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KONOT improves security awareness among teachers with Guardey

KONOT is a foundation that offers education at 22 primary schools in The Netherlands. The schools are spread throughout Dinkelland, Oldenzaal, and Losser. We spoke to Martijn Keur and Frieda uit het Broek, both IT policy officers, about how they implemented Guardey to improve the security awareness of their employees.

Challenge: improve the security awareness across 22 primary schools

“To us, the main goal of security awareness training is creating an understanding that people have a lot of influence on security. No matter how well we set up everything from a technical standpoint, human actions such as clicking the wrong link still form the biggest risk,” says Martijn.

When GDPR first came into effect, KONOT appointed GDPR coordinators across their organization. One of the first actions they took was spreading posters throughout the school. “After a while, those posters become wallpaper and people stop consciously seeing it. Keeping everybody aware of their role in security is a challenge,” says Frieda.

In the recent past, KONOT has dealt with multiple cyber crime attempts. Frieda: “We’ve witnessed CEO fraud, where employees got a fake email from someone pretending to be the head of one of ours schools. Another colleague noticed that a lot of emails were being sent from her account that she didn’t know about. We share these cases internally to prove that training security awareness is important, even for us.”

Solution: regular micro-challenges that fit the teachers’ busy schedules

KONOT first tested Guardey’s gamified security awareness training solution during a pilot and quickly decided it would be the right fit for their organization. Frieda: “Guardey doesn’t require a lot of time investment from users. That was something we strictly looked at, because many of the employees already have full calendars. One Guardey challenge really takes no more than 5 minutes.”

To carefully introduce Guardey to the GDPR coordinators, they first set up a phishing campaign with the Guardey team. Next, they set up a presentation with an ethical hacker who came to talk about the results of the campaign and explained more about how cybercriminals work.

Currently, the GDPR coordinators are playing a Guardey challenge every week. The challenges take 3 minutes to complete and teach them all about the most relevant cyber threats to their organization. In a leaderboard, they can see how they are performing compared to their colleagues, which creates a sense of friendly competition.

The Guardey leaderboard

Result: positive feedback from the GDPR coordinators

KONOT has recently rolled out Guardey, and the first feedback is now coming in from the users. “The first feedback that we have received is enthusiastic. Guardey made them real competitive, which is a good sign,” says Martijn. “It’s very accessible, which I appreciate. A small few were less excited about the concept of training awareness before we started, but we will evaluate with them soon.” Frieda continues: “I’m not a gamer at all, but I also noticed I kept taking on new challenges. It’s really easy to get through the questions.”

After the summer holiday ends and the schools start back up, KONOT will start using Guardey’s brand-new education program. “I’m happy we can get started with that soon. The aim is to make the training even more relevant to the daily work of a teacher at a primary school,” says Martijn.

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