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Gamification as the future of cybersecurity training

Threats to cybersecurity are getting more sophisticated and organisations are faced with daily challenges that require their cybersecurity defences to step up. The landscape is constantly evolving and analysis of the current picture and preparation are essential to battle these threats. Cybersecurity organisations need to identify the challenges and the right strategies to combat these threats. But how to do this?

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Keeping employees engaged is key

One key aspect is to have the right people at the front lines of this battle, yet the shortage of skilled cybersecurity employees is a big challenges for the industry. According to research, 80% of organisations have difficulties finding the right people. And 68% of these groups stated that skills shortage is affecting their operations. Hiring more people to battle cyber threats isn’t always the answer, instead keeping the talented ones is.

Attracting qualified individuals is the first step; retaining them is another story. Assuring job satisfaction is essential to reduce attrition because improvement in retention rates directly affects the performance of cybersecurity organisations.

The top reasons factors cybersecurity employees leave are:

  • Not getting proper compensation

  • Lack of growth

  • Unable to work remotely

  • Lack of enjoyment from cybersecurity activities

Organisations need to act on these challenges in order to improve employee retention. In fact, a survey done by McAfee, a leading cyber security software company, shows that employees find enjoy activities such as threat hunting, threat prevention, and resolving threats. On the other hand, employees find little to no enjoyment working on daily log monitoring and enforcement of company policies. Giving employees a sense of fulfillment will keep them motivated and happy.

Putting gamification in the picture

Gamification has been shown to increase job satisfaction for cybersecurity professionals. According to McAfee’s survey, 80% of unhappy employees don’t engage in games that would make their jobs more exciting. A whopping 96% of organisations that use gamification are benefiting from it. Gamification gives organisations knowledge on how breaches are done, proper prevention, and actions to take when an attack occurs.

The future of cybersecurity is gamified

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Gamers are considered by many as the future of cyber threat hunting, with 78% of cybersecurity professionals say that the strong candidates entering the workforce grew up playing video games. Some of the skills that gamers bring to the table are perseverance, understanding the right approach, logic, and a fresh outlook on cybersecurity defense - all critical thinking skills needed for this job.

This comes from the gamer’s experience playing video games, where players are required to search for clues, tools, and weapons and make strategic and tactical decisions.This nature of video games helps gamers develop the very skills to combat cyber threats, and could be just the capability that cybersecurity organisations need to bridge the skill gap.

The changing landscape of cybersecurity is challenging organisations to focus on creating more engaging workplace environments and changing what they look for in their candidates, with game skills and gamified work environments being a key part of this change.

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