Organisations are always looking for ways to enhance their security practices, and one of the most effective ways of doing so is to enrol employees in cybersecurity awareness training courses. By taking time to educate employees about how to keep themselves and the business safe, you can mitigate a lot of security threats that we see regularly and maximise productivity at the same time. Training your employees in cyber security will help to ensure fraudsters do not get hold of your critical information, and that your business stays secure. Training employees on the risks of cyber security should not be the only form of security education so a multi-layered and data-driven approach needs to be employed. More on that later.
Benefits of Cyber Security Awareness Training (SAT)
SAT helps you:
- Avoid data loss and protects your IP or financial Information
- Protect the reputation of your business or organisation
- Avoid costly and disruptive downtime caused by cyber-attacks.
- Comply with stakeholder requirements such as those from your key customers (supply chain) and investors.
- Meet with compliance standards such as GDPR and ISO27001
- Helps secure Cyber Insurance for your organisation
Organisations must do everything they can to train employees in cybersecurity basics. Communicating with employees about cybersecurity can seem overwhelming, so here are a few practical ways to teach employees cybersecurity tactics and what to watch out for. Key training topics typically include password management, privacy, email/phishing security, web/internet security, and physical and office security.
Why Do Organizations Conduct Security Awareness Training?
There’s also a business case to be made for security awareness training, the research from the Aberdeen Group shows researchers found that of business leaders:
- 91% use security awareness to reduce cybersecurity risk related to user behaviour.
- 64% use it to change user behaviour.
- 61% use it to address regulatory requirements.
- 55% use it to comply with internal policies.
Active Security Training
Having your employees participate in an active cyber security training program can help to make sure employees retain what they learn. Implementing good quality cybersecurity training can help build that awareness, as well as educate individuals about how and when to escalate a security-related problem or incident.
Cybersecurity training programs help to prevent most cybercrime incidents by training users and updating the security protocols. With improved cybersecurity education in general, as well as awareness about attacker motivations and techniques, education venues can better defend themselves from cyberattacks. The only defence against these attacks is education, or, to put it another way, providing employees with security awareness training.
Data shows that employees are much less likely to retain the information in a security awareness training program if the program is not frequent and requires significant time investments. Proper security training, therefore, teaches workers how to handle confidential information more effectively, which can help to prevent these incidents from occurring in the first place. While investing in the latest cybersecurity tools and software is recommended, equipping workers with continuous training on security skills may best ensure long-term security for the data in your organisation.
Combining SAT with Phishing Simulation Emails
Phishing simulation is a program that organisations can use to send a realistic phishing email to employees to gauge their awareness of attacks and what to do with phishing emails when they receive them. Phishing simulation is typically used in coordination with cyber security awareness training that educates employees about how these attacks work and how to avoid them. The best simulation training includes real-life threats like wire fraud, business email compromise (BEC), CEO fraud, ransomware, and other phishing attacks. Utilising the phishing simulation element of SAT means that anyone who is failing on their training will get more training to do, thus you are giving more training to those who need it the most.
Some Considerations for Security Awareness Training
- Decide on the frequency of the training
- Make sure the training modules are extensive
- Interactive training is better retained than static “point and learn” training
- Decide on the KPIs at the outset (completion rate, click rate on phishing emails)
- Include phishing simulation as part of the program – giving you a one-two punch!
- Tailor your training to different roles (frontline worker or manager may have different needs or level of knowledge).
A training program can help increase awareness and knowledge, so you are less vulnerable to any threats, from phishing to physical security. Putting employees through an information security training program can help them to realize mistakes that are being made, and train them on how to operate more efficiently. Enterprise security awareness training should cover the many types of roles in the business; roles like accounts payable and human resources are targeted by certain types of cyberattacks, like business email compromise (BEC). Training and culture are critical elements to a successful cyber security strategy, as so many vulnerabilities that organisations are facing are internal or involve human interaction.