You’ve just made it through airport security when you realize you left your office key card in the cab. Shoot. Well, you’ll deal with it when you get back, right? Bad answer! By then, your key card might have already become a scammer’s ticket to your company’s data goldmine.
Situations like this make legal and compliance departments cringe—especially at a financial services company like SWBC, where employees handle massive amounts of sensitive personal identifiable information (PII) every day. Penalties for mishandling PII can cost companies upward of a million dollars; as such, SWBC has extensive policies on handling sensitive information that help the company comply with federal and industry regulations to keep their customers safe. But policies alone aren’t enough. “If nobody knows about them, they’re meaningless,” says Ira Hall, Technical Training Development Specialist at SWBC. “To keep SWBC compliant, our employees need to both know our security policies—and understand how they apply them in day-to-day work contexts.”
There’s only one problem: mention security training and people’s eyes glaze over. Hall points to the post-assessment results from a 2011 SWBC security training class. Even after the security training, one-third of a small random sampling of employees failed to pass a phishing scam test that was conducted a few weeks after the training. Hall knew the company needed to revamp its security training program to get better results. “We need to get people engaged and interested in the training so we are more secure,” he said. “Then we can better meet our clients’ needs, and limit our risk and exposure.”
Given its geographically diverse workforce, the security training team needed an e-learning course. Luckily, Articulate Storyline had just hit the market, and its robust features for building interactive content and assessments caught Hall’s attention—and soon won him over. He quickly got to work and completely redesigned SWBC’s security training.
Navigation in the new course is participant-driven, and users can choose from the five security topics in any order, so long as they complete them all. Hall laughs, “Security training is not exciting, and a linear progression enforces that. I felt that giving participants the choice of where to go next was critical to engaging them.” Every time participants complete a section, a trigger changes the appearance of the main menu objects so participants can see which sections they need to finish.
Articulate Storyline also let Hall get creative in his design of scenario-based activities. Take the lost-badge scenario, for example. Hall recalls the taxing, text-heavy slide of years past: “Before, it was multiple choice, with five different ways to do the steps,” he notes. In the Articulate Storyline version, participants drag and drop the action steps into the correct order. “Activities like this make participants pay attention,” Hall says. “Storyline is a saving grace!”
To give the course a consistent look and feel, Hall created custom slide masters that he applied to the entire course. Then, he tapped into Articulate Storyline’s robust character library to create narratives for added realism. “We had characters discuss questions we heard people ask in the hallways,” he recalls. “It wasn’t just a PowerPoint with words appearing. Articulate Storyline let us easily build a natural conversation.”
Even though he’d never used Articulate Storyline before, Hall cranked through the course in less than four weeks. Hall estimates that Articulate Storyline helped him develop the course three to four times faster than he could have with any other software package. “It was incredibly easy to learn; very intuitive,” he says. “I went to a one-day training to get deeper into how I can use triggers, states, and layers to create any type of interactivity. Anytime I had a question after that, E-Learning Heroes got me a quick answer.”
The best part is, Hall improved development time and effectiveness for SWBC’s security training program. The final knowledge check in the new course includes a phishing test, where employees have to identify malware, just like in the 2011 course. After Hall’s newly designed Storyline training, 94% of employees passed the test, versus just 65% in 2011. And employees have told him time and again how much more they enjoy taking the course. “I’m really proud of this security training course,” Hall beams. “One of our EVPs said that this is the best one we’ve ever had.”