In an incrеasingly intеrconnеctеd and digital world, thе nееd for robust cyber security measures has never been more critical.
And while deploying measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems are essential, it's equally vital to address one of the most potent aspects of security: human behavior. Why human behavior?
In 2023, a staggering 70% of data breaches had a human element involved, and phishing remains a significant threat, accounting for 1 in every 3 data breaches.
Employees are often the first line of defense against cyber threats, making cybersecurity awareness training an indispensable component of any organization's security strategy.
Join us on a journey through this crucial domain, where technology meets human vigilance to create a robust shield against the digital threats of our time.
Also Read: Best Antivirus Software
The criteria we used to select the best cybersecurity awareness training solutions
- User-friendliness: It’s important that all users find the software easy to use.
- Content quality and diversity: Effective content should be of high quality, up-to-date and relevant to the current threat landscape. It should also be diverse enough to cover a wide range of security topics, from phishing awareness to data protection and compliance.
- Customization and scalability: A good security awareness training software should allow customization to align with specific requirements. Scalability is equally crucial; the software should accommodate the organization's growth.
- Reporting and analytics: Robust reporting and analytics features are invaluable as these make it possible to measure the effectiveness of the security awareness training efforts.
- Integration capabilities: Effective security awareness training software should seamlessly integrate with other cybersecurity tools and systems within the organization.
Top security awareness training solutions
In an era where data breaches and cyber threats loom larger than ever, a proactive strategy to safeguard digital assets is critical. The cost of a data breach hit an all-time high in 2022, with an average of just under $4.35 million. Clearly, the task of defending systems is huge.
Shockingly, in 2020, only 1 in 9 businesses (11%) extended a cybersecurity awareness program to their non-cyber employees. Additionally, the rise of remote work has consequences, with 20% of organizations facing security threats that originate from their remote work systems.
According to IBM, phishing ranks as one of the most prevalent causes of data breaches, bearing the highest average remediation costs, totaling $4.91 million—these figures underscore the urgency of enhancing security awareness and preparedness in our digitally connected world.
Whether you are a multinational corporation or a small business, the right software can make all the difference in ensuring your employees become your most potent defense against cyber threats.
Let’s embark on this crucial exploration and discover the cutting-edge tools that fortify the ramparts of cybersecurity.
KnowBe4 is one of the global leaders in integrated security awareness training and simulated phishing platforms, boasting a remarkable customer base of over 65,000 satisfied clients.
Top features of KnowBe4
- Award-winning on-demand training: Engaging, interactive browser-based training, recognized for excellence.
- Extensive content library: Gain access to the world's largest collection of 1300+ security awareness training resources, including interactive modules, videos, games, posters, and newsletters.
- Optional learning: Encourage engagement through gamification, with leaderboards and badges, and AI-driven «recommended» content for a personalized training experience (exclusive to Diamond level).
- User-selected training: Enable users to self-select additional training content from the KnowBe4 ModStore through specific campaigns, further tailoring their learning journey.
What users particularly like about KnowBe4
Users like KnowBe4 training solution because it has engaging and interactive content. It is designed to be informative and enjoyable.
Pricing: Pricing for KnowBe4 entails a monthly subscription across four options namely Silver, Gold, Platinum, and diamond. Each of these options bears a different price, with Platinum being the highest.
Also Read: Quishing — The New Threat
2. Infosec IQ
Offering a vast library of over 2,000 training resources, InfoSec IQ ensures you have all the tools necessary to prepare your employees to identify, report, and thwart cybercrime.
Top features of Infosec IQ
- Phishing simulations: Conduct realistic phishing simulations to help users recognize and respond to phishing threats.
- Compliance training: Access a library of compliance-focused training content to ensure adherence to industry regulations and standards.
- Behavioral science approach: Utilize behavioral science principles to enhance training, fostering long-term behavioral change among users.
What users particularly like about Infosec IQ
Users like Infosec IQ due to its comprehensive library of customizable and interactive training content. This feature allows users to access a wide range of training materials and tailor them to their organization's specific needs.
Pricing: InfoSec IQ offers a subscription on three plans that include Standard, Enterprise, and InfoSec IQ + Skills.
Also Read: Shift-Left Security
3. Phin Security Awareness Training
Phin uses social engineering simulations across various communication channels and offers training that influences employee behavior. Their approach combines dynamic attack simulations with personalized, outcome-oriented employee training to create a more robust and impactful learning experience.
Top features of Phin Security Awareness Training
- Vast content library: The Phinsec platform hosts a vast array of licensed content, including over 100+ videos and continuously expanding resources.
- Compliance training: Phin Security offers compliance training on critical regulatory frameworks such as HIPAA, GDPR, PCI-DSS, and more.
- Engagement-optimized content duration: The content is structured to be between 5-10 minutes in length. This duration is strategically chosen to maintain high engagement levels among learners.
What users particularly like about Phin Security Awareness Training
One key aspect that users appreciate about Phin Security is its seamless and fully automated campaign delivery. The platform's ability to execute campaigns without requiring manual oversight of management saves time.
Pricing: In terms of pricing, Phin Security Awareness Training offers a monthly subscription.
Also Read: Red Teaming
4. Boxphish Security Awareness and Phishing Simulation
Boxphish is a streamlined, hands-on cybersecurity awareness training (cyber-SAT) platform. It has set the benchmark for a people-centric approach to cyber-SAT, emphasizing not only what it entails but also how to gauge its effectiveness.
Top features of Boxphish security Awareness and Phishing Simulation
- Phishing simulations: Boxphish offers phishing simulations to help users recognize and respond to phishing attacks.
- Interactive training modules: Offers training modules, which include interactive content designed to educate and engage users.
- Reporting and analytics: Comprehensive reporting and analytics tools provide insights into user progress and performance.
- Content library: A library of security awareness content covering various topics like phishing, social engineering, password security, compliance, and more.
What users particularly like about Boxphish security Awareness and Phishing Simulation
Users appreciate Boxphish because it is a user-friendly and intuitive platform. The ease of use and straightforward interface make it simple for administrators and learners to navigate the system.
Pricing: Boxphish has three plans; Boxphish sim, Boxphish professional, and Boxphish enterprise.
Also Read: Endpoint Security
5. Hook Security
Hook Security offers a comprehensive solution for automating security awareness training. It also engages and entertains employees along the way.
Top features of Hook Security
- Phishing testing: Automated monthly phishing simulations to assess users' responses and deliver Instant Training Moments to those who click on phishing attempts.
- Rich library: The training library includes Annual Training modules and monthly deep dives to establish baseline knowledge for employees.
- Automated, actionable reporting: Users benefit from automated reporting that provides real-time insights in an easily understandable format.
What users particularly like about Hook Security
One key aspect that users like about Hook Security's solution is its ability to provide real-time, automated, and actionable reporting. This feature allows organizations to monitor and assess their security awareness training efforts and track progress to identify areas of improvement.
Pricing: Pricing for Hook security features basic, standard, and enterprise plans each with different pricing.
Hoxhunt leverages a fusion of artificial intelligence and behavioral science to deliver personalized micro-training experiences. It collaborates with renowned firms such as Microsoft and Deloitte, solidifying its status as an industry leader in the realm of Human Risk Management.
Top features of Hoxhunt
- Phishing simulations: Hoxhunt offers up-to-date phishing simulations.
- Behavioral change: The platform uses behavioral science principles to foster real behavioral change among users.
- Micro-learning modules: Bite-sized, interactive training modules designed to keep users engaged while learning about various security topics.
- Automated incident remediation: This feature helps security operations teams to respond swiftly to security incidents.
- Analytics and reporting: Comprehensive reporting and analytics tools that provide insights into user performance and the effectiveness of the training program.
What users particularly like about Hoxhunt
Users often appreciate Hoxhunt's use of behavioral science principles to drive meaningful and lasting changes in users' cybersecurity awareness and behavior.
Pricing: Hoxhunt pricing varies depending on the number of employees in the organization.
Also Read: Dark Web Threats
Curricula offers a dynamic and unique approach that leverages storytelling to transform learning into a gamified experience. It's available for FREE for organizations with up to 1,000 employees..
The training content spans a wide array of critical topics, encompassing privacy, ransomware, phishing, PCI compliance, GDPR, social engineering, password security, and much more.
Top features of Curricula
- Storytelling approach: Curricula uses storytelling to gamify the learning experience. Users engage with security content in a narrative format, making the training more enjoyable and memorable.
- Phishing simulations: The platform offers phishing simulations to help users recognize and respond to phishing attacks.
- Integration capabilities: Easy integration with other security tools or systems.
What users particularly like about Curricula
Curricula's security awareness solution offers a free plan for up to 1,000 employees. This option allows budget-conscious organizations to access quality training without incurring additional costs.
Pricing: Curricular offers three plans; free starter pack, professional, and enterprises/MSP with different prices.
8. Barracuda Security
Barracuda Security Awareness Training provides a robust platform focused on educating and empowering organizations with comprehensive cybersecurity knowledge.
Top features of Barracuda Security
- User-behavior metrics: Barracuda captures user behavior metrics, which include how individuals interact with the training program.
- Detailed trend analytics: The platform offers detailed analytics that enables organizations to track changes in user behavior and awareness over time.
- Benchmarking statistics: Barracuda's benchmarking statistics allow organizations to compare their cybersecurity awareness and training performance against industry benchmarks or peer organizations.
- Customizable reports and dashboards: The platform provides customizable reports and dashboards that allow organizations to tailor their analytics to their specific needs.
What users particularly like about Barracuda Security
Comprehensive and easy-to-understand insights into an organization's cybersecurity awareness program.
Pricing: Barracuda has different plans that include advanced, premium, and premium plus.
MetaCompliance Security Awareness Training elevates awareness of cyber threats, mitigates the risks related to cyberattacks, and instills a culture of compliance with security measures. It offers a robust set of features designed to enhance cybersecurity awareness and compliance within organizations.
Top features of MetaCompliance
- Forms-based authentication for non-network users: MetaCompliance provides forms-based authentication to include non-network users. This allows external stakeholders, such as contractors, to participate.
- Hosted in Microsoft Azure: The platform is hosted in Microsoft Azure, a trusted and secure cloud environment.
- Single Sign-On (SSO): MetaCompliance offers Single Sign-On functionality. Users can securely log in once and access the training resources without the need for multiple sets of credentials.
What users particularly like about MetaCompliance
Users appreciate Metacompliance for the simplified policy participation and attestation through the Policy Management Lite feature.
Pricing: MetaCompliance offers a subscription pricing model
Proofpoint Security Awareness adopts a threat intelligence-driven approach to education. Their Security Awareness solution harnesses well-established learning principles to induce behavioral shifts, optimize knowledge retention, and cultivate enduring security practices that extend to individuals' personal lives.
Top features of Proofpoint
- Knowledge and culture assessments: Proofpoint provides organizations with a precise understanding of their employees' knowledge, identify gaps in knowledge, and gauge overall security-related sentiments.
- Phishing simulation templates: Phishing simulation templates are drawn from real-world attack scenarios. These templates empower learners with insights into recognizing and thwarting imminent threats.
- Adaptive learning framework: The platform employs an adaptive learning framework that incorporates an extensive library of over 600 learning modules.
- PhishAlarm email report button: This user-driven reporting feature reinforces behavior change by encouraging users to report suspicious emails promptly.
- CISO dashboard and pre-built reports: The CISO Dashboard and pre-built reports provide administrators a clear means of benchmarking the program's effectiveness against industry peers.
What users particularly like about Proofpoint
One key strength that users like about Proofpoint is its robust and data-driven approach to cyber security awareness. The platform's ability to provide in-depth insights into employee knowledge, sentiment, and engagement allows organizations to tailor their awareness programs effectively.
Pricing: Proofpoint offers an annual subscription and the price varies with the number of employees in the organization.
11. Hacker Rangers Security Awareness
Hacker Rangers introduced a fully gamified platform for security awareness training. Through gamification, the process of educating employees is transformed into an engaging and enjoyable endeavor.
Top features of Hacker Rangers Security Awareness
- Nano-learning methodology: This methodology allows employees to quickly grasp the essentials of recognizing phishing messages, social engineering tactics, and various cyber threats.
- Concise and focused lessons: The platform provides meticulously crafted lessons that prioritize brevity and clarity.
- Variety of resources: It offers a variety of resources including multimedia to cater for diverse learning styles and preferences.
- Recognition of phishing messages: Through interactive content, employees learn to identify the subtle indicators of phishing attempts, which reduces the likelihood of falling victim to such attacks.
- Social engineering awareness: The training content educates employees about various social engineering techniques, helping them become more vigilant against manipulative tactics.
What users particularly like about Hacker Rangers Security Awareness
Users like Proofpoint Security Awareness Training for its engaging and interactive approach to cybersecurity education. The platform's use of multimedia elements, bite-sized lessons, and interactive content makes the learning experience enjoyable.
Pricing: Hacker Rangers has a monthly subscription on four plans that include Business, Starter, Premium, and Elite.
12. NINJIO Security Awareness
NINJIO reduces cybersecurity risks associated with human factors by offering engaging training, tailored testing, and comprehensive reporting. At the core of their approach is the exclusive NINJIO Risk Algorithm™, which evaluates users' susceptibility to social engineering by analyzing data from phishing simulations.
Top features of NINJIO Security Awareness
- Behavioral science-driven training: NINJIO's training leverages behavioral science principles to create individualized micro-learning experiences.
- Micro-learning modules: The platform offers micro-learning modules, ensuring that training content is short and focused.
- Realistic scenario-based content: NINJIO's training content draws from real-world scenarios, allowing users to understand and relate to the cybersecurity threats.
- Automated incident remediation: This feature enables organizations to respond rapidly to potential security incidents, even with limited resources.
- AI-powered risk identification: NINJIO's proprietary NINJIO Risk Algorithm™ identifies users' social engineering vulnerabilities based on phishing simulation data.
What users particularly like about NINJIO Security Awareness
Users appreciate the real-world scenarios and narrative-driven content that makes cybersecurity education captivating, relatable, and memorable for users.
Pricing: NINJIO offers three free episodes, and you can request pricing details for advanced usage beyond the free offer.
Common mistakes to avoid during Security Awareness Training
- Lack of customization: One-size-fits-all training programs often fall short. Failing to customize the training content to the specific needs and risk profile of your organization can result in disengaged employees.
- Neglecting regular updates: Cyber threats evolve rapidly. Failing to update training content and methods regularly can lead to employees being ill-prepared for current threats.
- Overloading with Information: Bombarding employees with too much information can be counterproductive.
- Ignoring feedback and evaluation: It's essential to gather feedback and evaluate the effectiveness of the tools you use.
Free vs paid security awareness training solutions
Often, you might want to make a choice between paid and free cybersecurity awareness training solutions. This choice should be based on your organization's requirements and risk tolerance.
While free solutions can offer a starting point, paid options often provide superior quality, customization, scalability, and support.
Once more, it's important that we underscore the crucial role of cybersecurity awareness training. An often underestimated benefit is that this training develops organization-wide cybersecurity expertise.
It is highly advantageous to equip as many employees as possible with the skills required to prevent or even respond to cyber threats. Conversely, if only the security teams possess these vital skills, the organization becomes vulnerable in the event of their sudden departure or unavailability.