Cybersecurity Training – Your Staff are Your Best Defence
Studies on cybersecurity events show that between 70 and 90% of data breaches are caused by simple human error. Shocking information, right! Recently the huge hike in cybercrime rates also proves that no business is immune to the risk of a cyber-attack.
Your business can be attacked by malware, hacking, ransomware, spam, or social engineering. A moment of carelessness or one mistake from a single employee could compromise your entire organisation. That is why cybersecurity training is vital for employees. Training your employees is a great way to provide an extra layer of resilience to cyber-attack.
Why is it important to provide cybersecurity training to your employees?
Innocent mistakes by employees cause a good percentage of the breaches and when you combine this with the malicious intent of hackers, you have a dangerous situation. As humans, we can make mistakes – trust fake identities, get tempted by clickbait, and can fall for other sneaky tactics used by criminals to gain access to business information. To put it simply, if employees are unable to recognise a threat, they won’t be able to respond to, report or remove it. Surveys show the lack of cybersecurity awareness amongst employees is the main cause of successful ransomware attacks against small or medium-sized businesses.
The best way to deal with cybersecurity is to take a proactive approach – neutralise a threat before it even happens. Firewalls and security software do help, but they are not enough to protect your organisation. Employee ignorance is the easiest and primary entry point for phishers.
Cybersecurity training is vital for your employees to protect themselves and the organisation from cyber-attacks. Ensure your employees get proper training and awareness about security threats and the procedures to follow when they identify a threat. By educating your employees, you strengthen your defences against cyber-attacks.
What is effective Cybersecurity training?
To make cybersecurity training effective, it must include education, testing and accountability. Computing Australia has been providing training, penetration testing and security audits for over 20 years to our clients. We understand how important an effective security strategy is, and why cybersecurity training is so vital for employees. Here are the essential topics you need to include in your security awareness training for employees.
- Different types of cybersecurity threats
Provide employees with cybersecurity training videos to help them identify spam content. Live examples are a great way to help them visualize what form a threat can take. Spam messages enter not only through email, but also via social media messages and invitations.
You need to provide the employees with examples of real phishing scams, so they can understand what a falsified email looks like. Usually, these kinds of emails ask for usernames, passwords, personal information, or financial information that allow criminals to access business programs or steal money.
Make sure your training includes cybersecurity tips for employees to avoid being tricked into downloading malware or ransomware as both are major threats to any company.
Don’t forget social engineering! Social engineers hide behind fake but trusted online identities. They trick your employees into passing information that they shouldn’t.
- Internet, Email, and Social Media policies
The email and browsing practices of your employees play a major role in leaving your business vulnerable to malicious software. Hackers attack organisation applications and social accounts and can steal information, or even money. This makes it a necessity that your training includes policies and guidelines for using the internet, email, and social media.
You need to inform them about the policies on the types of links that can be clicked on, and those they should stay away from. Explain the rules and regulations for internet browsing and social media usage on company devices and managing company email addresses
- The significance of password security
Passwords are widely used throughout an organisation to log into email, apps and more. Many employees set generic passwords which can be easily decoded by cybercriminals. This is the very reason why cybersecurity awareness training should ensure that employees understand how important passwords are.
Make employees understand that passwords are the primary line of protection to keep sensitive information safe and hackers at bay. Train them how to set strong passwords that incorporate a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
- The policies on the protection of company data
Make sure that all your employees are aware of your company’s policies on the protection of data. Explain the administrative and legal duties of data protection to all your new employees. Furthermore, it’s important to provide them with refresher courses regularly to ensure all employees are updated on the rules and policies.
- Methods to identify and report threats
Your employees can be your finest defence against cyber threats, but for that, they need to be informed to identify the hidden dangers and to act accordingly. Utilise this training to assist them in identifying and recognising spam content, unexplained errors and legitimate antivirus warnings. Then, train them the process they should follow to report and eliminate these threats.
Best practices for cybersecurity training
The main purpose of cybersecurity awareness training is to change your employee’s habits and behaviours and create a sense of responsibility and accountability so that they become the company’s first line of defence. For the training to be fully effective, you need to follow these strategies in addition to actual and regular training.
- Make the training mandatory for all new employees
Integrate cybersecurity training into the onboarding program to create awareness about online security threats to new employees. Ensure the new staff is informed about all the important points to avoid any chances of loopholes for cyber-attacks. You can also add policies and rules about data protection and internet usage into the employee handbook.
This is to make the new staff realise that your business cares as much about cybersecurity as you do for work tasks and strategy. This will bring out a sense of responsibility in them, and they will be careful of their online behaviour from the beginning.
- Keep the staff regularly updated
Repetition encourages habit formation. Cyber-safety is a habit that everyone should follow. Make sure to offer employees regular training and integrate opportunities for them to practice safe online behaviours.
Regular training will also let you inform them of the policy changes and keep them updated about new threats. Cybersecurity is evolving continuously and staying updated is a must for your company’s safety.
- Appreciate your staff on their achievements
Once the employees can recognise and act accordingly when they face a cyber threat, they become your business’s first line of defence. So, it’s essential to make them realise how their actions protect the company from danger. This also builds unity and results in all the staff to work together as one and make cybersecurity a core component of the business culture. Create an atmosphere where your staff feel recognised and appreciated for their cyber-safety initiatives and compliance with security policies.
- Incorporate regular tests and audits
Regular Penetration Tests and internal audits help to protect your company from both external and internal cyber-attacks. This is to ensure your business can resist any malicious attack or security incidents through lack of awareness. These tests also help you determine the level of preparedness and awareness of your employees.
Cybersecurity training is vital for employees and cybersecurity is a complex area. it’s always advisable to let professionals handle your training and security needs, for maximum benefits. For example, Computing Australia, Perth uses a combination of white hat hacking tools and specialised forensic auditing techniques to identify the hidden risks to your business. Our internal auditing covers all additional concerns like data security and backup integrity testing, documentation and employee awareness. The rapid incident response team ensures cyber-attacks are tackled in progress and you are protected from it in the future. We also provide employees with training to strengthen the awareness of your staff to realise how their innocent activities, like clicking an untrusted link, can be fatal to your business.
Malware – a collective name for malicious software intentionally created to cause damage to computers, networks and users. Common types of malware include viruses, ransomware, spyware, adware and trojans.
Ransomware – a malware that blocks access to a system and demands ransom to free access again. The infection usually happens through deceptive links in websites, emails or messaging.
Hacking – activities that take advantage of system vulnerabilities and compromise digital data.
Spam – unsolicited messages sent to a large number of users, usually with the intention of spreading malware
White hat hacking – ethical hacking done by a cybersecurity expert with a purpose to test security capabilities.