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Why is Security Awareness Training important?

Lily Howell Oct 21, 2020 12:00:00 AM
Young people having business meeting in modern office

Despite the growing threat of cyber attacks, security awareness training continues to pose a big challenge for management teams. Identifying the type of training and who it needs to be delivered to are common problems organisations face while trying to implement security awareness training. Not to mention the lack of employee engagement.

Cyber criminals know the weakest part of your cyber security is your employees, making humans a prime target for cyber crime. In fact, studies show 90% of data breaches are caused by human error.

Phishing attacks are a popular way to take advantage of users that lack security awareness, accounting for a third of all data breaches in 2019.

Last year, more than 4 billion records were compromised, making 2019 the worst year on record for data breaches. In the first 7 months of 2020, we saw companies such as Twitter, Nintendo and Easyjet suffer major cyber attacks. 2020 is set to break last years record for data breaches, largely thanks to the opportunities COVID19 has presented.

Today, any lapse in Cyber Security can have huge repercussions for organisations. One small mistake can lead to serious damage for both the individual and the company. The cost of a data breach has never been higher, and customers are increasingly willing to walk away from businesses and platforms that can’t protect their data. As a result, the risk for many companies is too great to ignore.

What is Security Awareness Training?

Training helps to raise awareness of Cyber Security threats, reduce the risks associated with cyber attacks and embed a culture of security compliance in your organisation.

All employees should receive security awareness training to ensure they have the skills required to identify an attack. Cyber awareness training needs to be informative and most importantly, engaging, to ensure staff understand the importance of their role in your companies data protection.

Why is Security Awareness Training needed?

Your companies weakest security link is your employees and cybercriminals know this.

The goal of security awareness training is to arm your staff with the knowledge they need to handle common threats. Employees shouldn’t be expected to train themselves on how to recognise and deal with threats, it is the responsibility of managers to provide training. Teach staff what your business considers risky or acceptable, what might indicate a threat and how to respond.

According to a report, most employees don’t know the key risk factors relating to data security and privacy. Some employees are misinformed or confused about what risky behaviours are; many don’t understand that cyber security is their personal responsibility, and even fewer understand sensitive data privacy best practices.

Benefits of Security Awareness Training

These days, security is everyone’s responsibility but how can organisations keep up with the ever-changing threat landscape? Security awareness training is the best place to start. Training your staff with the information needed to recognise and react to cyber threats, will reduce risk and embed a culture of Cyber Security Awareness.

Security awareness training helps organisations to:

  • Enhance organisational resilience against cyber threats
  • Reduce human error and security risks
  • Create a shift in employee mindset and behaviour change
  • Improve information technology and security audit results
  • Demonstrate regulatory compliance
  • Improve customer and business partner confidence

9 tips for developing a better business security awareness

Implementing Security Awareness Training

When putting together a security awareness training program, bear in mind that most people spend very little, if any, time thinking about this issue. Cyber Security is a tricky subject to make interesting. However, is the responsibility of the managers to make its security communications ease to understand and if possible, enjoyable.

Security Training and Awareness best practices

There are a variety of different ways you can apply training, so let’s look at some security training strategies to help you get started.

Identify your biggest risks

To determine what type of training is needed, you must assess the key risks you aim to reduce within your business environment. What do employees need to know and do to support the goal? How can you outline that in your training modules in a way that is thorough and to the point?

Your security awareness training will express your company’s goals, policies, and desired employee behaviours.

Make an impression

After you’ve identified your risks, the right training must be delivered to the right people. This should be based on their role and the kinds of data and access they’ll be exposed to in performing their work.

To make it memorable, provide real-world examples that are relatable to their work life. Training that presents scenarios your employees will encounter in their workday and home life makes the lessons real and not just a list of rules to follow.

Break learning into chunks

Avoid overloading your staff with too much new information by breaking the training into sections of similar, easily learnable elements. This way, the training will be more effective.

For example, if phishing emails are high on your risk list, you could start with a short and engaging training session delivered company-wide, that focuses on what phishing is and what to look out for etc.

Then, follow up with a phishing test to see who takes the bait. Finally, distribute more detailed levels of phishing training to people based on their test performance.

Avoid repetitiveness

No one wants to sit through training material they already know. So another way to apply training effectively is giving people the option to test out.

Pre-testing allows people to self-select into what information they still need while sparing them from the boredom of redoing material they’ve already mastered. It’s another great way to improve the efficacy of the training experience.

To conclude, security awareness training should be top of the list when it comes to planning your security strategy. Without switched-on, in the know staff, you run the risk of mistakes being made.

Netitude’s managed service is designed to not only take the burden of cybersecurity away from you but to increase your employee’s security awareness. We teach your staff how to identify and avoid threats through email security training and phishing simulations. If you are interested in learning more about this service, get in touch with a member of the Netitude team today!

Managed Cyber Security Service