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How to Deploy an Effective Security Awareness Training Program in Schools‍

Sarah Beecham

Throughout my high school education, we had a recurring substitute teacher who seemed older than time and undoubtedly had more life experience than any student could imagine or appreciate. Throughout her time subbing, there was one thing you could count on her to repeat through every class you’d attend with her, Knowledge is Power. These words could hold little impact for teenagers, until we aligned what we were learning in history to the age of our wise substitute teacher. As an African American woman who lived through Jim Crow in the deep south and some of the most turbulent times in our nation, all while becoming a wife, mother, and the first college graduate in her lineage, she was the walking embodiment of the Power she firmly proclaimed. 

Drawing inspiration from this powerful lesson, I'm reminded of the incredible individuals in school systems – the unsung heroes who not only propel students to greater heights but also have the foresight to prepare for the future. And that's precisely why, when it comes to Security Awareness Training, we echo those wise words: Knowledge is Power.

At Hook Security, we witness schools and districts elevating their cybersecurity awareness game daily, empowering administrators, faculty, staff, and students to navigate the online world with confidence and coach them on recognizing and responding to cyber threats. If my sentiments seem to be too much, the reality is, with data privacy and cybersecurity laws evolving, embracing a security awareness training program becomes a strategic move to instill excellent cybersecurity habits and compliance needs. 

Let's delve into the realities of deploying a Security Awareness Training initiative in schools, offering recommendations to kickstart your security initiatives!

Time is Precious, Let’s Make the Most of It

In the hustle and bustle of school life, time is a precious commodity. Administrators, faculty, and staff often find a solution by incorporating Security Awareness Training into teacher workdays. With training courses spanning from 3 to 25 minutes, it's easy to dedicate a portion of a teacher workday to cybersecurity. For students, creativity takes the lead – from homerooms to tech classes, schools are finding innovative ways to deliver bite-sized training moments.

Why Are We Doing This, Again?

Understanding the "why" is key. Whether through our training notification ebook or a Welcome to Hook Video, providing clear communication helps participants grasp the importance of the training, fostering engagement and commitment.

To Phish or Not to Phish

Phishing simulations prove invaluable for training administrators, faculty, and staff, particularly when paired with Hook Security’s 60-90 second instant training moments. Real results, such as reduced clicks on phishing emails and increased reporting of suspicious emails and other positive security habits, highlight the effectiveness. However, it's important to note that phishing simulations are not recommended for students.

Engaging Content Makes It Easy

Whether using Hook Security’s learning management system or deploying SCORM content elsewhere, the focus is on engaging, short content. This not only ensures completion but also cultivates positive security cultures!

In the realm of education, where knowledge truly is power, Security Awareness Training emerges as the beacon guiding schools and districts towards a secure and empowered future. By embracing these initiatives, we equip our educational communities with the tools to navigate the digital landscape safely and confidently. Knowledge is not just power; it's the key to a resilient and secure educational environment!

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