During the past weeks, news outlets worldwide have been reporting on a security flaw in Intel processors which allow unauthorized access to computer memory and surveillance, potentially compromising a person’s privacy and personal information.

The Guardian writes, “Details of the fixes being developed point to issues involving the accessing of secure parts of a computer’s memory by regular programs. It is feared that the security flaw within the Intel processors could be used to access passwords, login details, and other protected information on the computer.”

Moving beyond the technological intricacies, this headline can be treated as an interesting platform for discussion about information security awareness within your organization. The most impressionable training makes reference to lived stories and actual events. The headlines on the Intel chip flaw set the stage for cybersecurity conversation and learning. Rather than superficially skimming best practices for information security awareness, relevant news stories paint a more vivid picture about potential vulnerabilities and threats which contextualize your organization’s training curriculum.

  1. Know your audience and how the subject affects them. If your security awareness campaign is targeting end users, then you should make your ISA content more relevant to what users can control. One way to achieve this is by drawing on news stories that hint at cybersecurity awareness. Headlines become your stage setter for effective training opportunities.
  2. Stay current. Follow news stories and headlines so that your campaign resonates with your audience. You must strive for relevance. Ensure that the content that is being promoted via communication material and e-learning courses presents an overall narrative that appeals to selected demographics.
  3. What’s the story? This is where headlines become valuable information security awareness tools for your executives. When a high-profile headline appears, prepare the responses to: “Does this affect us, and what is the impact”; “What are we doing about it”; and “Are our products secured from similar defects?” Most executives learn about information security from the news, and this is an opportunity to open the channel of communication with them.

The headlines on Intel’s chip vulnerability indirectly touch upon security awareness themes pertaining to threats to privacy, phishing attacks, and best practices in cybersecurity. Indeed, security awareness content matters to safeguard the fluidity and privacy of your organization. Most importantly, the delivery of such content is fundamental as it directly speaks to target audiences. More a content is contextualized and given life through storytelling, more chances it has to be retained by end users, and consequently, your campaign will increase in value. Successful security awareness campaigns are largely about end users and how they relate to key content.

Terranova makes a conscious effort to offer customizable content for all levels within organizations worldwide. This element is invaluable to building effective security awareness programs and campaigns as it allows organizations to optimize objectives and best practices by directly compelling audiences.

At this time, Intel continues to make headlines as researchers are measuring the impact of the chip flaw and the patches that were required to remedy the situation. A story worth following.