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XL Group Reduces Risk using Security Mentor Security awareness Training

View the XL Group Case Study

Global Insurance and Reinsurance Provider Enhances Compliance with Effective Security Awareness Training Program and Easy Access Using Federated Single Sign-on

"You can have all the technology boxes checked but if your employees aren't trained, you'll be at risk. With Security Mentor's training, we continually educate our colleagues to reduce risk."

Thomas Dunbar, SVP and Chief Information Risk Officer

The Challenge

"Our job at XL is to keep our data protected at all times," said Thomas Dunbar, SVP and Chief Information Risk Officer. "At XL Group, we have a fiduciary responsibility to create a risk awareness culture in our company. Before our colleagues click on a link in an email or on a website, we want to instill in them that their actions play a key role in reducing risk to the corporation," said Dunbar.

Initially, XL educated its employees about security risks using posters, phishing exercises, and other educational tools. "Yet we soon realized that a more formal security awareness program was required," said Dunbar.

"Prior to selecting Security Mentor to provide our security awareness program, we tried other online security awareness training programs, but they were not very effective. Their lessons were not dynamic or interactive and the security information provided was stale or woefully out-of-date," said Dunbar. "Also, some of the programs required audio so you needed local languages for your global offices."

Finding the right, effective security awareness program was critical to XL's defense-in-depth program. "People are integral to our security. We need to continually educate our colleagues to reduce risk. It is essential to raise their awareness to protect themselves both at work and at home," said Dunbar.

The Solution

In the spring of 2012, XL saw a demo of Security Mentor's online training at the CSO Confab, a CSO Magazine conference. They immediately liked what they saw. "There were a lot of tangibles — the visualizations were eye-catching, the interactive lessons were very compelling and memorable, and the security information was current and easy-to-understand," said Dunbar. XL signed the contract with Security Mentor in August 2012, and immediately began rolling out training to its offices in 22 countries.


Security Mentor's security awareness training has been extremely well-received and is helping the Chief Information Risk Officer, and his team, build a security conscious culture at XL.

Interactive, Engaging, Fun Lessons

"Security Mentor's lessons are so interactive and engaging that our employees actually like taking the training. Even senior leaders tell me the training is fun," said Dunbar. "You also don't have to be a security expert to understand the lessons — they are written for everyone in the company."

Expert Security Information

From phishing and information protection to office security and passwords, Security Mentor's security awareness training lessons address the top information security risks for today's organizations. The lessons are written by Security Mentor's subject matter experts, who are certified information security professionals. "At XL, we have a strong risk management culture and use Security Mentor's training to help reduce risk to our organization," said Dunbar.

Single Sign-on Capability Provides Easy Access for Employees

XL employees access Security Mentor's cloud-based training using its federated single sign-on (SSO) capability. SSO technology streamlines the authentication process by eliminating the need for additional credentials, thus reducing barriers for user access to training, increasing participation and compliance, and ultimately ensuring greater success. "Single sign-on is critical. It allows our employees to connect through our own tailored welcome page; they don't need to remember another username and password," said Dunbar.

Compliance Made Easy

"Security Mentor makes it easy to track compliance. On a dime, I can quickly see the employees who have completed the program, and where more follow-up is needed," said Dave Cameron, VP, Information Security at XL. "Currently, the majority of colleagues complete each module, which is excellent." In addition, XL Group has made the training part of the company's human resources' on-boarding process for new hires.

"You can have all the technology boxes checked but if your employees aren't trained, you'll be at risk," said Dunbar. Security Mentor's training has become an integral part of XL's security program. "Sending the right message to our colleagues, 'We understand your importance to overall security,' is critical. We strongly rely on our colleagues to be part of our defensive posture. We understand that security is only as strong as the weakest link and we don't want our colleagues to be that weakest link."

To learn more about how Security Mentor's security awareness training can help your business, contact 831.656.0133 or , or visit

About Security Mentor

Security Mentor, Inc., pioneer of security awareness training that employees love to take, enables companies in every industry to reduce risk by creating a more secure workforce. Interactive, highly engaging lessons teach critical security skills in an easy-to-understand, fun format. Our Brief, Frequent, Focused™ training model of 10-minute lessons delivered monthly fits employees' busy schedules and keeps security top of mind. Training is served from Security Mentor's Cloud LMS or provided as SCORM-compliant modules. Founded in 2008, Security Mentor has customers ranging from Fortune 500 enterprises to local and state governments, including the States of Michigan and Maryland.