Security awareness training is the sustained process of educating and training employees about potential and current cyberthreats, cyber incident prevention, and mitigation should a security incident occur. Security awareness training is a proactive approach that aligns and underscores the importance of each team member’s role in the safety and security of the organization, its systems, and data.
Security awareness training is about educating your team to be alert and responsive to potential threats while reinforcing an organization’s culture of diligence, responsibility, safety and security.
Even companies that invest in substantial cybersecurity strategies and safety measures are still at risk, mostly due to the potential of bad actors increasing skills in social engineering and phishing schemes. In short, users are getting tricked into letting bad actors in. In fact, according to Verizon’s DBIR, more than 80% of breaches in 2022 involved social engineering, the misuse of stolen credentials, and other human-related entry points.
So even if your organization is swimming in advanced technology, firewalls and anti-malware, without awareness training, the cybersecurity dam will eventually give out due to a careless click or an anemic password.
Whether yours is a global organization or an SMB, security awareness training is critical, particularly within the current cyberthreat environment. The following are some of the threats and topics your cybersecurity awareness training will likely cover.
With the explosion of artificial intelligence and the increased sophistication of hackers, phishing emails are more difficult to identify than ever before. Up until recently, it was usually pretty easy for a shrewd eye to spot error-laden emails as phishing scams. But those days are gone. Now attackers have honed their skills of impersonation, perhaps presenting themselves as leadership or vendors.
USB sticks and other removable media like SD cards, CDs and smartphones are small, seemingly innocuous, and can easily be plugged into devices for bad actors to copy data or install malware.
As part of their security awareness training, employees learn the threat that these device can pose and best practices on how to mitigate the risks.
Devoid of a strong company-wide password strategy, many employees default to predictable login credentials that pose substantial risk to the organization. Bad actors are experts at cracking weak passwords and gaining sweeping access to accounts and systems. They may also sell this information on the dark web.
Randomized passwords and two-factor authentication are both smart inclusions in your password protocol.
Make sure that employees understand the risk of hard-copy documents and unmanned computers. Be sure to store sensitive and proprietary physical documents securely. Even leaving an open laptop for a potty break can be a major security risk! Implement a clean-desk policy to reduce the threat of copied or stolen documents and data.
Applications that include large amounts of private data are incredibly attractive to bad actors. Consider cloud storage as a much safer way to store and protect your data. Make certain your security awareness training includes best practices related to the secure use of cloud-based applications.
Safe internet habits might be the most important line of defense in the security of your organization. Implement policies that govern the online behavior of your employees, only allow for downloads from trusted sources, and teach your team the red flags to look out on websites or in emails.
Social engineering refers to bad actors impersonating trusted sources like government entities, financial institutions, vendors or even the company’s CEO to gain the trust and lure employees to take some sort of action – like clicking on a document embedded with malware or remitting a payment to a disguised account. Social engineering tactics often include a sense of urgency, so be extra mindful when a request includes an extraordinarily quick turnaround time.