Businesses can significantly improve their security posture by investing in people and providing security awareness training. Many cyberattacks target employees, as they can be tricked into disclosing sensitive information or installing malware. Through training, you can eliminate risky security practices that open the door to hackers and can show employees how to recognize cyber threats and how they should respond when such a threat is identified.
Providing a once-a-year training session covering all aspects of security will help to improve security awareness, but this is not the most effective approach, and it is unlikely to allow an organization to achieve the ultimate goal of security awareness training – to develop a security culture throughout the organization. To help you get the best possible return on your investment in security awareness training, consider these 7 approaches.
1. Ensure Your Communicate That Everyone Has a Responsibility When it Comes to Cybersecurity
It is a commonly held view that cybersecurity is the sole responsibility of the IT department. The IT department should implement safeguards and technology to block and identify threats, but everyone has a role to play in the cybersecurity of the organization, including the CEO, CISO, managers, and workers. Cybersecurity is a collective responsibility, and this should be clearly communicated.
2. Security Awareness Training is an Ongoing Process
If you provide a once-a-year training session that covers all aspects of security, this is likely to improve awareness of the basic lessons of security – Don’t click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails, log off when you leave your computer, don’t plug in a USB drive you find in the street, make sure you set a strong, unique password for all accounts, and so forth. However, you cannot expect employees to be aware of the latest threats and tactics that are being used by malicious actors with this approach. Security awareness training needs to be an ongoing process. A once-a-year training session is great as a refresher on security best practices, but you should be continuously providing training on the latest threats in short training sessions each month. A couple of 10-minute training modules every month will help to keep security fresh in the mind and keep employees abreast of the latest tactics that are likely to be used by malicious actors against them and the organization.
3. Conduct Phishing Simulations
Phishing simulations are a great way to reinforce training and give employees practice at identifying phishing threats in a safe environment. Conduct phishing simulations of varying difficulty on the entire workforce, and if individuals fail, this can be turned into a training opportunity. They can be told where they went wrong, and how they could have identified the threat so that the next time such a threat is encountered, they will be more likely to recognize it as such and avoid it. Phishing simulations allow businesses to take proactive, targeted action to improve security awareness where it is needed and strengthen the weak links before they are found and exploited by malicious actors.
4. Reward Don’t Punish
You are likely to achieve much greater success if your security awareness training program recognizes and rewards individuals who do well, rather than punishes those that get things wrong. If you punish employees for getting things wrong, that is likely to result in a culture of fear, which can lead to a bad working environment where mistakes are actually more likely to be made. Focus on rewarding or recognizing the individuals that get things right and always look for opportunities to celebrate success. If employees fail phishing simulations or make mistakes, make sure you communicate that this simply means there is a need for further training.
5. Make Security Awareness Training Fun and Engaging
Many people will find cybersecurity training dull and boring. Rather than provide lengthy training sessions and give out long boring printouts, use a computer-based training course that has fun, engaging, and gamified content. Use a variety of training tools including videos, demonstrations, quizzes, and other interactive methods to engage employees. Make training fun and enjoyable, and the message is more likely to be taken on board.
6. Tailor the Training Course for Individuals
Everyone learns in their own way and at different speeds, so a one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to give you the best return on your investment. The training course should be tailored for individuals. If the course is too basic for people with a high degree of knowledge, they will get bored. If it is too technical for individuals who have a poor understanding of cybersecurity, they will get confused. Tailor the training course to get the best ROI. For that, you will need a modular training course that supports this flexibility.
7. Constantly Update Your Training Course
The threat landscape is constantly changing, and tactics, techniques, and procedures of cybercriminals evolve, so your training course should too. Keep abreast of the changing threat landscape and ensure your training course is updated accordingly, and that you include the latest phishing tactics in your phishing simulations. Choose a vendor that constantly updates its training content and this will be simple.
SafeTitan from TitanHQ
TitanHQ provides a comprehensive security awareness training platform for SMBs, enterprises, and managed service providers called SafeTitan. The platform includes an extensive library of training content on all aspects of security, with the courses divided into short computer-based training modules of no more than 10 minutes, which makes them easy to fit into busy workflows.
The training content is fun, gamified, and engaging, and is proven to help eradicate risky security practices and reduce susceptibility to phishing attempts. The platform is flexible, allowing customized training content to be provided that is tailored to individuals’ roles and the threats they are likely to encounter, and the platform and training courses can be easily customized to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes.
The platform includes a phishing simulator for testing whether employees can recognize phishing attempts – the most common way that cybercriminals attack businesses. Phishing simulation data shows susceptibility to phishing attacks can be reduced by up to 80% with SafeTitan.
If you have yet to provide security awareness training to your workforce and are not conducting phishing simulations, the ideal time to start is now. Contact TitanHQ today for more information or sign up for a free trial of the solution and put it to the test before deciding on a purchase.