It’s hard to change behavior without knowing how to properly measure it.

Using a single input such as asking people their opinions, or registering a click on a “live phishing simulation” is problematic because…


1. People may only tell you what you wanted to hear.
2. If they have violated policies, they may not submit a response
3. Surveys don’t leave room for “explanations” of decisions

As Kai Roer and Perry Carpenter point out in The Security Culture Playbook, it’s better to ask people about “activity they have seen”.

This will help you get a more accurate picture of the behaviors within your organization.

The book does a good job reminding us to make sure we have context for measurements and observations made on culture. You need multiple inputs from questionnaires, observations, experiments and “attack resistance exercises”.

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Live phishing simulations are attack resistance exercises, as are “virtual inbox phishing simulations”. Any one of these inputs used in assessing culture can have large variations or biases.

Getting multiple data points from multiple types of inputs is key.


Scott Wright is CEO of Click Armor, the gamified simulation platform that helps businesses avoid breaches by engaging employees to improve their proficiency in making decisions for cyber security risk and corporate compliance. He has over 20 years of cyber security coaching experience and was creator of the Honey Stick Project for Smartphones as a demonstration in measuring human vulnerabilities.