Security Awareness, LMS, and a Slack LMS

Travis Good
November 9, 2022

As we wrote recently, learning management systems (LMS) are general purpose training platforms whereas most security awareness platforms are specific to security and human risk. The most specific and standard feature of security awareness is phishing simulators. There is no analog for this in an LMS.

The most successful model we’ve seen used is to implement a security awareness platform and an LMS but to ensure the two platforms are integrated. Integration points can be on training assignment or training completion / progress, or both. This ensures one source of truth for training and one way to assign training while allowing for best of breed content and tools (phishing) from a security awareness vendor.

But, the LMS + security awareness platform issue becomes more complicated when security awareness market themselves as an LMS. This is common in the market (quotes from website of security awareness vendors):

  • [KnowBe4] KnowBe4 does have its own LMS that lives in the cloud.
  • [Haekka] Turn Slack into an LMS with custom training content.
  • [Curricula] A Simple LMS designed to make online training fun
  • [Proofpoint] With this one learning management system (LMS), you are able to upload your users, choose the type(s) of assessment(s) you would like to run, automatically enroll end-users into training, and then review results.

Security awareness companies need core LMS features to enable customers to be able to get value from their training content.

What is an LMS?

The core features of an LMS are required to offer security awareness training. What are these core features:

  1. Create training
  2. Assign training
  3. Deliver training
  4. Track training

Most LMS vendors market additional features but fundamentally the 4 listed above represent the core features of what should be considered an LMS.

What is a Slack LMS?

At Haekka, we built  all the features of an LMS into Slack. Our vision has been to build the next generation of security awareness. And we feel confident we are starting to realize that vision. But, we have also seen companies start to do other types of training in Slack.

What is a Slack LMS? An LMS has a set of core required features, which we listed above. A Slack LMS integrates Slack into the workflows of all of these features. Doing Slack notifications for training, which some LMSs claim as “Slack LMS” is simply a Slack notification setting for training, not an actual Slack LMS.

Below is what each core LMS feature looks like in a Slack LMS:

  1. Create training - using our simple editor, training is formatted to display perfectly in Slack (including emojis 😉, trust us when we say Slack-first companies love emojis in training).
  2. Assign training - training can be assigned to Slack users, Slack groups, Slack #channels, or all Slack users (guest accounts can be excluded). Training can also be synced to channels and Slack workspaces so all new users will be automatically assigned training when they join.
  3. Deliver training - 100% of training is delivered in Slack. While Haekka gives users the option to take training in Slack, 99.99+% of users complete training in Slack and not on the web. Slack mobile, web, and desktop clients are supported.
  4. Track training - training status is available via weekly training reports in Slack or our web dashboard. Additionally, training evidence for auditors can be downloaded from Slack as a CSV. Haekka also has a an API to integrate training status with other systems such as an LMS or HRIS system (Gusto, Workday, etc.).