Recent research reveals that human error is accountable for more than 90% of data breaches. For any company, large or small, that’s a terrifying statistic. Every organization, regardless of size, is susceptible to the threat of a cyber-attack.
A social engineering scam (the act of manipulating people so they give up confidential information) requires only one action to be successful, namely, for an employee to fail to recognize they are being deceived. The simple fact is that one mistake by just a single employee could jeopardize an entire network. If your employees are not aware or prepared for social engineering cyber-attacks, your organization is vulnerable.
How Do I Educate My Employees for Cyber Security?
Effective cyber security training is all in the approach. The objective here is to transform the way your employees tackle their daily work by educating them on the numerous forms of attack and instilling best practice behaviors to protect themselves and your organization. On average, it takes two or three months of daily practice for a habit to develop, which suggests that a one- time training session, where participants are overloaded with information and then sent on their way is simply not effective. An effective security awareness program moves beyond annual or semi-annual training delivered to all employees for the purpose of compliance into a year-round program that’s constantly evolving and adapting based on learners’ security behaviors. It should motivate positive security habits on an individual basis and build that collective or organization-wide culture of awareness.
An ongoing training program that is regularly updated to keep up with the evolving threat landscape and incorporate new security protocols is key. Most people learn best with a more hands-on approach, so backing up the theoretical training with simulations which allow employees to practice safe online behavior will help to reinforce the training and improve its effectiveness.
A well planned out Security Awareness Program should:
Motivate positive security habits
Establish baselines to understand behavior
Build knowledge with interactive role-based training
Assess regularly and remediate as needed
Empower risk notification behaviors
Build pervasive culture of awareness
Analyze and understand organizational trends
Develop awareness program communication
Foster friendly competition
Recognize positive individual behavior change
In order for employees to be able to recognize a potential security threat, it’s essential to provide an overview of the different forms of cyber attacks and how they work. A comprehensive training program should cover the various types of online security threats, and how they are present. As a basis, this might include social engineering scams, like phishing and spear phishing. It should also cover malware, baiting, vishing and smishing.
What Is the Main Purpose of Security Awareness Training?
Social engineering attacks have overtaken malware as the preferred method of compromising data by cyber criminals. A recent study showed that 76% of businesses experienced phishing attacks in 2018. The assumption can sometimes be that in the event of a malicious attack, only systems and technology will be impacted, but that is far from the case. If preventative action is not taken, the damage to your business can be substantial. The potential for loss of confidential client data, defacement of websites, or identity theft could result in a decline in consumer confidence, reputational damage, fines, lawsuits or even bankruptcy.
Training and education designed to create a security focused working culture is the best way to protect your organization. Some of the benefits of cyber security awareness training include:
Employees who feel confident and empowered through training and established security procedures are much less likely to make mistakes which may enable a data breach. Simulations as well as awareness campaigns permit you to track the progress of employees and identify any individuals who may require additional training.
Security practices should be flexible and proactive. Ongoing training and simulations allow you to gather hard statistics to determine which attack methods are the most successful and modify security protocols accordingly.
Prevention is always better than cure, and a security aware workforce could save your organization valuable time and resources. It can prevent downtime and lost revenue by adopting a proactive approach to security training.
Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. All employees have a responsibility to protect an organization’s network and data, but for a practice to be effective, the first step must be education. By taking preventative action, you can protect your organization and your clients from potential cyber security breaches.
The Litcom Approach
Protecting your organization in today’s world requires a culture of Security Awareness. Litcom has partnered with Infosec, developers of the market leading Infosec IQ security awareness and training platform, to empower your employees with the knowledge and skills to stay cybersecure at work and at home.
All of our consulting engagements include the option of one-on-one training with your system administrators to understand security vulnerabilities. In cases where computer-based training is not appropriate or available, we are happy to provide on-site training presentations.
We focus on a strategy of training, assessing, and reinforcing security best practices.
For inquiries please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org