Security awareness training is one of the most cost-effective and beneficial things your company can do to protect itself against data breaches and outside threats. By implementing a security awareness training program for all employees, each team member will be provided the knowledge and initiative to help protect your company against malicious actors and prevent possible breaches.
Simply put, security awareness training is the process of educating your employees about cybersecurity and physical security threats to your organization, how to recognize them and what to do in the event a breach occurs. The training often includes a review of the company’s privacy, security and technology usage procedures, industry compliance regulations and frameworks such as Payment Card Initiative, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and/or the Sarbanes-Oxley reporting requirements (if applicable), and how to prevent cybersecurity attacks through phishing and other means.
The most effective security training is not a one-time thing. It should be an ongoing practice with regular reminders and formal training at least once or twice per year. For companies with compliance regulations, most employees are required to pass an online test at least annually. That compliance testing can be a good way to implement comprehensive security awareness training.
Interestingly, 45% of employees receive no security awareness training from their employer, according to a survey conducted by CompTIA. With employees being your first line of defense against a number of cybersecurity and physical threats, there are numerous benefits to a comprehensive security awareness training program, such as:
According to IBM Cyber Security Intelligence Index, 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error with the biggest mistake being clicking on a nefarious link from an unknown email. Employees should be taught the different mechanisms of spam, phishing, spear-phishing, malware and social engineering and how they can easily become of a victim. By educating your employees on good email and internet usage practices, you will encourage more vigilance and care in their clicking behavior.
Additionally, when it comes to human error, security threats include holding doors open for others, leaving computers on overnight, staying logged in to computers when away from their desks, and writing passwords down and keeping them at their desks. All of these are no-nos and should be advised against in security training. Most employees get caught up in their day-to-day work that they don’t realize the many security mistakes they make, and by simply pointing them out, you can often stop them from happening.
In addition to knowing what to look out for as far as cybersecurity or physical threats, an important part of security awareness training is how to report possible incidents. While this is probably in your employee handbook, putting emphasis on it and making it a priority will allow it to stick in an employee’s mind. They will know what to report, how to report it and who to report it too, allowing your team to investigate potential threats quicker and mitigate the damages they can cause.
Employees without the knowledge of types of cybersecurity threats and scams are a danger to your company. By training them in email security, physical security, compliance issues and other cybersecurity threats, you are effectively protecting your company against a data breach and securing your bottom line. Security awareness training basically shores up the weakest link of protection – employees vulnerable to bad actors. It is a no-brainer to implement as it is cost-effective and impactful. If you don’t know how to start a security awareness training program, reach out to SubRosa today. We can help you run a penetration test to determine your weaknesses and then implement a training program to ensure greatest efficacy.