In today’s digital age, businesses of all sizes face a growing number of cyber threats that can put sensitive information, customer data, and financial resources at risk. While there are numerous technical measures organizations can take to protect themselves against these threats, one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of a successful cyberattack is through cybersecurity awareness training for employees.
Cybersecurity awareness training is a process of educating employees about the importance of cybersecurity, the dangers posed by cyber threats, and the best practices for protecting themselves and the organization from these threats. By providing employees with the knowledge and skills to identify and prevent cyber-attacks, businesses can reduce the risk of a data breach, mitigate the damage caused by a successful attack, and maintain the confidence of customers and stakeholders.
One of the key benefits of cybersecurity awareness training is that it helps employees understand the role they play in protecting the organization. By educating employees about cyber threats and the measures they can take to prevent them, businesses can create a culture of cybersecurity that fosters a shared responsibility for protecting sensitive information and data.
According to Coalition, the leading provider of cyber insurance, phishing remains the leading attack technique across all their reported claims. It is frequently the initial vector that provides a foothold for attackers to commit funds transfer fraud or deploy ransomware. A single successful phishing attack can have a waterfall effect, where a compromised email account is used to send targeted phishing emails to the account owner’s contacts. In this scenario, the only effective way to counteract these sophisticated attacks is through an informed and skeptical workforce.
In addition to educating employees, cybersecurity awareness training can also help businesses identify potential weaknesses in their cybersecurity posture. By regularly assessing employees’ understanding of cybersecurity best practices, businesses can identify areas where they need to improve their policies, processes, and technology, and make the necessary changes to reduce the risk of a successful cyberattack.
Cybersecurity awareness training also helps employees stay up to date with the latest threats and best practices. As the cyber threat landscape evolves, businesses need to ensure their employees are aware of the latest tactics and techniques used by attackers, and the best ways to prevent them. By regularly conducting cybersecurity awareness training, businesses can ensure employees are equipped with the knowledge and skills to respond to the latest threats.
Whether you are creating your own cybersecurity awareness plan or evaluating a provider, you should consider the following components:
- Content. Make sure the training courses you are providing are engaging and tailored to the recipients. Many vendors offer content geared towards specific roles, departments, and even generations. Content that successfully reaches Gen Z and Millennials may be different than what appeals to Gen X and Baby Boomers. Your entry level staff and C Suite have different considerations when it comes to cybersecurity risks and their training should be commensurate to their role. Consider if your team would be better served by formal, annual training or bite-sized modules provided on a recurring basis.
- Testing. Most vendors offer some form of training through simulated phishing attacks. By sending your users fake phishing emails, you can identify those who need additional training and to which attack vectors users are most susceptible. A strong testing program will automatically enroll employees who fail a phishing test into a relevant remedial training course.
- Keep Current. We recommend augmenting training modules with updates on current trends in cybersecurity. Consider sending out weekly or monthly bulletins offering tips and tricks to staying both professionally and personally safe online.
In conclusion, cybersecurity awareness training is an essential component of a strong cybersecurity strategy. By educating employees about cyber threats and best practices, businesses can reduce the risk of a successful cyberattack, mitigate the damage caused by such an attack, and maintain the confidence of customers and stakeholders. If you are a business leader, it is important you make cybersecurity awareness training a priority and invest in the resources and technology needed to ensure your employees are ready with the knowledge and skills to protect your organization against cyber threats.
Article Prepared By:
Brian Isenstein | Director of Information Technology