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Protecting Our Community Through Security Awareness Training

Written collaboratively by the Security Awareness Training Program Team

As WashU continues to grow and evolve, so does our technology and our need for training. Our continuous technological advancement brings new challenges—none more pressing than cybersecurity. We must stay a step ahead of cybercriminals, who are increasingly creative and skilled in gaining access to private systems and information. Being cyber secure only works when we are each empowered to take steps to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our institution.  

The  Security Awareness Training Program officially begins rollout on April 29th and aims to expand and enhance cybersecurity knowledge and practices by taking a streamlined, strategic, and practical approach to training. 

The training sessions will first be distributed to WashU IT staff in a pilot rollout before expanding to the rest of the university. The curriculum is hosted through KnowBe4 and consists of training content crafted in-house by the Information Security Awareness, Behavior, and Culture Team, modeled around threats and issues specific to the WashU Community. 

The pilot will take place as follows: 

  • Training sessions are targeted only at WashU IT staff. 
  • Training sessions take approximately 5 minutes, once per month for 4 months. 
  • Notifications are sent via KnowBe4 to trainees and their managers as reminders of those who have not completed their training. 

Monthly training sessions for WashU IT staff will continue to be distributed once per month after the pilot period has ended on an ongoing cycle. Upon completion of the 4-month pilot in WashU IT, the project team will begin distributing the training modules to faculty and staff on a per-department basis, starting with the Central Fiscal Unit (CFU). 

 “I am excited about the beginning of a new Security Awareness Training Program because it strengthens our security posture, engaging employees, and reducing risks,” said Chief Information Security Officer, Chris Shull. “It helps make it possible for everyone to be part of the Information Security team, empowering our staff to identify and prevent cyber threats, fostering a culture of shared responsibility and security awareness within our organization.” 

WashU IT employees will receive additional communications via email before the launch explaining how to access training, what to expect in KnowBe4, and other information about the pilot.  

The Security Awareness Training Team is excited to offer new and improved cybersecurity training so every member of our community has the knowledge they need to stay secure.