02/11/22 Expert opinion

Gamification and cybersecurity awareness-raising: a memorable, engaging and effective combination

When we think of cybersecurity, we often think of system security. However, in parallel, the human dimension should not be neglected in the policies organizations define to protect against cyberattacks (malware, phishing, ransomware …). Raising awareness and providing training to employees is critical, and organizations can rely on an extremely effective tool. Actually, the gamification creates memorable, engaging and effective experiences including regarding cybersecurity.

Human factor as a key to an efficient cybersecurity awareness-raising policy

Human factor as a key to an efficient cybersecurity awareness-raising policy

82% of respondents reported budget increase in a cybersecurity resilience study conducted by Accenture. A rise to secure their systems and also to train their employees? It’s absolutely critical. In January, Allianz’s barometer about the global business risks assessed the risk of cyber incidents at 44%. Further, this risk ranks first before the risks of business interruption (42%), natural catastrophes (25%) and pandemic outbreak (22%). In the same vein, the 2022 Global Risk Report of the World Economic Forum states that for 2020

  • 95% of cybersecurity issues traced to human error
  • 358% increase in malaware
  • 435% increase in ransonware

At Emeraude Escape, we totally agree with the Journal du Net which lately noted that with regards to the rise of cybercriminality, the HR department represents a primary line of defense. Actually, improving cybersecurity includes both a technological and human dimension.

An effective operation to raise awareness about cybersecurity and train employees certainly does not only consist in providing information. It also includes in addition taking action on behaviors. So, gamification can then build an effective awareness-raising action. Actually, knowledge development & behavior change are two objectives which can be reached with serious games like digital Escape Rooms or a digital investigation or a virtual Treasure Hunt. Let’s now examine the advantages of gamification to raise awareness about cybersecurity in an effective manner.

The game as the key to an efficient cybersecurity awareness-raising action

Gamification corresponds to a strong expectation in the corporate world at large. An international study conducted for Emeraude Escape has revealed that 72% of employees want their training to be modernized with digital games.

At Emeraude Escape, we design and develop entirely customized digital games to raise awareness about cybersecurity totally in line with our clients’ brand universe. Our scenarios are unique and focused on their challenges and goals. It brings more immersion and more fun to the experience. Meanwhile, the corporate awareness-raising action is more engaging and more effective.

By its immersive dimension, the gamification can immerse participants in a realistic situation

Gamification makes the awareness-raising action more memorable and more effective. We learn from our mistakes. Yet, putting this phrase into practice for cybersecurity appears impossible. There, gamification is the solution. Inside a corporate game, participants are required to take decisions to progress in the scenario. Therefore, they can make mistakes and endure the consequences solely in the game. Correlatively, it has no negative impact for the organization. However, this positive recreational and educational moment will be a memorable experience for employees. This is typically what makes gamification a powerful tool for learning and retention.

With gamification, employees can

  • Get a sense of risky behaviors – individual ones and collective ones – in a fun and practical manner.
  • Become aware of cyber dangers that may exist at all levels of the organization in a practical way
  • Develop vigilance and experiment the procedures and processes implemented by their organizations

For an organization, gamification is moreover an excellent way to

  • Provoke discussions about cybersecurity among employees
  • Assess the knowledge of employees on this topic
  • Allow mistakes you can learn from in a safe environment
  • Improve team collaboration and team cohesion
  • Encourage communication between the IT team and the rest of the employees

Related: Raise awareness about cybersecurity via a digital game

By its fun dimension, gamification has an impact on employees’ attention and engagement before, during, and after the awareness-raising

Gamification makes the awareness-raising action more engaging and more effective. Why? Gamification leverages cognitive and emotional drivers. Various research studies, especially those of John M. Dirkx lecturer at Michigan university and the author of Adult learning and the emotional self have evidenced emotions have an impact on adult training. They can block or stimulate learning.

  • Before: gamification piques the curiosity of employees. Subsequently, it generates motivation for the awareness-raising operation and it reduces the learning stress which may exist for topics like cybersecurity. See our article Raising awareness to cybersecurity inside organizations
  • During: with a system based on scores, rankings, rewards, and even avatars when the cybersecurity game has a digital format, gamification leverages both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation of employees. This is why gamification supports and maintain employees’ attention at a high level during the all awareness-raising session.
  • After: the positive memory of the game-based moment remains. Correlatively, this emotion is actually a significant element for long-term memory.


In conclusion, raising awareness about cybersecurity is a challenge of today and tomorrow. There, organizations can count on a precious ally with gamification. It importantly helps to train and engage teams towards always more vigilance. Contact us today to discuss with our gamification specialists and organize shortly a tailor-made cybersecurity awareness-raising action which will engage your employees.



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