Online Training

Why Curricula Launched A Free Security Awareness Training Program

Nick Santora

Our team at Curricula is proud to announce a free security awareness training program designed to help protect organizations with up to 1,000 employees and build a security culture at no cost.

Since 2015, we’ve worked with thousands of businesses across the globe, and we noticed patterns between security maturity and security awareness training. Using Curricula’s Simple Security Awareness Maturity Model, we realized that something needs to change to allow organizations to have access to quality security training regardless of their maturity, size, and financial position.

So that’s what we did with our new Curricula Free plan. It’s exactly as it sounds — we offer free security awareness training and phishing simulation software for any organization with up to 1,000 employees. You’ll have access to a variety of security awareness tools to help build a foundational cyber security training program.

We believe every employee deserves quality security awareness education. With this, our goal is to help organizations quickly launch a new security awareness program or help them switch from their current vendor when their training content is no longer resonating with their employees.

I wanted to share some more details behind why we launched a free security training platform and how we believe our efforts will help the technology community at large.

Every business needs help when it comes to building a security culture. We may not be the biggest security awareness company or have the most funding resources, but we do have the biggest hearts. We're standing up to help businesses when they're down. That's what we believe the security community should be all about.

Nick Santora (CISA,CISSP)
CEO & Founder, Curricula

Why We Created Curricula Free

I tried to sum up all the reasons behind why we decided to open up our platform for free. It all comes down to employee engagement. If employees hate the training, they will start to resent security instead of embracing it. We need to help change this mindset for every employee, for every business no matter how small.

Let’s walk through the most important reasons why we decided to offer our security awareness training for free:

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1. Decisions are driven by triggers

Trigger events are the primary reason organizations implement a security awareness training program. A trigger event is a situation impactful enough to cause a mandatory change. In our research we’ve concluded the most common triggers for security awareness training are:

  • Compliance regulations – SOC 2, PCI, HIPAA, GDPR, etc.
  • Insurance requirements – required to maintain a cyber policy
  • Experienced a breach – forced to take reactive actions
  • Vendor contract stipulation – required by a vendor security questionnaire

It’s one thing to identify these trigger events, but it’s more important to be proactive before one of them occurs. The typical reaction we see is organizations panic and look for an instant fix. Needless to say, there are a few problems with this mindset.

Organizations are typically pressured into buying software without seeing if it will be effective because they’re in a time of crisis. When a decision that directly impacts every employee is made on impulse, it can have negative repercussions. Employees become resentful and view this security awareness training as a frustrating, tedious chore rather than an entertaining way to protect themselves and their organization.

Enter Curricula Free! We don’t want an organization coming to us in panic and having to commit to something that they (and their employees) haven’t had the time to try out. By launching Curricula Free, we eliminated the barrier to entry for companies to be proactive about security instead of reactive.

Curricula Free allows organizations to have immediate assistance to a trigger event. You can get access to security awareness training a.s.a.p. without feeling any pressure.

2. Employees deserve an awesome security education

First off, our mission is to make security awareness training fun for everyone. Period. No organization due to its size or budget should be at risk for cyber threats without any kind of defense. We not only believe in positive security awareness education for all, but we believe in raising the bar for the quality of online learning.

While there are other free tools available, Curricula’s training has proven to be effective because employees actually resonate with the content and embrace building a security culture together.

We all know the free tools and services out there, but the quality of those tools doesn’t provide the outcomes we expect. This is like signing in to an office building and listing your name as ‘Chris P. Bacon’. Is the sign-in sheet actually effective at keeping the building secure? Or is it a waste of time? A security awareness program that mimics the motions of ‘checking a box’ is the equivalent of a useless sign-in sheet.

That’s why we’ve invested our resources to give back to our community with the following:

  • Offering fun educational and interactive content
  • Including real-world phishing simulation tests
  • Automatically sync with employee directory tools
  • Creating your own custom training content
  • A simple platform that grows with your organization
  • Helping to build a positive security culture

3. No dedicated security experts

We recognize that most SMBs don’t have a dedicated security expert. Even in larger organizations, the CISO, Security Manager, or IT director has to manage security awareness as a ‘side hustle.’ What we mean by this is the person usually in charge of running the employee security training program wears a lot of different hats.

So what’s the answer? In order to simplify your life, Curricula Free helps you easily choose a security awareness program for your employees. Here’s how:

  • We avoid feature bloat. Most organizations’ line of thought is to find a solution with the most bells, whistles, and buttons. We’ve intentionally cut out the complexity to quickly deliver you the results you need. Intentionally doing more with less will save you time and resources.
  • We automate everything. The capabilities to automate training, enable notifications, and sync employees are all necessary timesavers. You will be able to launch training for your employees in a matter of minutes.
  • We let you take your time. Busy IT leaders need more than a short trial period. We’ve seen it, we’ve listened, and we’re changing because of it. You need a way to see the results of the security awareness training without the unnecessary pressure of a trial running out.

If you’re running a compliance-driven or failing security awareness program what’s the point? You and your organization are gaining nothing but added stress without getting effective results. We’ve designed Curricula Free to focus on solving this problem.

4. Education choices should be inclusive

Typically an IT Director, CISO, or information security professional has the choice to buy and implement a ton of products from anti-virus, to patch management, 2FA, etc. They are basic necessities of running a mature cyber security program to keep the business protected. The difference in implementing security awareness training is that employees are behind this choice.

When a security leader forces poor quality education, it’s typically is a one-way street. IT creates the training, IT creates the results, IT says no, IT says to do this; for employees, they don’t really have a choice in what they get.

Security awareness training should be influenced and supported by the entire organization. That is why we designed Curricula Free to be a company-wide choice, letting employees gain power back into the decision-making process instead of being forced into a boring clunky tool because it ‘fits the budget.’

Not only do we consider this a standard method of how security awareness training should be selected. We want employees to always be part of the decision.

5. Community of support

One of our driving forces for creating Curricula Free is to give back to our community. Every member of Curricula cares about our mission of making security awareness training fun for everyone. We want to do something that’s bigger than ourselves and this is our way of giving back.

When we look back, we want to see safer businesses no matter the cost.

We want to support SMBs staying safe and getting through compliance, encourage employees to no longer fear cyber security, and bring employees together to solve the same common goal of mitigating cyber threats. We’re proud of the diversity in Curricula’s people, platform, and content because it gives us a different perspective on how to solve problems.

Our industry deserves better because buying security awareness training should be as easy as any other software you use today. Every organization deserves better cyber security training. Training content should be fun, engaging, and built to capture your employees’ attention. Curricula’s choice to give back to the community should be a driving force for others to follow our lead.

Storytelling Curricula

How We Designed Curricula Free

Think of Curricula Free as a “sampler platter” of security awareness training tools. Organizations get to use our platform for free with up to 1,000 employees. Like a sample platter, you’ll get to try a variety of foods in smaller portions. You’ll get access to some of our most popular training content, use our phishing simulator, and create your own custom training all under one roof.

We designed Curricula Free with two types of organizations in mind: Beginners and Switchers. Which one are you?

Beginners

In reference to our Maturity Model, an organization that does nothing is the primary organization we are trying to support. In our experience, organizations in this stage say they’re not ready or able to invest in a security awareness program. So we’re removing this barrier to assist those organizations to start doing something better right away.

The 3 goals for beginners using Curricula Free include:

  1. Get started with a fun security awareness training program
  2. Help meet compliance requirements
  3. Stop wasting time, money, or resources

Beginner organizations will be able to benefit from our security awareness ‘sample platter’ approach to quickly level up their cyber defenses. The main objectives for beginners: basic cyber knowledge through our training episodes, launch phishing simulations, report on compliance, and create their own custom content to incorporate unique-to-you training into the same platform.

Switchers

Moving up in the Maturity Model, Switchers are currently doing something, but are looking to do something better. It’s not embarrassing to no longer see benefits in your current program or admit you purchased something too quickly as a result of a trigger event. It happens far more often than you think.

With Curricula Free we’ve made the option of switching simple and transparent. You can run Curricula Free alongside your current security awareness program at no cost. Meaning you can get feedback from your employees and have a direct comparison before canceling your other solution. Even if it’s just out of curiosity to test how your employees feel about your current service versus us.

The 3 goals for Switchers using Curricula Free include:

  1. Help find a program that works for every employee
  2. Feel the whole Curricula experience instead of spending time trying to describe it to decision-makers
  3. Use employee feedback to make an effective decision what relates to them

What You Need To Do Next

We all have to do better to defend ourselves online and every business is responsible. Our mission is to motivate and influence employees to make this a reality.

If you made it this far and any of these statements resonated with you or your organization, now is the time to take action. Whether you’re just starting out on your security awareness journey or feel stuck with your current vendor, Curricula is here to help.

Your next steps will determine the future of your organization’s security culture. Take that step with us today by getting started with your Curricula account.

Oh, and did we mention IT’S FREE!

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