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Prevent Security Training Burnout 

Prevent Security Training Burnout

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As a business professional, you understand the importance of security training and testing. But what happens when training causes employees to feel burnt out? Clearly, the effect of the training will be lost. So, what exactly is burnout, and how can we combat it in our security training?

Psychology Today states that burnout is “a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress.” Often it is brought on by work, though other things can cause it as well, such as training or home life. Burnout is something we certainly don’t want our employees to feel. Before we can combat it, however, we need to understand what can cause burnout.

Prevent Security Training Burnout

Causes of Burnout

The first area we are going to look at is workload. Having a workload that matches your capacity is vital. When that isn’t the case, being overworked can cause burnout. This is important to consider when deciding on your security training because you don’t want to add too much time to your employee’s workday. You want quick, efficient, and effective training. Training that will stick in their mind without taking up too much of their day.

Feeling like you’re not in control can also cause burnout. To combat this, you want your security training to put your employees in the driver’s seat, so to speak. You need training that gives them the power to decide and control the outcome. For example, you can test them with live vishing. This real time conversation helps them to not only receive a proper education on what vishing is, but also allows them the opportunity to shut the call down in a professional manner. Do your best to let your employees know that their power is in their hands, they are able to shut down calls if it feels phishy.

An article on burnout states “If the extrinsic and intrinsic rewards for your job don’t match the amount of effort and time you put into them, then you’re likely to feel like the investment is not worth the payoff.” We need to ensure that the reward for security training matches the effort your employees put into it.
Preventing Security Training Burnout

Prevent Burnout with Dynamic Training

While it sounds like a tall order, the solution to preventing burnout with security training is quite simple; you need to provide dynamic, straightforward training that gets your employees involved. The most effective security training is one that focuses on training employees in a manner that tests them in the most realistic setting possible.

For example, if you are testing on phishing, you want to match the testing emails content with content that mirrors real attacks. Because we are not real malicious attackers, you also want to focus on not using negative emotions to influence your employees to act. You would avoid using intense fear, greed, or other negative emotions in your security training. If testing on vishing, you want your testing to be as close to real attacks as possible. This means real callers, with dynamic conversations rather than a script or robocalls. The same goes for SMiShing and onsite training/testing. You want to test your employees in the most realistic way while still leaving them feeling better about having been tested.

Social-Engineer, LLC provides safe, dynamic security training. When looking for a security training company, be sure to do your research! To make your training the most effective it is vital that this training does not cause burnout. Remember, the most important thing is your employees’, and your company’s, safety. In line with this, choose a company whose values align with yours and you will be sure to be successful.

Written by: Shelby Dacko

At Social Engineer LLC, our purpose is to provide dynamic testing and training that involves your employees. For a detailed list of our services and how we can help you achieve your information/cybersecurity goals please visit:


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