6 Tips To Enhance Your Cybersecurity Online Training Course With Interactive Simulations

Cybersecurity Online Training: 6 Tips To Enhance It
Summary: There's no question that online security training is crucial, or that it should be interactive. The real question is: how do you tick off all these boxes in a single online training sitting?

6 Tips To Enrich Your Cybersecurity Online Training

The idea of simulation is broad. It could describe an air force pilot or astronaut in a model cockpit. Or it could be a teenager picking a seal or Ranger as his character in a war game. In corporate training scenarios, it usually refers to an employee acting out a situation that mimics their work experience. Keep these simulations as realistic and contextual as possible. After all, fantasy play is fun, but they need to learn practical things too. What other tips can you apply to make your training more effective? Here are some top tips to enhance your cybersecurity online training with the help of interactive and immersive simulations.

1. Pick The Right Tools

Cybersecurity breaches often involve hacking, interception, and data theft. Think about the type of training course you want to develop, and what "construction tools" are needed. To build a simulation from scratch, you may need deep programming skills. Make sure your LMS can handle that and that your tech team is familiar with the necessary programming language. If your simulations are RPG or FPS, you need a game developer on your team. Also, make sure every page has an interactive element, whether it's drag-and-drop or a page-flipping button. It could even be a scroll bar or a pop-up box with tips and tricks.

2. Be Clear About Content

Similarly, you want to focus on the right cybersecurity online training subject matter. Many security specialists are members of peer groups. They're familiar with the latest hacker tricks and invasive software. Join similar groups to stay up to date and keep your training material relevant. You can also ask trainees what areas they'd like to explore. They might have heard of some new threat and want to learn more about it. Or they may have discovered vulnerabilities and patches you should incorporate. Keep feedback channels accessible and free of backlash.

3. Chart Learning Goals

We often view simulations as fun ways to practice training skills. They're low-pressure interludes of incidental learning. However, make sure you know the end goal. Going into the simulation, learners should understand what skill they're working to acquire. Knowing the target before design begins will help you build a better module. You begin to form an idea of what areas can be interactive, and how to invite active engagement. Ideally, offer simulations in story format. A good narrative pulls you in, both at intellectual and emotional levels.

4. Make It Stressful

Simulations do need an element of pressure. It could be heightened emotion cultivated by the soundtrack, or it could be a time limit to complete the simulated task. It could even be an element of competition that (cordially) pits trainees against each other. To add realism, commission a 360° video tour of your office space, or of common work sites. Use these videos as a "base" for simulation sequences. It enriches context, boosts authenticity, and can forge emotional engagement and immersion. Deepen the experience with VR goggles, surround sound, and haptic feedback. That said, there should be a limit to the amount of strain you make your employees endure. You want them to identify the real-world repercussions and immerse themselves in the situation—not be so stressed out by the end of the simulation that they're afraid to apply what they've learned.

5. Let The Employee Choose

There are two kinds of cybersecurity online training simulations: test rounds and practice rounds. A simulation is a good examination technique, but you have to preplan your scope. How will you gauge success? By speed, completion, rewards? Create a "practice world" trainees can visit at will, getting in as much time as they want. Then, let them choose their preferred assessment mode. If they're experiencing the simulation on their own terms, they'll be more involved. You can also include opt-in leaderboards so trainees can gauge themselves against each other. Inside simulations, trainees can monitor their own stats. How fast did they get to the end of the course? How many resources did they gather along the way? Ensure each of these measures is interactive, even if they merely click on a treasure chest to collect patch code.

6. Create A Compelling Storyline

Simulations rely heavily on interactions. But it's all framed by a compelling plot that prompts employees to get involved and emotionally invest. Cybersecurity online training is rooted in compliance knowledge. Employees have to know the protocols to handle a breach or deal with malicious online attacks. However, they must also be able to put things into context and gauge how they react on the job instead of merely memorizing theoretical information. A realistic storyline, characters, and dialogue help them determine areas for improvement and test their grace under fire. For example, are they able to actually follow the protocols when push comes to shove and they're under stress? Or do they buckle under the pressure, putting your sensitive data at risk? Just make sure that the story still includes the key takeaways in the form of plot points. You want to build experiential knowledge without quirky characters or dialogue becoming a distraction.


Video-game training techniques aren't just for kids. In fact, cybersecurity experts can benefit deeply from these simulation sequences, because a lot of them are already gamers. So, how do you keep their training immersive? Employ the right design tools to be sure you can build in all the features you want. Clarify your sim targets and learning goals. Include some form of controlled pressure and put at least one interactive element on every page/screen. Finally, for optimal results, let your trainee pick their own examination mode.