Protect you and your team today

2,000 cyber attacks are launched every day. Do you know how to defend yourself? Motimate’s new five-part interactive cyber security course arms your workforce with the knowledge to protect your business all-year-round.

Be honest: if you were to take your driving test tomorrow, would you pass?

It’s fair to say that most people would fail. Even if they wouldn’t admit it themselves. Remembering all of those details you needed to pass is tricky.

In the United Kingdom, as many as a million people have a driving license but little to no experience of being behind the wheel. Yet very few take refresher courses to brush up on their skills before hitting the road in a machine that kills millions every year.

Driving tests are designed to ensure the highest levels of competency and, crucially, safety. Without regular top-ups it’s easy to forget not only the skills and lessons learned, but the risks too.

The same applies, though in a more abstract sense, to cyber security: most of us know how to use a computer, and we’ve all been taught the safety fundamentals, but how many of us still ‘mirror, signal, manoeuvre’ every time we’re in front of a screen?

Abstract threats, very real risks

Cyber security and data protection can be complex, technical things to get your head around. They can also be pretty dry. And because the threat posed by cyber crime is fairly abstract, it’s easy to lose sight of the risks associated with logging on. 

But while the threat may be abstract, the costs to business are anything but: global losses from cyber crime tipped over $1 trillion last year, and that’s a figure that’s only going to grow. 

Clearly it’s important for everybody – and that means everybody, not just IT staff – to keep their security skills sharp. 

But with a less-than-stimulating subject, it can be difficult to engage employees and ensure they stay learning.

So how do you get around this problem? How can you transform regular learning and good cyber hygiene into habits, not chores?

“When the fun stops, learning stops too”

A growing field of psychologists and educators believe that fun and social interaction have an important role to play in successful learning. 

This belief is well established in schools and kindergartens, where play is considered a core component of learning. Increasingly, the same principle is being applied to adult education – a trickier task, given adults’ brains are less ‘spongy’ than children’s. 

Neurologist and educator Dr Judy Willis has studied the impact that fun has on learning. Her research has shown that chemicals released in the brain when people are enjoying themselves, particularly dopamine, can enhance the brain’s memory centres and improve focus.

In fact, Dr Willis goes as far as to say that “brain research tells us that when the fun stops, learning often stops too.”

This theory has come in particularly useful for teachers of statistics – a subject that, for all but a few, can be incredibly dry. In 2017, researchers discovered that using humour as a teaching aid can particularly improve engagement among people who “hold negative attitudes towards the subject.” 

Incorporating interactive elements can have a significant influence too. Lego has developed its own ‘Serious Play’ programme on this principle, using the famous plastic bricks as a basis for management training and team building, among other things.

It doesn’t take a huge logical leap to see how these approaches could be used to help keep staff on top of their cyber responsibilities.

Keep it real

Good learning makes good habits. 

But if employees are to stay engaged, they’ll need to be enjoying themselves and seeing their progress. 

Otherwise, it’s all too easy for the dangers of cyber crime to slip back into the abstract. The cost of which, is more than most business can afford to bear.