Your business’ security program must start with your employees and strong security policies rather than entirely depending on your IT team or the latest security solutions. You can significantly reduce the likelihood of a data breach by combining a well-drafted cybersecurity policy with comprehensive security awareness training.
It is your responsibility to implement security training for all your employees so that your organization can withstand cyberattacks and carry out business as usual. Regular training will also help you develop a security-focused culture within your business and make cybersecurity awareness second nature to your employees.
Cybercriminals can target your employees at any moment to gain access to sensitive business data. However, if your employees receive regular security awareness training, their calculated decision-making and quick response can effectively block deceiving threats.
Security Culture and Its Influence on Employees
Conducting a one-time employee training session for the sake of compliance does not adequately benefit your business’ cybersecurity posture. It is regular security awareness training that can truly protect your business from looming cyber threats that are constantly on the rise.
The following statistics throw light on why security awareness training is essential in today’s threat landscape:
- According to IBM’s 2020 Cost of Data Breach Report, human errors cause 23 percent of data breaches.
- Based on an Opinion Matters survey, over 35 percent of employees do not know about ransomware.
- According to Help Net Security Magazine, nearly 25 percent of employees have clicked on malicious links without confirming their legitimacy.
The aim of developing a security-focused culture is to nurture positive security habits among employees. For example, the simple habit of locking one’s computer screen when leaving the workstation unattended can prevent data from being accessed by unauthorized users.
Once you properly train your employees, they will be more aware of the business’ security policies and will realize that their employer’s cybersecurity is their responsibility as well.
Tips to Implement Effective Security Awareness Training
Until recently, companies would impart security awareness training as lectures using a slide deck. Businesses conducted these training sessions once a year or once during induction. However, these sessions proved ineffective because of their uninteresting nature and lack of follow-up sessions.
If you intend to develop a security-focused culture, implementing robust security awareness training is crucial. Here are a few tips that can help you effectively implement security training:
- Make the training sessions interactive – Your employees will show more interest if you deliver training in high-quality video format since it grabs more attention. Add text content only as a complementary piece to the video. Ensure that the presentation is appealing to your employees so that they do not miss out on important details. Also, make sure your employees can clear their doubts through face-to-face discussions or virtual conversations with subject matter experts.
- Break the training into smaller modules – Since the attention span of your employees will almost certainly vary from one to another, breaking training sessions into smaller modules will help them retain information faster as a whole. You can regularly send training modules to your employees to ensure they are up to speed on the latest security topics. Smaller units have a better chance of retention than lengthy pieces of content.
- Facilitate self-paced learning – Give your employees the freedom to learn at their convenience. This, of course, does not mean deadlines should not be set either. Make sure you give your employees sufficient time to complete each training module based on its complexity.
- Training must include relevant material – The training material must not contain any outdated information. Given how quickly the cyberthreat landscape is changing, the training must be updated regularly and must cover new cyberthreats so hackers don’t end up tricking your employees. Please remember that the content should not be overly technical. The training material must be imparted in an easy-to-understand manner, so employees have no trouble applying it in daily work scenarios.
- Conduct reviews with quizzes and mock drills – To assess your employees’ preparedness, you must conduct regular tests, including mock drills, that assess alertness based on their response to simulated scams.
Transform Your Weakest Link Into Your Prime Defense
Regular security awareness training can help develop a transformative security culture within your business, thus enabling your employees to detect even sophisticated cyberthreats and undertake adequate action.