innovative, and relevant content, using chalkboard animations, games, micro-videos, and lectures. Next, the firm needed a software partner to place the content on an easy-to-use e-learning platform with robust reporting analytics to test comprehension and progress.
“We wanted to rely on a technology partner who we could trust, who would grow with us, and who had a mission and culture similar to ours,’’ Gonzalez said. “With the pace of technology changes, it’s critical that our customers and partners have access to up-to-date training content that protects their organizations. It is also critical for our customers to have robust reporting tools to track improvement in cybersecurity capability and culture.’’
With the Bridge suite of solutions focused on employee-driven learning and development, the ERMProtect team has invested in a long-term partner with the ability to:
- Increase awareness of cybersecurity - regardless of size, geographic location or industry
- Create personalized learning experiences with “just in time,’’ relevant content, and education through targeted programs
- Promote a culture of continuous learning within organizations
Said Gonzalez: “Bridge Learn is the type of product that continues to innovate in functionality and use case, so it helps us to extend - in depth, breadth, and reach.’’
How ERMProtect Measures Success
- End Customer Acquisition - ERMProtect’s goal is to acquire new customers on the platform driven by Bridge Learn. Key drivers of new customers to ERMProtect via Bridge Learn are compelling content combined with the easy-to-use Bridge Learn platform. “When our customers’ and partners’ employees are engaged with the content within Learn, it’s two-fold,’’ Gonzalez explained. “Certainly, the content is compelling and relevant to their roles, but if the content was in a system that’s hard to use and navigate, potential clients would be reluctant to become ERMProtect clients. Bridge Learn is a key criteria potential customers evaluate during the sales cycle.’’
- End Customer User Engagement - ERMProtect also measures success by how quickly end customers adopt the platform as well as the frequency and intensity of how end customer users engage with the training content, driven by the Bridge Learn platform. “Getting customers to adopt and engage is easy with Bridge Learn because the solution is built with the user in mind,’’’ Gonzalez said. “Learners can quickly filter and find the right content in the Learning Library, when they need it. Administrators and managers can manage their users’ and well as report on course and program completion.”
- End Customer Satisfaction and Referrals - At the end of the day, ERMProtect wants satisfied customers who renew their license and refer new clients. ERMProtect and Bridge Learn help accomplish this through all the above-mentioned means, but also by providing excellent customer support and data that the training is working, so customers can demonstrate ROI. “With Bridge Learn, it’s easy for ERMProtect customers and partners to get reporting in real-time,’’ Gonzalez said. “What used to take weeks or hours, manually, they are now able to do in a matter of minutes and it's peace of mind for them. Many of our customers are in financial industries, such as banks, who have stringent compliance regulations and training for their employees. Compliance is always top-of-mind. Bridge Learn provides ERMProtect end customers with robust data – who is using the training platform, how and when they are accessing it, whether they are completing the training, and to what capacity. All of this data helps ERMProtect end customers track compliance and/or demonstrate ROI,’’ Gonzalez said.
“Our partnership with Bridge Learn is the perfect match,’’ Gonzalez said. “We provide cybersecurity content that is relevant, up-to-date, and engaging and Bridge Learn is the delivery platform that is seamless and provides the level of granular data that is required for many of our clients.”
To learn more about how ERMProtect is preparing tomorrow’s workforce in cybersecurity with technology-first, impactful learning and development with Bridge Learn, contact us at [email protected] or 877.576.5364.
Study from IBM and the Ponemon Institute