Can Remote Training Sessions Work For You?

29 June 2020

This is the fourth post in our series on distributed classroom training, this time written by our associate trainer, and cyber security expert Simon Whittaker. Simon answers the question - can cyber security be taught virtually?

As we’re all finding out, working outside of the office environment is here to stay. The impacts of the COVID-19 crisis have been felt globally. Combining this with the cyber issues of our “normal” working world, we’re certain that the next few months will prove very interesting.

One study found that 46% of organisations across the UK, US, France and Germany have suffered at least one “cybersecurity scare” since the coronavirus lockdown began. Cyber attacks are getting more and more pricey for organisations to recover from. The average cost of a data breach has risen to $3.92 million, according to a new report from IBM and the Ponemon Institute.

One of the greatest needs in having good cyber security assurance is to ensure employees are well-trained on how to spot email-based attacks or other vulnerabilities. In the financial services industry, PSD2 regulation requires that all FCA-registered companies have trained their employees.

Our Vertical Structure team is working as normal (albeit from home). Throughout this time, we’ve noticed an uptick in remote, video-based cyber security training. Prior to the lockdown, our training was typically done in-person, but we’re learning that virtual classroom training works really well:


  • Less travel = lower environmental impact
  • More people can fit into a room
  • Online "breakout" rooms work brilliantly for group work
  • Greater flexibility - courses can be scheduled over multiple days to suit fragmented work patterns

Areas we've considered:

  • Technology is needed – access to Zoom or GoToTraining, for instance, plus a stable internet connection
  • After some due diligence, we found that Zoom worked best across the range of operating systems and technologies used by our clients
  • Privacy with virtual classrooms
    • Protect your sessions by password protecting every meeting and training
    • Enable waiting rooms so every person is vetted before they get into the meeting
    • Encourage the use of video – people naturally feel comfortable turning their video off, but it’s key to having that interaction and feedback loop open
    • VPN is provided

Does it work?

Keeping all of the above in mind, we’ve been delighted with the outcomes of our virtually run training courses, as have the attendees. What's more, the virtual classroom has brought additional benefits. For example, we’ve been working with clients to address the needs of parents who are home-schooling during the day. Virtually training has given us the flexibility to split courses over multiple days to suit the needs of everyone.

So, to answer the question - yes, based on attendee feedback, virtual training works extremely well - so well that post-Covid, I suspect virtual training will remain the default for some time after the world has returned to normal.

If you have staff members (either technical or non-technical) who require training in any aspect of cyber security protection, please get in touch with the Instil team to find out more.

Stay safe, everyone!

Article By
blog author

Simon Whittaker

Guest Blogger