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Read more Sophie Acomat

Instructional Designer

KPMG Learning Academy

The Weakest Link

This is the second of three articles on


"Our current training has been unsuccessful.

Our employees all passed the quiz but very

few have adopted the required measures."

"I stared blankly at the Power Point. Main title

read 'Cyber security'. Underneath, bullet

points, learning objectives, dos and don'ts,


Immediately, an image springs to mind.

Employees staring vacantly at a screen,

clicking next and answering multiple-choice

questions. Disengaged, disinterested and

slightly resentful. How many times had I

received a policy about cyber security and 'its

impact on the organisation' and ticked the

boxes without reading it? How many cyber

security tutorials had I sat through myself,

without properly applying what I had learned?

Why? Because it didn't matter to me. It wasn't

relevant and therefore was forgettable. Why

should I care about cyber security? And if I

didn't care, why should this organisation's

employee behave any differently? A client

asked: "Is there another way to raise

employees' awareness of cyber security?" Is

there indeed.

But how can we enrapture the learner with

these stories?

The ability to create a story that is truly relevant

to the individual, one that correlates closely to

the depth and breadth of experience (hence

stories), can be extracted from subject matter

experts (SMEs) by the instructional designer.

Here, we have an abundance of SMEs with

considerable knowledge and experience, who

provide us with outstanding stories.

The next day, we met with our SME - a senior

technology professional, with over 25 years of

cyber and information security expertise and

former Head of Cyber & Space within the Civil

Service. A cyber guru. Our first and only

question to him was: "Why should employees

care about cyber security?"

We got our answer… via the most vivid

experience we could hope for: "Because they

are the weakest link to a company's cyber

defences. Let's explore why."

He asked the team whether or not we had any

online social presence. Nearly all replied: "Yes,

of course". Except for Terry, one of our

developers, who, amazingly, didn't. And for

good reason.

So, our SME took us on a journey, starting with

Jill, a relatively new member of the team.



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