20 Best Security Awareness Training Solutions for Schools (2024)

Security awareness training for schools is increasingly important. A data leak of student data could result in identity theft. A ransomware attack could result in the school having to shut down for a long period of time.

The human aspect of cyber security is of key importance. That’s why more and more schools are turning to an ongoing security awareness program to keep their employees aware of their responsibility.

Below, you can find the 20 best security awareness training options for schools.

The 20 best security awareness training tools for schools

1. Guardey – Duolingo for security awareness

Guardey is a gamified security awareness platform with a special program created for schools. During weekly micro-challenges that take 3 minutes to complete, teachers and other employees learn about relevant cyber risks such as phishing, device security, cyberbullying, managing student data, and more.

In a school-wide leaderboard, users can compare their performance in the game to their colleagues. This makes for a fun learning experience fueled by friendly competition. In the analytics section, admins can monitor participation and training performance.

Guardey sets itself apart from the competition by focusing on a gamified experience that keeps users engaged across longer periods of time. Implementing Guardey takes very little time, all you need to do is add users and select the right training program. The short weekly challenges perfectly fit the busy schedules of teachers.

Pros:

  • Gamified experience
  • Training program specifically made for schools
  • Easy to implement
  • Easy to customize

Cons:

  • Doesn’t use video, which can be a preference for some organizations

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2. Hoxhunt

Hoxhunt is one of the heavy hitters in the cybersecurity training space. While not aimed specifically at schools and colleges, it’s a very adaptable system that can be tailored to a range of contexts. Hoxhunt provides training in the form of short videos and interactive quizzes, accompanied by convincing simulated phishing emails. When a student engages with a Hoxhunt email, they’ll receive follow-up training around the type of scam being simulated.

Hoxhunt’s website doesn’t provide pricing; prospective customers need to request a demo to find out more about costs. It’s fair to say that Hoxhunt is not one of the cheaper options but clients generally regard it as worth the expense.

Pros:

  • Customizability.
  • Baselining allows organizations to understand their current cybersecurity posture and measure improvements.
  • Good choice for large and complex organizations, such as major colleges and schools.
  • Gamification helps to engage users.

Cons:

  • Not ideal for smaller organizations.
  • Cost can be a barrier for schools on tight budgets.

3. NINJIO

Ninjio isn’t targeted towards schools but it has several features that make it a good choice in educational contexts. Notably, Ninjio has some of the most engaging training materials out there. If the students themselves are the target learners, Ninjio’s short, entertaining videos are ideal. Admins can draw upon Ninjio’s extensive library of training content to craft programs for specific roles, allowing the same software to be used to train both staff and students.

Learners are scored based on how accurately they complete quizzes and spot phishing simulations, allowing them to compete on a leader board for the highest rankings. This kind of gamification is generally effective in ensuring that learners stay involved with the training process and strive to perform well.

Pros:

  • Training materials are a hit with most users.
  • Baselining.
  • Gamification.
  • Highly customizable.
  • Ongoing training and evaluation.

Cons:

  • Some users find the admin dashboard unwieldy.
  • The animated cartoon style of the videos can feel condescending or unprofessional to some.

4. Arctic Wolf

Arctic Wolf is a big player in cybersecurity. Although their training solutions can be used as standalone software, they’re really designed to work alongside Arctic Wolf’s suite of concierge cybersecurity services. Information from cybersecurity monitoring is used to tailor the training programs offered to learners and user behavior is monitored to fine-tune cybersecurity interventions. It’s a very effective system but expensive to run, putting it out of the reach of many educational institutions. In addition, organizations that already have satisfactory cybersecurity systems in place won’t have much interest in replacing them.

Arctic Wolf’s training uses a similar combination of instructional videos, quizzes and simulated attacks to similar products, with their main advantage being the quality and range of the training library.

Pros:

  • Gamification.
  • Baselining and ongoing training.
  • Customizability.
  • Integration with Arctic Wolf’s cybersecurity services.
  • Excellent customer support.

Cons:

  • Not designed as a standalone training solution.
  • High cost, especially if used in combination with Arctic Wolf’s cybersecurity products.

5. Awaretrain

Awaretrain is touted as a customizable training solution with an emphasis on regulatory compliance. They offer baseline evaluation followed by ongoing training from a fairly large library of materials, including videos, games and tests. As you’d expect, phishing simulations are provided. Awaretrain commands a smaller market share than some of its competitors and reliable reviews are scanty. In general, customers are fairly satisfied with the overall quality of the materials and the customizability of the programs.

Awaretrain is user-friendly as far as learners are concerned. Two recurring gripes among users were the lengthy instructional videos and the cumbersome administration. Modules can often take 12 minutes or more to complete, leaving some learners frustrated, while setting up phishing simulations can be a tricky process.

Although not aimed at schools, Awaretrain’s programs can be customized for specific roles and contexts. While pricing is not given on the website, customers are generally happy with the cost.

Pros:

  • Baselining and ongoing training.
  • Large training library, with fresh material added six times per year.
  • Customizable.
  • Emphasis on regulatory compliance.
  • User-friendly for learners.

Cons:

  • Long videos make for a passive learning experience.
  • Tricky setup makes simulated phishing campaigns awkward for admins.
  • Customer support is sub-par according to some reviewers.

6. Proofpoint

Like Arctic Wolf, Proofpoint is intended to combine training with Proofpoint’s active cybersecurity training products. The library is extensive, including videos of various lengths as well as instructional texts and interactive quizzes. Proofpoint attempts to accommodate a wide range of skill levels and learning styles, using machine learning and AI to assess each learner’s needs and provide them with the most useful materials.

Customers express high levels of satisfaction with Proofpoint, rating it highly on reputable review sites. Learners highlight the adaptive training, stating that they’re neither overwhelmed with complex information nor left feeling bored or unchallenged.

Pros:

  • Baselining and ongoing training.
  • Adaptive training ensures that learners don’t feel overloaded.
  • The CISO dashboard makes quantifying progress and creating reports very easy.
  • Training can be integrated with Proofpoint’s other cybersecurity solutions.

Cons:

  • Some users report slow loading times.
  • The large training library can be hard to search.
  • Although training is adaptive, customizability is limited.

7. KnowBe4

KnowBe4 is a solid provider with a good track record. Their training solution offers all the usual features you’d expect: baselining, ongoing training, phishing simulations and an extensive library of materials. Its USP is the Compliance Audit Readiness Assessment (CARA) feature, an assessment intended to prepare organizations to face compliance audits with confidence. This is especially relevant for schools and colleges, which need to handle sensitive data and must comply with regulations.

Pros:

  • Baselining and ongoing training.
  • Gamification and interactive learning.
  • The CARA feature is great for helping schools to prepare for regulatory compliance audits.
  • An extensive library featuring over 2000 items.

Cons:

  • Many features are unavailable unless you pay for the higher tiers.
  • Not specifically designed for schools.

8. Infosec IQ

With its high degree of customizability, Infosec IQ is a good choice for educational establishments. Programs can be tailored to a range of different roles and skill levels, from administrative staff and teachers to the students themselves. The information it provides is relevant and detailed, with a wide range of materials on offer.

The only issue reported by customers is the difficulty in adding or removing users to an existing program such as a phishing campaign, making it difficult to include new staff members in training. That said, Infosec IQ has garnered rave reviews from customers. Campaigns are easy to set up and the support is excellent.

Pros:

  • Baselining and ongoing training.
  • Gamification and interactivity.
  • User-friendly admin dashboard that makes creating programs easy.

Cons:

  • Hard to add new learners once a program has begun.

9. Wizer

Wizer offers most of the features you’d expect from a standard cybersecurity training solution. What sets Wizer apart from its competitors is chiefly its ease of use. It’s very easy to set up training programs and the learner interface is simple. Users also like Wizer’s training materials. The videos are animated shorts, with each training based on an actual case that allows learners to connect the concepts to real life. This relatability sets Wizer’s materials ahead of some competitors, whose videos can be more esoteric.

Pros:

  • Baselining, ongoing training and evaluation.
  • Gamification and interactivity.
  • Straightforward for both administrators and learners to use, with intuitive dashboards and interfaces.
  • Great training content with short, easy-to-digest videos based on real-world events.

Cons:

  • Fewer tools and resources than other training solutions.
  • In-depth reporting isn’t available.

10. Barracuda

Barracuda is a major cybersecurity provider with a range of products, including Barracuda Security Awareness Training. Like other offerings on this list, Barracuda starts out with a baseline assessment to establish the security status of an organization, then proceeds to ongoing training and evaluation. One thing that Barracuda lacks is any gamification, something that other providers offer.

The training library is satisfactory, with a reasonable collection of materials in multiple languages. On the downside, reviewers have described the admin interface as “clunky,” requiring multiple steps to set up campaigns. The heavy emphasis on phishing threats might be appropriate for some organizations but others might require more breadth in terms of topics.

Pros:

  • Baselining and ongoing training.
  • Interactive materials.
  • Can be integrated with other Barracuda solutions.

Cons:

  • Hard to set up campaigns.
  • No gamification.
  • Customization is difficult, making this less useful for schools.

11. Boxphish

As the name implies, Boxphish primarily focuses on phishing prevention. In this area it performs well overall, with convincing simulations and helpful training materials. The materials themselves are a hit with reviewers, who praise their realism and engaging presentation. Administrators like the ease of use and reporting features. Boxphish offers baselining, ongoing training and evaluation, interactive quizzes and gamification to keep learners engaged. All in all, it’s a solid choice if you don’t need to cover the more technical aspects of cybersecurity in your training. It’s also a reasonable product for schools, as there’s a high degree of customizability on offer.

Pros:

  • Baselining, ongoing training and evaluation.
  • Great for teaching about phishing and scam emails.
  • Interactivity and gamification promote engagement.
  • Highly customizable.

Cons:

  • Narrowly focused on phishing.
  • Little high-level training and simplistic quizzes.

12. Breach Secure Now

Breach Secure Now aims to address today’s cybersecurity threats through comprehensive and ongoing training, with an emphasis on lasting behavioral change among personnel. Their stated goal is to turn staff members into a “human firewall,” ready to identify and thwart all kinds of security threats. The topics covered are more in-depth than some similar products. In particular, Breach Secure Now focuses on regulatory compliance — especially with HIPAA. This can be highly relevant in educational contexts, where students’ sensitive personal information may need to be protected.

Pros:

  • Gamification and interactivity.
  • Thorough baselining and evaluation, followed by ongoing training and regular tests.
  • Convincing simulations.
  • In-depth training materials with a broad scope.
  • Ideal where regulatory compliance is an issue.

Cons:

  • Higher cost option.

13. Phished

Like Boxphish, Phished is primarily focused on preventing phishing attacks via email, although the training does extend beyond this. It aims to produce long-term behavioral change in users to create greater security. Phished is well-received by both admins and learners, thanks to its comprehensive toolkit and quality training materials. Administrators like the automation and useful reporting tools. The lack of gamification is something of a minus point, however.

Pros:

  • Baselining, continuous training and evaluation.
  • Good training library.
  • Automated personalization.
  • Useful reporting tools.

Cons:

  • A lack of documentation can make life difficult for administrators.

14. MetaCompliance

MetaCompliance is a real workhorse of a product, with a heavy emphasis on training for regulatory compliance. The main selling point is the training library, which offers an impressive amount of content. The training goes into a lot of depth, making MetaCompliance a good choice for schools that need high levels of security competency.

Another plus point is the range of languages supported; while most training solutions offer content in multiple languages, MetaCompliance boasts support for 40 languages. This is relevant for schools and colleges that may need to train international staff and students. The downside of this expansive content library is that it’s not especially well-organized, making it hard to find specific materials and to curate training programs.

Pros:

  • Baselining, ongoing training and evaluation.
  • Interactive training.
  • A large content library, with support for 40 different languages.
  • A comprehensive suite of admin tools.
  • Emphasis on regulatory compliance.

Cons:

  • No gamification.
  • The library is not well organized and it’s hard to find things.

15. Fortinet

Rather than training software, Fortinet offers courses in cybersecurity. Fortinet is a big figure in the world of security, with a comprehensive range of widely used products, and its courses are in-depth. There are different courses for various roles and levels, each coming with certification that can be used for future professional development. The downside is that these are standalone courses, which don’t deliver the kind of ongoing training and evaluation that customers may be looking for. They’re also harder to incorporate into a learner’s daily workflow.

Pros:

  • Quality courses from a highly regarded security provider.
  • Certification.

Cons:

  • No ongoing training or evaluation.
  • No courses designed specifically to provide security awareness training for schools.

16. Secure Schools

Secure Schools is a UK-based organization aiming to help schools improve their cybersecurity posture through evaluation and training. They provide tools, testing, auditing and security awareness training for schools and other educational institutions. Unlike competitors in the space, which are aimed at businesses, Secure Schools cybersecurity training is designed specifically for school district security awareness. Training is delivered online, with courses covering topics such as password security, phishing awareness, social engineering and the risks posed by removable media. Prices start from £249 ($318) per year for a single school.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective
  • Online courses can be taken at the learners’ convenience.
  • Specifically focused on security awareness training for schools, rather than businesses.
  • Learners receive certification.

Cons:

  • UK-centric.
  • Courses are stand-alone — there’s no ongoing training.
  • Baselining and evaluation are available but must be purchased separately.

17. Global Learning Systems

Global Learning Systems uses an online platform to deliver a range of courses on cybersecurity, all aimed at strengthening what GLS terms the “human firewall.” Courses are well-designed and thorough, covering all the most important and relevant aspects of cybersecurity. There are videos, handouts, posters and interactive games. The downside is that these are standalone courses and tests rather than continuous training and evaluation. Reviewers are impressed with the materials, the phishing simulations and the overall effectiveness of the training.

Pros:

  • Quality course materials.
  • Interactive learning.
  • Broad range of topics.
  • Various evaluations and assessments are available.

Cons:

  • Standalone courses rather than ongoing training.
  • Not designed to provide cybersecurity training for schools.

18. Huntress

Similarly to Arctic Wolf and Proofpoint, Huntress offers a full suite of cybersecurity products including training, with the ability to integrate training with other security solutions. Although not designed to provide cybersecurity training for schools specifically, Huntress is flexible enough that courses can be customized for school staff and students. Huntress Security Training uses a product called Curricula, which offers all the most popular features of a security training solution, such as baselining, ongoing training, etc. Curricula is a big hit with reviewers, who praise the high quality of the materials and the engaging presentation.

Pros:

  • Gamification and interactive learning.
  • Baselining, ongoing training and evaluation.
  • Plenty of useful admin tools.
  • A large library of engaging content.

Cons:

  • Syncing users can be difficult.

19. Cyber Risk Aware

Cyber Risk Aware is very similar to its competitors in terms of features. Its main USP is the heavy emphasis on promoting user engagement through gamification and bite-sized microlearning content. It’s true that many products in this space utilize gamification but Cyber Risk Aware has put additional thought and effort into making participation fun and rewarding. As well as competing for scores on a leaderboard, users can win badges and awards for completing modules.

The short-form videos are a little less polished than some providers’ but they’re fun and engaging, designed to deliver information in easy-to-manage chunks that won’t take up a lot of time and attention. Reviews are positive, with learners praising the content and administrators praising the ease of implementation.

Pros:

  • Satisfying gamification and plenty of interactivity.
  • Short, engaging videos.
  • Ongoing training and evaluation against a baseline.

Cons:

  • Not specifically developed to provide cybersecurity training for schools.

20. Living Security

Another training solution that emphasizes engagement is Living Security. The content is designed to be immersive and meaningful, with catchy delivery and clear explanations. Living Security is customizable, making it a good choice for role-based training in an educational environment. Reviews are positive, highlighting the effectiveness of the training content and the ease of implementation.

Pros:

  • Gamification and engaging content.
  • Baselining, ongoing training and evaluation.
  • High customizability.
  • Data-driven approach to training.

Cons:

  • Some users have found the software glitchy and slow.

Conclusion

The above list should give you a good idea of all the security awareness training solutions for schools that are currently available.

If you’re looking for a solution that best fits the calendars of busy teachers, consider Guardey. Its gamified approach only takes 3 minutes a week from teachers, while keeping them constantly aware of the most pressing cyber threats.

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20 Best Security Awareness Training Solutions for Schools (2024)
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