Your company’s mission is to provide products and services — but there’s a lot more to it. You can make all the widgets that you want, but if you don’t protect them you can lose everything. Ignoring potential threats and vulnerabilities will only enable those with evil intentions to compromise your business. That’s why it’s important to make sure everyone in the company does their part to prevent cybercrime and keep hackers at bay. And for that, you need a robust and thorough cybersecurity training program for your employees.
Taking Cybersecurity Seriously
All employees need both an awareness of potential cyberthreats and a proper sense of urgency to combat them. A lackadaisical approach to cybersecurity weakens defenses and creates opportunities for the persistent hacker. Cybersecurity is serious business, and it’s critical that you dedicate sufficient resources to convince every employee of its importance.
Security training should be more than an annual one-hour class to be checked off. It’s something that should be integrated into the daily business culture. That means involving everyone from operations to marketing in communicating the message of cybersecurity readiness. And of course, this commitment needs to come from the top. Executives and managers must set the example in their attitude toward security.
Security Policy Documentation
The development of a clear network and systems security policy will be essential to your success. Knowledge is power, and that starts with good documentation. The goal here is to fully elaborate on the best practices in IT security as they apply to your particular business. Once established, these documents become the foundation of cybersecurity practices throughout your company. They can then be used as the basis for security awareness and training completed throughout the year.
With good documentation, you are setting expectations for your users. The standards explained in your security policy documents can be used to evaluate the performance of employees. New employees should sign an agreement that they are subject to these best practices, and veteran employees should do the same following their annual training.
Regular Training Sessions
Do your employees know what malware is? Are they aware of the dangers of email phishing attacks? Are they familiar with how man-in-the-middle attacks work? They say that repetition is one of the keys to learning. If your employees are exposed to security training information only once a year, they could easily forget important aspects of IT security — or they may never thoroughly learn them.
Employees need to know what’s going on in the world of cybercrime. For example, here are a few key “must know” stats from a 2019 article:
56% of data breaches in the first part of 2018 were social media data breaches.
1 in 10 attackers use malware.
22% of data breaches involve stolen credentials.
The average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million.
A Trend Micro report stated that 91% of cyberattacks start with a spear fishing email. These are personalized attacks. Employees must to be trained and aware of cyberattack methods and how to counteract them.
We recommend using a system for training users on Cyber security. The one we recommend is KnowBe4.com, they are the industry leader. There are others that do a good job as well. This ‘system’ automatically trains the employees quarterly on new threats, and then every month it tests them with bogus phishing emails to see how good they are at spotting potential threats. If they click on something in the test bogus email they go into remedial training. If they don’t do their quarterly training or remedial training the system notifies you so you can discuss this with the employee. Don’t be the company that gets attacked successfully via an email threat! This system is only $30/user per year-the best $30 dollars you’ll ever spend on your business. The system also has sexual harassment training as well.
Cybersecurity Training Conclusion
The weakest points in your cyber defenses is your uneducated employees-they are the infantry on the front lines. Would you send your soldiers to battle with no training-no weapons in the arsenal? The attackers would come straight through to the generals and get them – i.e. a successful fake wire transfer in the case of the businessperson.
There is a lot to learn about cybersecurity, and underestimating its importance is a serious mistake. Everyone must be held accountable for company security policies, and regular training must be offered to keep the issue fresh in their minds. No matter how good your policies, without a good training program, your security will suffer. Be sure to give it all the attention that it deserves.