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4 tips to make use of Wannacry in awareness programmes

Ira Winkler | July 13, 2017
When security events make news, you can take advantage of the wake-up call — if you know what to do.


Putting it to use

Once you have the points you want to focus on, you then have to determine the best way to promote those points. There are three steps to changing user behavior: Make them aware of the problem, make them aware of the solution to the problem, and motivate them to implement the solution. Motivation is the most critical step.

When you have an incident of some form that is a news headline, it is providing more motivation than you can hope for. Rarely do news stories focus on the simple solutions. They focus on the scary problem. That is incredible motivation that you need to build upon.

It is then time to figure out what communication methods are available to you and will be the most effective. As the news reports are timely and likely short lived, it is important to reach out as quickly as possible. If there are common landing pages on intranets, you should consider making use of them. If there are newsletters that are actually read by users, attempt to get content into them. If people will read email blasts, try to send out such a blast.

The goal is to improve user awareness and, ultimately, change user behavior by taking advantage of the hype created by security related events. Every security awareness program should be proactive in making the most out of learning opportunities with focused efforts that provide motivation, especially when those opportunities are being promoted by the news media. It's time to stop hitting the snooze button on these wake-up calls.


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