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Security awareness training costs explained (+ affordable options)

Pim de Vos Marketing Manager

If you’ve been looking into different vendors for security awareness training, you may have noticed it can be complex to find the answer to one question:

What will security awareness training cost my organization?

Many websites will tell you all about their product and its features but say nothing about pricing. The goal is to get you into a sales call before you even know if the product will ever fit your budget.

In this article, we’re pulling back the curtains and share all you need to know about the costs of security awareness training. We’ll also share some affordable (and even free!) options at the end.

What are the average costs of security awareness training?

This questions gets asked a lot. The only honest answer is: it depends.

Every vendor has its own way of putting together pricing for customers. They often have one thing in common: you pay a monthly or yearly fee per user. Overall, we’ve seen prices range from about 2 to 5 euros per user, but the ‘cheapest’ options often come with a lot of hidden costs (more on that later).

Some vendors keep it at that, but others make it more complicated. Some only offer a total product, that may include phishing simulations and other features beside just security awareness training. They will offer no way to just get the training, which runs up the price — even if you don’t plan on using any of the extra features.

But most vendors simply don’t share their pricing at all. If you want to learn about it, you’ll first have to fill in a long form, request a demo and only then will you learn about pricing. This makes it hard to negotiate as a customer — simply because you have no idea if the offer you are getting is even remotely fair.

Hidden costs of cyber security awareness training vendors

Acquiring new business software often comes with a lot of hidden costs. With a seemingly straight-forward product such as online training this wouldn’t have to be the case, but vendors still try.

Below, you’ll find some hidden costs to be aware of before acquiring any security awareness training solution.

Set-up costs

As you may know, a lot of business software takes a lot of time to set up, especially for larger organizations. That’s why when these organizations hear about set-up costs, they’re not shocked and don’t second-guess it.

But in most cases, security awareness training software doesn’t require a lot of set up time. With the right solution, all you need is to add your employees to the account and get going.

Custom content

Every organization has a security policy with its own specific rules. Company A may require passwords to be 10 characters long, company B may require a password to be 12 characters long. That’s why it’s often needed to customize training content to fit your policy.

With a solution like Guardey, there are no extra costs involved in this. But some other vendors ask for an extra fee when content needs to be optimized.

Personnel costs

Most large businesses have a CRM manager to manage the CRM software. Some security awareness training solutions also require an FTE.

With Guardey, your employees automatically get regular micro-learnings. But other solutions offer a wide range of content that you need to sift through and create your own training program with. This may be just fine if you have a well-staffed cybersecurity team or are willing to hire a specific person for this job, but if you don’t — but if not, choose wisely.

3 affordable and free security awareness training solutions

1. Guardey

Guardey is a security awareness training solution that uses gamification to keep users engaged. With weekly micro-challenges that take three minutes to complete, users learn about cyber threats like phishing, malware, and deepfakes.

On the leaderboard, colleagues can see who is performing best in the challenges, which adds a fun competitive element to it.

In weekly reports and an in-depth analytics section, you can monitor the training progress of your team. The reports are helpful when you need to prove compliance with NIS2, ISO 27001, or similar information security standards.

Guardey offers full-on transparency. You can view the pricing plans on the website, start a 14-day free trial without adding creditcard info, and there are no hidden costs. Guardey’s security awareness training costs €3,33 per user.

→ Start a 14-day free Guardey trial

2. Counterintelligence Trivia Twirl

There are also free security awareness training solutions on the market. These often come with some limitations, the biggest one being that they can only be used for a one-off training session. This is helpful when you have a company event and want to create some awareness for cyber security. If you’re looking for long-term security awareness training, there are no sufficient options available.

The first free option we’d like to point out is the game Counterintelligence Trivia Twirl. Spinning the wheel is fun in real life, and it’s not much different in this digital version. When you land on a category, you get a quiz of high-quality questions that truly puts your knowledge to the test. The game can be played in about 30 minutes.

3. Missing Link

Another solution that’s fun to try out for one time is called Missing Link. The quiz questions really put the average person to the test.

During the game, you have to point out the clues that prove you’re looking at a phishing test. After you give it your best shot, you get a clear explanation about each clue and why it should make you suspicious as a reader.

The only topic of this solution is phishing, so this can be a good way to make your employees more aware of phishing. It doesn’t cover any other cyber risks such as deepfakes or weak passwords.

The bottom line: there is no need to overpay

Intransparent pricing and hidden costs are considered normal in the security awareness training industry.

At Guardey, we believe that security awareness training costs should be clear and transparent from the get go. We offer gamified training that keeps users engaged and truly improves awareness of cyber risks over time.

You can try Guardey for free during a 14-day trial. No credit card details required.

Start a 14-day free Guardey trial

No credit card details required. After trial, plans start at €3,33 per user.

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