Employees training for security

Employing security training: What you need to know

Did you know that most data breaches occur due to human error? According to Verizon’s 2021 DBIR, 85 percent of successful data breaches in 2020 involved the human element. Employees can unintentionally or unknowingly jeopardize corporate cybersecurity such as:

  • Misusing IT access privileges
  • Ignoring security protocols and guidelines
  • Using weak passwords for important accounts
  • Downloading and installing malware
  • Sharing sensitive data and credentials
  • Falling for social engineering scams
  • Running outdated software applications

Your employees play a significant role in cybersecurity. But unfortunately, they are often the most significant security risk too. However, you can turn this security weakness into a strength through security training. In most cases, employees make security errors simply because they don’t know any better and don’t understand the implications of their actions or decisions. Through comprehensive security training, you can eliminate or at least minimize human-based security risks.

Here are some valuable pointers to get you started on employee security training:

When to hold security training

Cybersecurity training is not a one-off thing; it’s an ongoing process. Continuous learning ensures that all employees stay in tune with the latest threats and developments in the cybersecurity world. Plus, every training session refreshes their memory, reminding them what they’ve already learned.

Schedule quarterly training sessions to keep cybersecurity at the top of everyone’s mind. Also, incorporate security training in the onboarding process for new hires. Doing this will help embed security awareness in your organization’s culture.

The scope of a comprehensive cybersecurity training program

The scope of cybersecurity training is virtually limitless. But since you can’t cover every aspect of cybersecurity, it’s best to focus only on the cyber threats your organization is most likely to face. In other words, ensure the training content is relevant to your company and its staff. Generally, essential training topics include:

  • Password management
  • Threat awareness (social engineering, malware, trojans, MitM attacks, etc.)
  • Threat identification, response, and reporting
  • Review of the company’s security policies, guidelines, and best practices
  • Basic cyber hygiene
  • Mobile and personal device security
  • Individual-based cybersecurity roles and duties
  • Remote work security

Remember not to offload everything all at once. Break the topics into small digestible chunks to avoid overwhelming the trainees with too much new information.

Measure effectiveness with tests

It’s essential that after every training session, the employees will be tested on what they’ve learned. This helps you measure the impact and effectiveness of the training. Also, the employees will probably take the training more seriously, knowing they’ll have an evaluation after. You could even make it more interesting by offering incentives and rewards for passing the tests.

These tests can be in the form of basic quizzes, workplace security reviews, drill sessions, and attack simulations. Results from these tests should help you identify the security weakness or areas that may require more attention in future training sessions.

About 60 percent of employees polled in a survey failed a basic cybersecurity quiz despite having received security training from their employer. This shows that training effectiveness may vary depending on how you conduct the training sessions, which is why testing is important.

Bring in the experts

Cybersecurity training can seem daunting if you’re unsure how to structure the training program, what topics to cover, and how to assess your staff’s security awareness and preparedness. In that case, it helps to bring in a skilled and experienced third party to handle employee training on your behalf. Plus, it’s always a good idea to have an objective outsider’s perspective regarding internal cybersecurity matters.

Ensure you get the best results from your training program through our professional employee training service. GB Tech is a managed IT company with a keen interest in cybersecurity. Let’s work together to improve your IT security by training employees and deploying robust security solutions that truly work.