If you’ve sensed a hint of sarcasm in the headline, then you have a keen eye for good-old-fashion mockery. Good for you.

Obviously, you need to plan your security awareness program based on the results of your needs analysis. Terranova has a about one million reasons justifying why the right program plan leads to success – this might be a slight exaggeration; factually, there aren’t a million reasons, but you get the picture. What follows are 3 KEY REASONS to perform an analysis and prepare a plan for your security awareness program.

Understand your organization

Your organization is unique. The mandate, the people, the overall culture form the cradle of your organization. As information security professionals, you understand that a successful security awareness program will have to include all the above. Your program needs to adapt to the mandate of your organization, its products and services. It must also adjust to workforce reality – team A is responsible for a series of tasks versus team B works on this project. Each role calls for customized training since each team of employees experience their own set of vulnerabilities and cyber risks. Your capacity to manage and deploy awareness activities also needs to be determined. The acts of analyzing and planning take all these factors into consideration. In the recent online course, Raising Security Awareness Effectively, Terranova sheds light on the importance of these activities in designing effective programs. We ensure that you understand the many factors that make up your organization and that you prepare the right strategies to adapt to each one.

Successful security awareness training is a process, it happens overtime and requires continuous improvements

Terranova’s 5-Step ISA Framework is refreshingly progressive. Our past campaigns – 5,000 and counting – have shown that end users are important players in the effort of implementing an effective security awareness program. Consequently, training alone will not accomplish the goal. Your program is a reflection of your management’s level of engagement. The more executives and management express their engagement toward the program, the more likely that end users will reciprocate such enthusiasm.  Your program also requires strategic communication initiatives to engage end users prior to their ISA training. Interactive learning sessions need to be contextualized and presented accordingly. Employees need to understand why they are participating in such training, and they must also retain key information which they will later apply in their daily routine, work and home. Post-campaign, Terranova suggests making use of reinforcement material to remind end users of their responsibilities and their respective roles in safeguarding confidential information. Only a successful security awareness program will achieve such objectives. Analyzing and planning are deciding factors that allow you to understand your target audiences, and the strategies for optimal learning. After several campaigns or a change in business environment you may need to go back to analyze and plan to address new requirements and define new objectives.

Plan effectively. Set clear objectives. Get measurable results.

The actions of analyzing and planning quintessentially signify that you are mapping out the objectives of your ISA program with clear intentions to see positive results in your organization. Since a program typically involves a series of campaigns, each one destined to a respective audience, information security professionals need to consider multiple factors that determine the direction of one campaign versus another. In other words, you must set clear objectives according to the ISA program itself, the different target audiences, and individual campaigns. Start setting objectives by answering the following question: What key results do you wish to see post-training? The actions of analyzing and planning encourage you to answer the tough questions. Simple training does not do that. Prior to implementation, you need to build the overall architecture of your ISA program. Only when your objectives are clearly defined – according to the results you wish to achieve – can you begin building audience-specific campaigns. Your ISA program is as effective as its level of preparation.

A thorough plan for security awareness program implies that you have covered its actual structure and content; that you have considered the audiences implicated in the training; that you have made sure to include the right communication pre- and post-campaign; that you have identified suitable metrics; and that you are aligned to meet or surpass your objectives. Terranova accompanies you every step of the way so that you have on-going access to expert knowledge and step-by-step guidance. We plan because planning helps us know our context and subjects, as well as, anticipate potential challenges. Start planning. Be ready.