1 November 2023 • Cyber security
95% of all data breaches are caused by human error:
- Using a weak password
- Not updating software
- Clicking phishing links
And the list goes on.
To decrease the chance of a data breach, companies need to train their personnel to recognize cyber threats and act accordingly. The best way to do so is by using the right security awareness training software.
But with a wide variety of software solutions available, how do you know which security awareness training software solution is the right one for your business? We’ll tell you all about it in this article.
How to choose a security awareness training software provider: 4 essential aspects
Security awareness training has become a crowded industry, with multiple brands offering a wide range of training methods.
The details matter — especially if you’re opting for best-in-class security awareness training.
Here are four essential aspects that you need to look out for when judging the best security awareness training software:
More than just phishing. Many solutions are focused completely on phishing. Granted, phishing is the most used method by cyber criminals. However, there is a wide spectrum of other methods that need just as much attention to prepare your team the right way.
Up-to-date and relevant content. Cyber criminals are developing new ways to hack companies every day. Training material from 2021 won’t cover how criminals can use AI to clone your CEO’s voice, but in 2023 this is necessary. That’s why you should always gauge which solution offers the most relevant and up-to-date training materials.
Regular training. By now, there is a lot of research out on the effectiveness of regular training. Short and sweet training spread out over the year results in knowledge retention and behavior change, whereas yearly or even quarterly training leads to 90% of all lessons being forgotten after a week (!)
Gamification. Let’s face it: most training courses are boring. Video courses or outdated e-learning will simply be clicked through ASAP so that your employees can get back to work. By adding gamification elements, the training turns into a truly fun exercise that allows for better knowledge retention.
The 27 best cyber security awareness training software solutions in 2023
- Hook Security
- Breach Secure Now
- Phishing Box
- Arctic Wolf
- Inspired eLearning
On the surface, the top picks for the best security awareness training tools for employees share many of the same features. But dig deeper and you’ll find critical differences that can impact the level of cyber awareness within your organization.
Here are our top selections for security awareness training platforms:
Guardey is a cyber awareness training solution built on gamification. Users start a fictional company and with weekly challenges, they either score points or lose points. When they score points, their company’s reputation improves and they make money, when they lose points, the opposite occurs. In the leaderboard, users can see how they are doing compared to their colleagues. Along the way, users can win prizes and badges.
The challenges only take up to 3 minutes to complete and are always created recently so that your team is up-to-date with the latest information. And because users take on a challenge every week, the information is retained better than with yearly training.
In Guardey’s learning management system, administrators can create challenges tailor-made to their company and see how each member of their team is performing. Based on these results, extra training can be given on specific improvement areas.
Overall, Guardey is the solution that offers the best gamification features to keep users engaged and boost security awareness. You can start using Guardey from just one user at a time for €3.33 per month.
After using Guardey for a couple of weeks, our phishing test scores improved by 84%. – Source
KnowBe4 is probably the most well-known company name on this list. They offer a wide variety of training resources, including a special module that is completely focused on enterprise security.
The training is made up of long videos followed by multiple-choice questions. Every training takes at least 10 minutes to complete. To show your board the ROI of your program, you can use their extensive reporting feature.
To start using the training, you need to buy at least 25 seats, which means this product is probably not the best fit for smaller businesses.
The content and user experience are great, I just wish the users were more proactive about completing the assigned tasks. The options presented when setting up a campaign are great, although the endless lists of near-identical options need to be filtered better. – G2
3. Hook Security
When using Hook Security, your team gets yearly training and a monthly deep dive into a specific topic. They pride themselves in offering training that is positive and not patronizing to their users.
The training is not based on gamification but on videos and courses. If this fits your preferred learning style, Hook Security is an excellent choice.
I like the way that the training is delivered monthly with a specific topic. The training content is well produced with interesting video and clear text. However, the assessment test results need to be improved to filter false alerts. – G2
Another company that is well-known in the cyber security world is ESET, which among many other products also has its own security awareness training product.
ESET offers yearly cyber awareness training that takes 90 minutes to complete. The training is interactive, with quizzes, a phishing simulator, and interactive sessions.
A yearly training at ESET starts at $250 for 10 persons.
Our team liked the gamification of the training and thought that it was insightful even for experienced users. The dashboard to assign users to courses was a bit complicated to use at first. – G2
Proofpoint has built a so-called holistic approach to security awareness training. Their solution is based on three pillars: assessing vulnerability, changing unsafe behavior, and evaluating program success. This is what they call the ACE framework.
Their training consists of video and game-based modules.
The UI is not very intuitive. For simple things such as archiving users, when selecting a whole page, only the page advancement is on the bottom to continue to the next. – G2
Phinsec’s training solution is built for MSP’s. An MSP is a managed service provider, which is a third party that manages their customer’s information technology.
The training consists of videos that take up to five minutes and are then followed by a set of questions.
We weren’t able to find a user review of Phinsec online.
Usecure has a training solution that enables businesses to offer training based on a user’s unique risk area. A risk profile is built up over time, which helps the admin to determine which topics may need more attention. The courses are deployed on a custom frequency.
You can pick from two different training styles: ‘fun’ and ‘corporate-friendly’ which both have an interactive and video element.
It’s very easy to use but the best thing is the ability to instantly send out a baseline test to your users and this then builds up a safety profile and any further testing will close user-specific gaps first. Some of the training can get a bit repetitive. They do add more training but some users will complain about getting the same training over and over even though it has different levels. – G2
8. Breach Secure Now
Breach Secure Now has also built a cyber security awareness training solution for MSPs. With phishing simulations and weekly challenges, the product helps employees to become more cyber-aware.
Over time, each user builds up their own ‘employee secure score’. This gives MSPs insights into which employees may need additional training.
They’re pretty good so far and I actually really like the CatchPhish module. Content UX isn’t quite as good as RelayAware but overall I’m happy with it. – Reddit
The Belgium-based Phished offers a holistic combination of personalized simulations, training sessions, and active reporting. The training sessions are short and ‘snackable’. The product offers a gamification element in the sense that users can win certificates and badges.
Their pricing is unclear as you need to request a quote to get it.
Phished.io is a great platform to organize automated phishing exercises where recipients receive phishing simulations with tailored content. My minor dislike is that more in-depth reporting features would be nice to have. – G2
Awaretrain is a Dutch security awareness training platform that offers 6 new training modules per year. The modules we tested take about 12 minutes to finish and contain multiple long videos. This results in a passive experience that is best compared to a school setting. The content is offered in 8 languages, among them Dutch, German, and French.
Awaretrain’s pricing is not available on their website, so you’ll need to request a quote to get it.
We weren’t able to find a user review of Phinsec online.
Hoxhunt’s human risk platform aims to identify vulnerable users and change their behavior. Their software sends realistic phishing emails and when the user engages with it, they get a quick and fun quiz that gives them more information about what just happened.
Hoxhunt’s pricing is not available on the website, which means you need to set up a meeting with the company first.
It’s a bit easy to cheese it, and after a while it becomes more a matter of looking for Hoxhunt emails rather than being aware of phishing and scams. It also doesn’t take into account if you are on leave and that ruins parts of the gamification of the product. – G2
Metacompliance’s training solution enables you to schedule training throughout the year at the moments that you prefer. They pride themselves on their e-learning content library. You can pull from that library and create a training course that fits your organization’s needs. The content has been localized to no less than 40 languages.
There is no information about pricing available on the website, which means you’ll need to set up a meeting or request a quote to learn more about that.
It’s quite a large platform, and not everything can be found as easy as we would like. Sometimes you don’t know the right word for something, and it makes it difficult to find. – G2
13. Phishing Box
Phishing Box is another security awareness training software solution that offers both a content course and a phishing simulation. The content course is not built on gamification. With their auto-enrollment feature, they spare administrators the time of having to manually set up training. When somebody fails a phishing test, admins can use a webhook to get notified about it.
If you want to use Phishing Box, you’ll pay at least $500 a year. You can only start a subscription from 25 users and up.
Reporting can be slow at times, if requesting a large amount of data the system will sometimes become unresponsive or there is an extended period of wait before your report is ready. – G2
If your team is into cartoons, you’ve found your match with Ninjio. Ninjio’s training videos are 3-4 minutes long, created with ‘Hollywood-style storytelling’ and based on recent cybercrime events.
Instead of testing their users’ knowledge by gamification, they measure users’ susceptibility with what they call the Ninjio Risk Algorithm. This algorithm measures how engaged users are with the video content to gauge how vulnerable they might be to specific social engineering.
Ninjio’s pricing is not specified on the website, so you’ll need to request a quote or meeting to find out more.
The reporting functionality is lacking. I do not want to dive into each campaign to get a report. User-based reporting should include security and phishing. – G2
15. Arctic Wolf
Arctic Wolf’s security training is based on brief, purpose-driven content that is regularly updated so that it’s relevant to current cyber threats. Just like Guardey, they have a leaderboard, but they don’t measure test results, but engagement and participation.
Arctic Wolf’s pricing is not available on the website, so you’ll need to request a demo first.
Updating the list of employees as folks are hired or termed can be a slow process because we need to send an updated list to the team at Arctic Wolf and they use that to update our information. We cannot customize the phishing simulation templates to tailor the messages to our company or industry – though the emails that Arctic Wolf sends are good examples of phishing. – G2
Wizer offers security awareness training software using viral one-minute videos and storytelling, making it easy for teams to learn. Their Wizer Stories dramatize real-life scams for memorable content. The Boost version provides full access to the video library, phishing simulation, gamification, and custom training creation.
Wizer is much easier to set up and manage than our previous platform. Our previous training provider offered more tools and reporting, but this also made the admin console more cluttered and difficult to navigate. I never had the time to fully take advantage of all those tools, so the more streamlined experience Wizer offers is a benefit for me. – G2
Infosec’s awareness and training platform empowers employees with the skills and knowledge to stay cyber-secure at work and home. Featuring 2,000+ resources, the platform offers customizable training tailored to your organization’s culture and employee learning styles.
Easy to work with and manage. The solution provides good content and materials that can be used for security training. We are reviewing ways to leverage and confirm actions and follow-up. The solution being basic means it does not have a lot of reporting. – G2
SoSafe offers GDPR-compliant cyber security awareness training software. Leveraging behavioral science and smart algorithms, SoSafe delivers personalized learning experiences and attack simulations that transform employees into vigilant assets against online threats.
Covers a great variety of topics and most of the information is on point. Some topics are covered in too much detail and/or have obvious interactable answers. Haven’t found any information targeted at IT professionals (such as myself). – G2
SANS offers a suite of security awareness training solutions to help businesses fortify their workforce and meet compliance requirements. Their offerings range from end-user training and phishing simulations to concise technical content and customizable corporate communications. SANS supports skill development for various technical roles, from IT system admins to developers and ICS/OT.
It was a very easy training module to work through. The information taught was very well written, and it was laid out in a way that made it very easy to understand. – G2
Webroot’s security awareness training platform provides an accessible and cost-effective user education solution. The platform achieves this through phishing simulations and brief, focused security and compliance courses that keep users well-prepared against cyber threats.
As the title reads the training program is really efficient in educating the masses on the benefits of cyber security. The best part about the program I found was simulation training on phishing attacks. There could have been more interactive sessions/projects on real-life security breaches. A scenario backdrop where the user is playing an important role in preventing breaches. Such simulations are better and fun for users. – G2
Curricula uses storytelling and gamification. Setting up in just 15 minutes, it educates employees on defending against cyber threats, aiding SOC 2 compliance. The platform covers a wide range of topics, including privacy, ransomware, phishing, GDPR, and more. Using behavioral science, Curricula engages employees through narratives, making training more effective than mere compliance.
The combination of videos and hands-on phishing training are fantastic additions to our toolbox. Instead of manually creating and maintaining our suite of training content as new topics arise, we have a whole library at our fingertips. – G2
CybeReady presents a security training platform designed for enterprise employees. The current cybersecurity landscape demands a fresh approach due to remote work, increased employee turnover, and escalating cyber threats targeting personnel. CybeReady operates autonomously, engaging employees more effectively and consistently with minimal effort. It also comes with phishing simulations.
CybeReady is very user-friendly. They also work with their customers in ensuring that the customers meet their needs and understand how the platform works. However, some of the reporting is a little confusing. – G2
Carbide offers an information security and privacy management platform tailored for fast-growing businesses, that prides itself in not being a ‘checkbox compliance solution’. Their tool includes continuous cloud monitoring, in-platform security awareness training through the Carbide Academy, and over 100 technical integrations. It simplifies evidence collection, security framework compliance, and audit requirements while adhering to best practices.
Simple and easy to use and helps keep things organized by being able to track completion. However, I keep getting updates and error emails and messages that take me nowhere and do not actually exist. – G2
Barracuda’s security awareness training software equips businesses to combat evolving cyber threats, including phishing. With hundreds of real-world threat templates drawn from Barracuda’s database, users stay current with the latest email threat types. Detailed user behavior metrics inform security risk assessment and training customization.
I feel in today’s environment phishing and spam protection is more critical than any endpoint protection. It can be hard to manage and without executive buy-in to force compliance, it can be a waste of time. There are other products that are easier to use and manage. – G2
25. Inspired eLearning
Inspired eLearning brings over 20 years of enterprise cyber security expertise to the table, offering both off-the-shelf and tailored security awareness training solutions for businesses of all sizes.
Their comprehensive training packages include integrated learning paths, anti-phishing simulations, CyQ assessments to pinpoint employee strengths and weaknesses, and a measurable ROI tracking dashboard.
Trainings are well crafted, with ample examples and relevance to real-time/world scenarios. There are multiple options to choose from.
It is very difficult to assign the training with respect to departments and then track the respective areas which are receiving the most traffic from the department-specific employees. – G2
Boxphish is a practical cyber-security awareness training platform designed to empower organizations and individuals in identifying cyber threats. It blends real-world phishing simulations, high-quality training materials, and actionable analytics into a user-friendly interface.
With its ease of deployment and management, Boxphish is an effective tool for rapidly enhancing cyber awareness across businesses and helping users become more vigilant against cyberattacks.
The setup is simple and the staff is helpful. AD synchronization is included and the whole process is well-automated giving you time to focus on other things. The reporting is well-formatted and easily accessible. – G2.
GoldPhish offers a comprehensive, web-based security awareness training solution designed for organizations of all sizes. Their platform provides a range of learning modules, quizzes, and multimedia reinforcement tools, including videos, to promote behavioral change and mitigate cyber risks.
With a phishing simulator, GoldPhish helps enhance end-user awareness and their ability to detect phishing attempts effectively.
I enjoy that the training modules aren’t longer than 15 minutes and that there are 20 different topics to choose from when setting up the training campaign. The fact that there are only 20 training topics available means that our clients who signed up for a 12-month training program would have to renew, but once they do renew their licenses, there are only 8 more topics that they could do. – G2
How does security awareness training software for employees work?
Security awareness training works differently, depending on the vendor you decide to choose. The legacy solutions offer content in the form of video or e-learning that requires passive learning.
Modern training solutions offer gamification to keep users engaged and boost knowledge retention and behavioral change.
Is security awareness training worth it?
Security awareness training is not only worth the investment, it is a necessity. Over 95% of all data breaches and hacks stem from human errors. Whether it’s clicking a link you shouldn’t click or not updating your software — there is no firewall strong enough to protect you against human failure.
This is why it’s so important to regularly train your employees to be vigilant and understand how to act in the face of cyber crime.
The final verdict: choose security awareness training software based on gamification
The number of cyber crime victims have grown dramatically over the past few years. In 2023, it only makes sense to do everything you can to turn your employees into a strong human firewall that recognizes cyber threats and acts accordingly.
For advanced security awareness training that is recurring, engaging, and most of all effective, sign up for Guardey.