When it comes to cybersecurity, the vulnerabilities your organization has likely differ from those of other businesses. Although security weaknesses are often unique to the company they affect, there is at least one vulnerability every group shares—no matter the industry. That susceptibility is your employees.
The relationship between human error and cybersecurity is far from a new discovery. In fact, over half of businesses believe their employees put their networks at risk of an attack, according to a study from Kaspersky. The solution to this glaring problem is to provide cybersecurity training for your employees. This can give your team the knowledge they need to prevent themselves from sabotaging your network.
A cybersecurity awareness program is a way to ensure that everyone at your company understands the cybersecurity risks your business faces. By building cybersecurity awareness, your team learns how to avoid situations that put your company at risk. It can also help establish a sense of responsibility among your employees. The goal is to increase practical implementation of security best practices.
If you want to improve your workforce’s cybersecurity awareness, your program should have four key elements. These elements include communication, checklists, content, and controls. An easy way to remember this is to think of them as the four Cs.
- Communication: Cybersecurity is something that affects your entire organization, so you should be holding ongoing conversations at every level of the company. You can do this through company-wide emails, presentations, business lunches, or however you prefer to reach out to your staff. Just make sure that the communication is clear, relevant, and interactive.
- Checklists: A great way to ensure that cybersecurity best practices are being followed is to use checklists. It can also serve as proof that these measures are actively being spread out through the organization. With a checklist, your business can stay organized when developing, delivering, and maintaining the program.
- Content: Cybersecurity awareness needs to be coupled with supporting content. Items like security handbooks, role-based guides, and more can be helpful in preventing cyberattacks. Your staff can refer back to this material to remind them of their training if they run into suspicious activity.
- Controls: A control is a guardrail that ensures that an individual and the system they’re using can only do what their roles dictate. If they want to go beyond that, then they need the appropriate approval. This helps because if a cyberattack were to happen, the hacker would only have access to the part of the network that employee has access to.
If you want to start training your employees, here are a few things you can do to get started:
- Ongoing Education: Establishing cybersecurity literacy is crucial to building cybersecurity awareness. This can be done by providing educational material your staff can go through at their own pace. Education needs to be an ongoing process if you want the information to stick in their minds. The security awareness training topics you provide can teach your team how to identify, avoid, and report threats as they come across them.
- Ongoing Tests: Training often works best when people have an opportunity to put what they’ve learned to the test. For example, your IT department or managed service provider (MSP) can conduct assessments, like phishing simulations. These are false attacks designed to seem like a real attack. Through the assessment, your team has the opportunity to use the best practices they’ve learned in a real life scenario.
- Deliver Feedback: An important part of cybersecurity training is engagement. You can engage with your employees by providing real-time feedback. Tell them if they’ve made missteps and how to avoid those mistakes in the future. Also congratulate them for things they do correctly. Providing feedback not only helps employees internalize their training, but also shows them the security gaps between them and the organization.
The biggest benefit of cybersecurity awareness training is having a more secure business. In addition to improved security, here are a few other benefits you can expect:
- Security-Focused Culture: If you want your workers to take security seriously, it’s important to build a culture that centers around that idea. Regular training communicates to them how much you and your company values security.
- Peace of Mind: As your employees go through training, you can have peace of mind knowing that your workforce is following best practices and they aren’t putting your company network at risk.
- Empower Your Workforce: Employees should be able to feel confident in their interactions with data. If they are aware of what phishing or other threats look like, they won’t be second guessing their actions because they know what to do.
- Downtime Prevention: Experiencing a cyberattack often results in lengthy downtime. An employee who knows how to spot threats can avoid the need for their equipment to be investigated and repaired.
- Future Risk Mitigation: It’s impossible to stay 100% safe from all cyber threats, but being prepared can go a long way in preventing data breaches down the road—saving your company time, resources, and money.
- Increase Adoption: After taking awareness courses, your employees are going to understand how serious cyber risks are. This leads to a greater desire to adopt security practices.
- Stay Compliant: Many industries require businesses to meet certain security regulations. Training your staff on cybersecurity best practices not only helps them avoid violating compliance, but it may also be a part of compliance itself.
LISS Technologies is the leading IT provider in the New York area. We offer a full spectrum of services to meet every IT need. If you want to keep your business safe and secure, you can count on us to implement ironclad cybersecurity solutions capable of thwarting the worst cyberthreats.
Contact us today to learn more.