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Put Employee Privacy First: The Benefits of Anonymous Learning

Psychologically Safe Security Training

A psychologically safe security awareness program results in better training outcomes, a stronger employer brand and culture, and less risk to your employees and your organization.

Why Employee Privacy Matters in Security Training

Privacy is a fundamental right that should be built into all services by default. This is especially true in security and privacy training. Traditional "human risk management" platforms force employees to accept lengthy privacy notices that allow both the employer and the platform vendor (and potentially other third parties) to know their weaknesses and risk profile them using AI algorithms. This puts employees at risk, as their personal information and vulnerabilities can be leaked or even stolen. Attackers can then use this information to create targeted attacks.

By putting employee privacy first, we ensure that their personal information remains confidential. This not only protects their privacy, but also reduces the risk of data breaches and potential harm to both employees and the organization. It sends a strong and consistent message: data security and privacy matter because they protect people. That is why we also want you to be protected at work.

In addition, maximizing employee privacy in security training builds trust and demonstrates that the employer values the rights and safety of their employees. This blog post explains how this has a positive impact on learning and organizational culture.

The Risks of Traditional "Human Risk Management" Security Training

Traditional security training methods that emphasize "human risk management" can pose significant risks to employee privacy. These methods often involve collecting detailed individual training results, monitoring employees' devices and online behavior, and assigning risk scores based on their activities.

The problem with this approach is that it invades employees' privacy and exposes them to potential harm. In today's hybrid work environment, this invasion of privacy can even extend to personal devices and networks. If these training records and risk assessments are leaked, attackers can gain access to sensitive information about employees' weaknesses, preferences, and interests. This puts both employees and the organization at greater risk of targeted attacks and data breaches.

In addition, this type of training can create a hostile work environment where employees feel constantly monitored, tested and judged. This can negatively impact their well-being and hinder their ability to focus on learning and improving their security skills. They may become so fearful that they, for instance, avoid clicking on links they receive, even when the links are legitimate and opening them would be necessary for work.

Benefits of Psychologically Safe Security Training

Anonymous learning offers several benefits compared to traditional methods that prioritize human risk management. By enabling psychologically safe and anonymous learning, employees can focus on learning without the fear of being judged or their mistakes being seen by others.

This approach also promotes a culture of trust and openness within the organization. When employees have control over their training scores and the option to publish their completion when they are ready to do so, they are more likely to engage in the training and take ownership of their learning journey.

Furthermore, anonymous security training contributes to a stronger company culture and employer brand. It sends a message to employees that their privacy is valued and respected, which can enhance the organization's reputation as an employer of choice.

Implementing Privacy-first Security Training

Implementing privacy-first security training requires a shift in mindset and the adoption of suitable tools and platforms. Here are some key considerations for implementing modern, psychologically safe security training:

  • Choose a training platform that maximizes employee privacy and allows for anonymous learning. Look for platforms that clearly communicate to employees how their personal information will be used. Also consider how much employee learning data you want to share outside your organization. With CyberCoach, you can implement a complete role-based training program without sharing any identifiable personal information about your employees outside your organization.
  • Communicate the importance of employee privacy and the benefits of anonymous learning to all stakeholders. This includes employees, managers, and executives who may have concerns about sufficient compliance reporting.
  • Regularly assess the effectiveness of your security training program and gather (also anonymous) feedback from employees. This will help identify areas for improvement and ensure that the training remains relevant and engaging. CyberCoach makes it really easy for employees to provide anonymous feedback.

Do you want to be the employer who monitors and controls, or the one who supports learning? 

In conclusion, prioritizing employee privacy in security training is not only the ethical thing to do, but it also leads to better training motivation and results. By minimizing personal information and monitoring, organizations signal that they truly want to put their employees first. Employees who feel trusted and protected are more motivated to do their best to protect their organization.


Try anonymous learning with CyberCoach for free.