Congratulations! If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably selected your application security training product and are now ready to roll out your security training program.
But do you actually have everything you need for successfully rolling out your security training program?
To ensure that your investment in security training gives your organization the best return, organizations like yours need to balance a formula for success. Take the time to map out how people, processes and technology will come together for the successful rollout of your security training program.
When you’ve finished reading this, you will better understand how you can set yourself up for success and get a great return on your investments in security training.
Start with a clear view of your training landscape. You need to be aware of common blockers to successfully execute training programs and how to work through and around them.
A) Champion Change
- Naysayers and resistors can adversely influence your training culture. Make sure you have alignment across your organization that learning, and especially secure development training, is integral to your company culture. You can be severely blocked if there is negativity towards the pursuit of new knowledge and a mindset of learning.
You need to champion change in your organization. Champions for security training will influence your team to embrace mandated training and the necessary security learning. Identify those who understand the value of training, particularly of security knowledge and, practices and empower them to build up those who would evangelize and encourage teammates, direct reports, and peers.
It’s important to have champions at various levels within your organization to ensure that the support for your program is multi-directional. You may benefit from formally identifying these champions in internal communications to share with the wider team whom they can look to for support. When learners in your organization see executives and leaders champion training, they will realize how training is prioritized. Seeing managers champion learning and support their direct reports with check-ins, as well as allocating and enforcing training time, will help learners feel that their managers are walking the talk and respecting the importance of training to how they get their work done. Realize the value of people to the formula for successful security training!
B) Dispel Discouragement
- Imagine the negativity that can be internal to a learner. Picture them spiraling because they are overwhelmed by the volume of what they think they need to know and because they feel like they don’t have enough time to learn it all before everything changes and they need to learn new standards, frameworks and, requirements.
Now, think about your development organization. Your developers are not security experts. They likely received very little formal security training, and they just want Application Security experts (if they have access to them) to tell them only what they need to know to be able to exit their builds and sprints, having fulfilled security requirements. On the flip side, Application Security experts could probably appreciate having an extension of their team to stay on top of everything that’s changing as frameworks get updated, as relevant standards get established and as new ways to defend are discovered. How do you keep such stakeholders encouraged about their learning activities?
Dispel discouragement in your development organization. Get ahead of learner’s overwhelm. Show them that you, as the Learning Program Manager, will balance the information they need to know with the time they need to learn it, so they can still do their jobs well. Have clear objectives and curated learning paths, so that you can separate what is absolutely necessary from what is optional. This may even give your learners space to get excited about expanding their knowledge base beyond the minimum requirements. Encourage your learners by helping them stay motivated. Remind them they are going to only work on what’s absolutely necessary and they will have enough time and support to meet their security training objectives. Your training provider may even offer support activities that contribute to measurable and repeatable success with adoption, completions and engagement. Don’t forget to leverage them as a resource in preventing learner overwhelm with activities like curating learning paths, setting learning objectives, creating transparency and accountability with user reporting and learner reminders, just to name a few.
C) Enable Engagement
- Let’s picture your team already being intrinsically motivated to learn. They understand that security is a priority for your organization and know how they must achieve secure software development by completing their training. You, however, shouldn’t underestimate the importance of appeal and incentive to successfully roll out your security training program.
Unblock apathy to training with techniques that enable engagement. Do external incentives appeal to your learners? Plan contests and rewards for learning achievements. You’ll encourage friendly competition, accountability for completing mandated learning objectives, and pride in their security training achievements. Establish processes to help you execute your training program and provide additional support for your learners.
Be prepared for better security training program adoption. Plan for measurable success that will put your team on a better path for establishing secure development knowledge and delivering applications users will trust. Work your formula for success, have the right people in place + processes that work + the right technology and content for security training your team can use and apply for securing your software development lifecycle.
At Security Compass, we understand the importance of providing effective and efficient application security training solutions that can help organizations achieve their security objectives. If you are looking for comprehensive and customizable training programs for your team, visit our Application Security Training page and see how we can help you improve your security posture today. Take action now and invest in the future of your organization’s security!
Author Bio: ISABELA P. AUREUS
Isabela is a Product Marketing Manager at Security Compass, focused primarily on Application Security Training. Among the many hats she’s worn in her creative and strategic marketing tenure, Isabela has also written content about secure development training, retail customer engagement, customer experience, and loyalty marketing.