Cybersecurity relies on main components such as software, hardware, and the user. Individuals are often considered a human firewall because of their crucial role in reducing the risk of attacks.
In a business setting, a proactive approach is necessary for preventing online threats and ensuring security. Establishing strong security policies and measures is vital in any organization. Additionally, increasing staff awareness on potential security risks and how to minimize them should be a priority, too.
Read on to discover effective ways to educate your employees about cyber security and risk management.
Design A Relevant Cybersecurity Awareness Training
Before crafting a security awareness program, an organization must assess the serious risks the company may be exposed to. Ask inputs from your in-house information technology (IT) team to the staff themselves to understand their needs and the issues they’re facing. You can create and distribute a survey form for this purpose.
Once you’re done gathering information, identify the level of employee knowledge and highlight the topics included in the training. Don’t forget to have the issues that your company wants to highlight, for instance, reducing inadvertent clicking of phishing emails.
In addition, you can ask firms providing managed IT security services to assess your vulnerabilities. In some cases, these companies may even be glad to design a training program for you.
Choose An Ideal Learning Setup
There are many ways to conduct security awareness training, in-person lectures being the most common. You can use this setup as much as possible and complement employees’ security awareness with online learning. Providing security training and awareness should be flexible enough to give employees different levels of knowledge and working arrangement.
If they’re part of the remote team, send them the links to find the course. Otherwise, make a recorded copy of the lecture and training and send them to the staff. Make the module as enjoyable as possible by tapping audio, video, and other media resources.
Make The Education Program Engaging and Interactive
Security training must be updated owing to the fast-evolving cyber security threats. Avoid one-way lectures, where participants aren’t required to engage with the resource persons and the rest of the team. One of the better ways to ensure memory retention is by providing opportunities for active processing—which discusses something already familiar to the participant.
For instance, show an email sent to your employees containing a phishing attempt. Explain each element that signals the mail is a fraud, including the questionable addressee and embedded links, the erratic grammar, spelling, or the generic greeting.
A security awareness training can be more interactive using the following methods:
- Group exercises: Break the group into smaller sections and provide tasks or assignments related to the topic.
- Quizzes: Use quizzes to gauge participant knowledge to identify some gaps.
- Recaps by trainees: Before starting a new topic, have a trainee perform a short review of the previous day’s subjects.
- Role-playing: Provide scenarios for each group and ask them to act according to their respective roles. This can be useful in asking the group to show the right way to report a potential cyberattack.
- Gamification: This strategy incorporates game mechanics into non-game settings, including learning management systems. For example, you can implement a points or prize system for every correct answer or execution.
Show Real-World Examples
Some people find it hard to understand discussions in training or outside of it unless they’re about something they’ve experienced. For this purpose, you can simulate a phishing attack or show how downloading malware can damage the system and network.
With the help of your IT team, consider showing an actual cyberattack and explain how your firewall, anti-virus, and other protective tools are capable of thwarting this malicious hacking attempt.
Always Conduct Post-Training Evaluation
Because security and other similar employee training must remain relevant and updated, always ask the trainees for their issues, challenges, and suggestions on improving the activity further. Check employees who may need more security awareness training and provide them with additional resources.
Employees’ feedback is essential in tweaking the security education program, for instance, in the delivery, addition, or exclusion of some topics. But, most importantly, always be on the lookout for new ways that preventable online risks can access business networks and systems for a more comprehensive security awareness education.
The Bottom Line
Cyber security and risk awareness aren’t a one-time deal. Employees must undergo mandatory and regular security awareness and training programs until it becomes second nature, like drinking coffee or making reports.
A successful and regular security awareness program will eventually lead to a strong culture of security awareness and management—something that every company should work hard to achieve.