Cyber security gamification has been a hot topic for IT and security professionals. Many companies have embraced it, while others are waiting it out to see if it’s just another trend. With all the new technology constantly coming and going, it can be hard to decipher what is good to invest in. 

Did you know?: Most new RFP requirements for large security awareness solution procurements are now calling for “gamification” elements to improve employee engagement.

As a cyber security professional of over 20 years, let me give you my opinion: Traditional training methods aren’t cutting it. They are often disengaging and ineffective, leaving your organization vulnerable to attacks. Things need to change. That’s where gamification comes in, and this is why it’s important to stay up to date on advancements that combine cyber security and corporate learning.

By gamifying your cyber security training, you can increase employee engagement and change the security culture within your organization. Let’s explore why these are important to your business and what you can use to sell gamification to your board:

What is cyber security gamification?

Gamification of cyber security is the application of game mechanics and principles to cyber security training programs. These programs often include interactive simulations, scenarios, fictional case studies, and real-time feedback. The main goal is to turn cyber security training into a game with measurable achievements and rewards.

An important thing to note is that gamification can be different depending on your organization. Some companies with a positive security culture or a competitive nature may opt to have a leaderboard and challenges for their employees.

Cyber security gamification

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However, others may argue that their employees aren’t “gamers”. In this case, using a Gamified Learning Experience will still help increase your employees’ engagement. It makes their current training less boring without forcing them to compete against their colleagues. Even though it doesn’t have a “winner” like typical games, this is still considered gamified learning.

Cyber security gamifcation screenshot

Click Armor allows organizations to choose to utilize a leaderboard or focus on a Gamified Learning Experience depending on their current cyber security culture. Book a call with us here to learn more.

What are the benefits of gamified cyber security?

Increased employee engagement

Engagement is the key benefit of implementing gamification into your cyber security awareness program. Animations and tasks that challenge a user’s brain will increase the time each employee spends on your training. The more time they pay attention to your training and are engaged, the more likely they will learn something they didn’t already know. The more they know, the better protected your business is. 

Gamification also allows you to set up two common fixes to low employee engagement: continuous/shorter training and positive incentives. Gamified training is typically shorter than module training and can be done weekly instead of all at once. By shortening training time, employees will find it easier to fit into their schedule. 

Gamification also allows you to implement positive incentives using leaderboards or business process gamification. Leaderboards can show the employees who have done the best in one challenge, creating a friendly competition between your employees to see who receives the top prize. Business process gamification is similar to the “___days since our last injury” signs you’ve seen, but instead is worded like “____ phishing emails caught”. Once you reach a certain number, you can reward your team. 

Why does employee engagement matter? Not only is it a factor that your C-levels look at, but it also protects your business. You can implement all the training you want, but it won’t work if your employees aren’t engaged. 

An extra bonus: If you can prove that your employees take cyber security seriously (with high employee engagement rates), many insurance providers will offer reduced premiums and discounts, so you’ll save money, too. 

Positive cyber security culture

Cyber security gamification creates a safe environment for employees to learn from their mistakes without being shamed. Live phishing tests create a “gotchya!” culture leaving your employees scared to make mistakes or ask questions. 

When employees feel less pressured to do right or wrong, they are more willing to talk and learn about cyber security. They are more likely to take a proactive approach to cyber security if they feel empowered and supported. If it’s a dark subject that they feel shamed for, they’ll avoid it at all costs and you’ll find low employee engagement as a result. 

Having a positive security culture will make implementing any type of training or tests easier. Your employees will be more accepting and they will learn faster, protecting your business even better. They’ll also keep security measures at top of their minds instead of it being something they avoid. 

Saves time 

Gamification reduces the wasted time for your employees and for you. By shortening the overall training time, employees will have more time to spend on their main tasks. 

It also gives you time back. Other tests like live phishing tests take much longer to set up. For example, if you are setting up a live phishing test you then have to reach out to anyone that clicked on the link after and find the proper training they need to do if they fell for the spam link, ensure you have the proper permission to be impersonating an entity, and fine-tune the difficulty to your messages. 

Unlike live phishing tests, gamified training gives immediate feedback and correction to your employees. It also has all the information and procedures you’ll need in one space. 

How to convince your board to implement gamified training

Now that you’re convinced, how do you sell it to your board? It’s hard enough to sell regular security expenses, a “game” might be the hardest yet. But, not if you have the proof you need to show them how successful interactive training truly is. 

The first step to selling your C-Levels on interactive training is to bring them real life cases of their competitors or look-alike businesses using the training and being successful. Statistics and reports will also help, like this study that found that 88% of employees said they would be more productive if their work was interactive or our free whitepaper on gamified training

Reporting on your current security situation can also help motivate your board. Look to answer these questions in your report: 

  • What is our current employee engagement rate?
  • What is our current phishing test failure rate?
  • How does this compare to other averages?
  • What could a cyber attack cost our business?

Lastly, if you need more help gaining your CEO’s approval you can bring in a third party. My team at Click Armor regularly helps IT and cyber security directors meet with their boards to discuss the importance of gamified training. You can book a call with us here.

If you choose to gamify your cyber security training, you’ll increase your employee engagement, create a more positive cyber security culture, reduce pressure on employees, and save time. However, to convince your board to invest in gamification, you need to provide a compelling business case that includes ROI, and cost-effectiveness compared with traditional training methods. With gamification, you can begin creating a culture of security within your organization that is more effective, efficient, and engaging.


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.