How gamification can make cybersecurity training more fun

How gamification can make cybersecurity training more fun

To protect your business from cyberthreats, you need anti-malware and intrusion prevention software. It’s equally important to conduct cybersecurity awareness training programs for your staff, as employees are highly susceptible to phishing, malware, and other cyber attacks.

When conducting such programs, however, it’s not enough to create PowerPoint presentations and provide hour-long lectures. This is because employees may find these boring, rendering your training sessions ineffective. To capture the interest of your employees, you can turn to gamification.

What is gamification?

Gamification is the act of applying game elements to nongame contexts, such as cybersecurity training, to make it more engaging. It’s about making cybersecurity training fun for your employees.

What are the benefits of gamifying cybersecurity awareness training?

Making your cybersecurity awareness training programs more fun has several benefits, including:

  • Increased participation: If your employees find your training sessions to be fun and engaging, they become more likely to complete the programs and even look forward to the next one.
  • Improved retention: Cybersecurity training that provides more interactive elements helps employees better remember the information presented.
  • Positive behavior changes: Gamification involves rewarding your employees. If they are rewarded for practicing good cybersecurity habits, they become more likely to stick to that behavior.

How can you gamify cybersecurity awareness training?

Here are some ideas for gamifying your next training session:


Quizzes are a great way to make cybersecurity awareness training engaging. You can make quizzes on a variety of topics, including phishing, malware, and other cyberthreats.

For example, you can administer a quiz where employees have to identify phishing emails. Employees will have to think about what comprises a phishing email instead of just listening to a presentation. For every correct response, award points that participants can exchange for prizes such as gift cards, food, or extra time off.

You can also promote healthy competition by creating a leaderboard. This will give employees something to strive for and keep everyone engaged.

Team exercises

Team exercises encourage your employees to work together as they learn proper cyber hygiene. One good example of this would be a cybersecurity-themed escape room. In this game, employees need to solve puzzles involving passwords, data breaches, phishing, and malware best practices to unlock clues and complete tasks.

Simulation exercises

Cyberattack simulations test your employees’ reaction times and defenses. They also reveal strengths and weaknesses in security awareness, enabling companies to better prepare for cyberattacks.

For example, you can also simulate a phishing attack by sending out a fake phishing email to everyone in the company and seeing who falls for the bait. Alternatively, stage a malware attack to see if your employees are quick enough to prevent their files from getting infected. Give a prize to those who did well, and provide a refresher course to those who struggled.

You can also try online games such as PBS’s Cybersecurity Lab. In this game, players work for a social media firm that is targeted by sophisticated cyber attacks. Their mission is to strengthen the company’s cyber defenses with hypothetical security strategies.

How often should you conduct cybersecurity awareness training?

In a 2020 study by nonprofit organization USENIX, employees were tasked to identify phishing emails at 4- to 12-month intervals. While the participants easily spotted phishing emails four months after the training, they started forgetting their lessons after six months. As such, it’s ideal to conduct training every four to six months to keep information fresh in people’s minds.

By conducting cybersecurity awareness training regularly and gamifying it at the same time, you can ensure that your employees always know what to do in case they encounter a potential cyberthreat. This will ultimately keep your organization secure against future attacks.

When it comes to reliable cybersecurity for California businesses, no one does it better than Complete Document Solutions. Aside from monitoring your IT infrastructure 24/7/365 for threats, we can also assist you in helping your employees learn cybersecurity best practices. Get a complimentary network and IT assessment today.

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