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Is Your Security Awareness Training Up to Snuff?

Introduction

Cybersecurity threats can take many forms and target any individual within an organization. Although high-level security access would be ideal for the hacker, it’s regardless effective to crack the passcodes for more accessible employees, who probably have lower levels of cybersecurity threat exposure and training. If they can steal or guess someone’s credentials, regardless of whose, they can more easily breach the system’s security and steal files off the network.

Since anyone can become a target, it’s important for organizations to hold intensive cybersecurity awareness training programs that teaches staff, at ALL levels of the organization, how to recognize and respond to security threats as they arise in real-time. Otherwise it’s not a matter of if a breach happens, its a matter of when.

Current State of Awareness Training

Have you ever gotten a phishing test email from your IT department? Tests like that coming out of the blue can be frustrating at times, but meanwhile it’s extraordinarily necessary.

Did you know that 85% of data breaches result from human error? Whether it’s from failing to recognize a threat for what it is or a simple mistake at the end of a long week, one moment of oversight can end up costing the business tens of thousands of dollars to recover from an attack.

One of the challenges in providing thorough cybersecurity awareness is the changing nature of cyber threats, which advance alongside technology developments. How can you keep on top of the biggest dangers to your business when they are so liable to change?

Supporting Company Security Awareness

Organizations can help their employees grasp the crucial messages of their cybersecurity training by doing some of the following:

  1. Hold regular training and refreshers to keep everyone appraised of the latest threats

  2. Find creative ways to bring the point home and keep employees engaged during training

  3. Include security awareness training in your company onboarding process, to reduce the risk of liability with new hires

  4. Reward good behavior and, when mistakes occur, educate instead of punish

Go below the surface; while many training programs use a bird’s eye view to educate people about common threats, what makes a great training is showing staff how attacks may appear in their particular role and common risk factors involved in that level of the organization. It can be hard to grasp your role in the bigger picture and how a company works together to prevent cyber threats.

How to Build Your Internal Training

When creating, expanding or updating your cybersecurity awareness program, what are important aspects to include?

  1. What to do when someone encounters a threat, including any reporting protocol that must be followed

  2. How to set up multi-factor authentication on their accounts

  3. The most up-to-date tactics that cybercriminals use in social engineering attacks

  4. Education on how and why to update software regularly

  5. Password security such as using a variety of alphanumerical characters, password managers, changing them routinely and generating different passwords for different accounts

  6. How to identify safe sites and software

  7. The dangers of trusting unknown people and/or devices

  8. An overview of the threats most likely to target your business, based on its industry or location as well as other factors

Staying apprised of the latest in cybersecurity news will also tell you when there are new technologies or tactics that the company should employ for a more up-to-date security posture.

Conclusion

When it comes to cybersecurity, it takes a village. A strong cybersecurity awareness training program prepares employees for the inevitability of attempted (and successful) breaches, with particular consideration on how their role plays into the greater picture of the company’s overall defense posture.

Protect your business from the latest cybercriminal behavior, even as it changes. Regular security training for all levels of the organization will train every employee to keep an eye out for unusual activity on the network, and teach them to avoid those human errors that bad actors take advantage of far too often. Topics like phishing and ransomware are important, but delving deeper into how every individual can take daily steps toward online protection will really make your cybersecurity awareness training successful.

References

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