How E-learning Beats Classroom Training for Your Staff Cyber Security Awareness

In today’s threat landscape, staff cyber security awareness is more relevant than ever. According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, 82% of data breaches involved a human element.

When it comes to training your staff on cyber security, there are two approaches: instructor-led lessons and e-learning. While there are clear advantages to each, in this blog we explain the reasons e-learning is the best option.

First, let’s recap the main advantages of e-learning.

The major one is convenience: learners can access the content at any time and from any location, and can work at their own pace, letting them review materials as many times as they need to fully understand the concepts.

E-learning can also be customised for the client organisation, so it can ensure the content reflects not just its policies and principles, but also its brand and tone of voice, making the course much more relevant and authentic to employees.

Finally, e-learning solutions are cheaper and delivered much faster than classroom teaching.

So what edge does e-learning have over classroom training for cyber security learning?

An evolving threat

Traditional learning approaches are not as effective today at educating people about changing cyber threats. Employees won’t receive the targeted and ongoing learning they need to stay secure by taking a one-day course.

Instructor-led cyber security teaching is usually a one-off or a series of lessons over a short period. However, the cyber security landscape is constantly changing as new technology emerges, new threats arise and criminals find new vulnerabilities or methods of attack.

For this reason, teaching learners across a small number of lessons does not prepare them for the latest cyber security threats and best practices.

E-learning, on the other hand, can be delivered in more manageable chunks across weeks, months or years.

You can renew licences with off-the-shelf courses that are kept updated with the latest cyber security knowledge, or contract an entire e-learning campaign to train your staff to the highest standard and keep them there.

Knowledge retention

E-learning is extremely effective at improving knowledge retention. The use of engaging and goal-oriented content enables employees to have more control over the pace at which they learn and provides an environment that is more conducive to learning.

One common feature in cyber security courses is scenario-based e-learning. Scenario-based e-learning is an instructional design method that uses the ‘active learning’ approach. It incorporates real-world examples to help learners relate to the material.

This typically takes the form of an educational experience centred on a narrative, frequently featuring characters and settings.

This type of learning strategy can help increase learner retention and reinforce knowledge. This is especially critical for cyber security, where retaining information about the signs of a phishing email, strong password use, or device security can be the difference between a minor security incident and a catastrophic data breach.


Another advantage of e-learning is the ability to emulate real-world cyber security scenarios. Many e-learning platforms include simulated environments in which students can practise their skills and apply what they have learned in a safe and controlled setting.

This can help them better understand the concepts and prepare them for real-world situations.

For example, learners might be presented with a simulated network and asked to identify cyber security vulnerabilities, or they might be asked to respond to a simulated cyber attack.

These types of exercises can be an effective way to reinforce learning and help participants develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills they need to be successful in the field of cyber security.

Phishing and ransomware attacks, device security, and password creation/storage/management are just some examples of topics that can be covered in simulated exercises and games.

Cyber security courses with GRC eLearning

Cyber Resilience Staff Awareness E-learning Suite

GRC eLearning offers a range of cyber security staff awareness courses. Our in-house SMEs and instructional designers have created courses on general cyber security, phishing, ransomware and more.

We also incorporate simulations and game scenarios to ensure learners are fully engaged, while also getting a taste of the real-world application of these lessons.

We also keep our entire range of courses up to date with the latest developments and practices in the field of cyber security.

Check out our range of cyber security courses today to discover how we can help your staff become cyber secure.