It often feels like cybersecurity is mainly a concern for large corporations—more sensitive information to lose means more concern about security risks. The truth is, cybersecurity threats can affect all types of companies, and small businesses are the most likely to take the hardest blow. According to IBM, the average data breach costs $3.86 million—enough to put many organizations out of business.
Take data threats seriously by creating a cybersecurity-awareness training video for your company. By training through video, you’ll be able to use movement, characters, interactivity, and other engaging features to communicate the technical details of cybersecurity in a captivating way.
In this post, we’ll break down every step of creating a cybersecurity training video for employees, including:
- Planning: Researching and brainstorming the content of the training video
- Production: Filming and editing the training video
- Distribution: Sharing the training video with employees
Let’s dive in.
Planning your cybersecurity training video
Cybersecurity is somewhat complicated: There are numerous cyber threats businesses can face that require complex, technical solutions. With so much potential ground to cover, it’s best to plan the content of your training video before production begins. By preparing your topics, you’ll be able to create an effective training video that successfully builds employees’ knowledge of cybersecurity.
Work with the IT department to figure out training needs
To create effective educational programming, it’s best to consult with subject-matter experts first. In the case of cybersecurity, that’s the IT department. Set up a meeting with an IT professional at your company to understand what the focus of your cybersecurity training video should be.
These IT professionals don’t just have a solid technical understanding of cybersecurity; they also know how well your company’s employees understand cybersecurity. By helping employees resolve computer issues—slow loading times, disconnected Wi-Fi—on a day-to-day basis, IT professionals are aware of your colleagues’ cybersecurity blind spots and the areas where training is needed.
Set up a meeting with an IT professional at your company to learn more about employees’ cybersecurity knowledge, and brainstorm which topics your training video should cover. Consider asking the following questions:
- What are the most common cybersecurity issues at the company?
- What cybersecurity lessons are you constantly teaching to employees?
- What is the most important cybersecurity lesson that employees at our company should know?
Choose the topics of your training video
You might think that including as much cybersecurity information in your video as possible will help employees build their knowledge. In fact, stuffing too much content into your training video will hamper learning.
Avoid cognitive overload by thinking carefully about which topics you should explain in your video. Instead of covering every aspect of cybersecurity, your training video should focus on threats that could have the greatest impact on your company.
Reflect on the conversation you had with an IT professional at your company. The cybersecurity issues that employees seem to know the least about, yet also present a serious threat to the company, are the subjects you should prioritize in your video. These topics might include the following:
- Malware: being exposed to harmful software
- Phishing attacks: a type of social engineering attack in which sensitive data is obtained through a disguised entity, such as an email from a false sender
- Denial-of-service (DoS): an attempt to shut down a site by overwhelming it with traffic
- SQL injection: using malicious code to access and alter a website’s data
- Brute-force attacks: targeting weak passwords by automatically submitting multiple passwords at once to eventually guess the right one
A single training video should focus on no more than three subjects to boost retention and keep employees engaged.
Creating your cybersecurity training video
You’ve researched cybersecurity concerns—both generally and at your company—and you’ve decided which topics your training video needs to address. It’s now time to actually create this video through filming and editing. We’ll provide several strategies in this section for crafting engaging and informative cybersecurity lessons through video.
Segment information into small portions
Cybersecurity training programs can become overwhelming for employees, given how technical and detailed the lessons can be. Presenting this content in a microlearning style makes it easier for employees to absorb the information and stay focused.
Microlearning is a style of teaching in which information is shared in small bursts to maximize retention. By segmenting the content of your training video into smaller units, you’ll keep the information engaging and digestible for employees. Here’s an example:
To make it easier for employees to learn your cybersecurity lessons, keep these microlearning principles in mind as you edit the footage of your training video:
- Focus on one learning objective at a time. Don’t try to explain phishing attacks and two-factor authentication in the same video section. Complete each lesson fully, and establish where you can pause the video to provide a break before moving on to the next topic. For example, you might insert a title slide after a lesson is over so you can stop the video and discuss the subject with employees.
- Keep each video lesson brief. While your entire cybersecurity training footage might be lengthy, each individual lesson on a singular topic should be brief—anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes.
Add interactivity to your training video
Cybersecurity is a complex subject, so employees may not retain everything in a video after watching it from beginning to end. Improve learning by adding interactive elements to your training video.
Interactive learning encourages employees to participate in the lesson and discover information rather than absorb it passively through just watching the video. Examples of interactive learning in a video include a quiz in between video clips, and a dynamic infographic that responds to clicks or cursor movement.
These elements make videos more engaging because employees must pay attention in order to interact with the lesson. Interactivity also helps to keep employees focused because the elements break up a video into short, digestible segments.
We recommend using Articulate Storyline to add interactive elements to your training video. The e-learning authoring platform integrates with Vyond, so you can seamlessly add interactive-learning elements into your videos. For example:
- Multiple choice quizzes
- Interactive markers on images
- Triggered motion path animations
In terms of designing videos around interactive learning, here are a few tips to help you combine footage with interactive elements:
- Make separate videos for each stopping point. Editing one long video into shorter clips can lead to abrupt, awkward transitions when switching from the video to interactive elements.
- Focus on continuity. To create a seamless viewing experience, ensure that the video right before a stopping point for an interactive element looks just like the video after a stopping point.
Sharing your cybersecurity training video
The value of your cybersecurity training video ultimately depends on its distribution. To ensure that the video has a positive effect on the company, you must make it as visible as possible. While every employee should watch this training video, your distribution should be focused primarily on two groups: new hires and employees who violate cybersecurity policies.
Incorporate the training video into onboarding
Though they are just starting at your company, new hires have a significant impact on your company’s cybersecurity from day one in their role. Many of their early tasks—setting up new accounts, being exposed to company files—could potentially lead to cyber threats if they aren’t well informed.
Instill positive cybersecurity habits early on by showing your training video to new employees in the early phase of onboarding. Providing this training session at the start of their employment will help to keep your company safe, both in the short term—as the new hire ramps up, and in the long term—as the employee builds a career at your company.
Collaborate with the rest of your team to determine how the video should be presented to new employees. You’ll need to determine:
- When the video will be presented. Review the full onboarding cycle, and find a convenient point in the new hire’s first week to show them this training video. Try to show the video on a day when the onboarding lessons are lighter since cybersecurity training is so technical.
- Where the video will be presented. Have a conversation with your HR team about whether employees should view the video in the office or they can opt to watch it remotely.
- If you want to complement your video with extra materials. You may decide to provide additional handouts on cybersecurity for new employees to refer to throughout their career to reinforce their knowledge.
Show the video as a disciplinary action
Research shows that human error is the main cause of company data breaches. According to a Shred-it survey, 47% of business leaders reported that human error was the cause of a data breach at their company.
Often, the employees who make these mistakes don’t realize that their actions are careless. Given this lack of knowledge, employees who violate your company’s cybersecurity rules should be asked to watch this training video. Even if the employee has already watched the video, they should view it again to refresh their memory about positive data security practices.
Develop a plan for showing this video as a disciplinary measure:
- Determine what violations are grounds for showing this video. Watching a video is a simple task to complete, so consider asking every employee who violates your cybersecurity policies to watch your training video.
- Create a quiz to test employees’ knowledge. Checking employees’ understanding of cybersecurity is a critical measure for avoiding future data breaches caused by these colleagues.
Protect company data with a cybersecurity training video
Cyber threats have the potential to impact any type of company, big or small, and create millions of dollars in damages. To avoid catastrophic security risks, companies must educate employees through cybersecurity awareness training.
Video is an incredibly effective medium for educating employees about cybersecurity. The movement and interactivity of video will keep employees captivated even as they learn about such a dense, technical topic. Use the tips in this guide to plan, create, and distribute an engaging cybersecurity training video that helps to protect your company from cyber attacks.