Why Employee Training Is an Essential Part of Cyber Security Services
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and you know what that means: Time to reevaluate your security posture and beef up best practices for cyber security awareness (if you haven’t done so already). One way to accomplish this is by making sure your employees know “what’s what” by making them fully aware of the cyber security services offered by your managed service provider (MSP).
When it comes to the safety of your employees and the security of your business, you can’t afford to be unprepared. Today, we talk about how to protect your business against cyber threats and alleviate the biggest security risk to your company: human error.
How Often Do Employees Need Cyber Security Awareness Training?
Picture it: You’ve just completed your annual phishing training. This includes teaching employees how to spot phishing emails. You’re feeling good about it. That is until several months later when your company suffers a costly ransomware infection due to an employee clicking on a phishing link.
Now what do you do?
Many business leaders wonder why it’s necessary to train on the same information year after year. Well, unless you enjoy suffering from security incidents, there’s no such thing as too much training. People can’t change behaviors if training isn’t reinforced. Employees can also easily forget what they’ve learned after several months go by.
So, how often is “often enough” to improve your team’s cyber security awareness? It turns out that training every four months is the “sweet spot” if you want to see more consistent results in your IT security.
A study at a recent security conference looked at users’ ability to detect phishing emails versus training frequency. It looked at training on phishing awareness and IT security.
Employees took phishing identification tests at several different time increments of four, six, eight, 10 and 12 months.
The study found that after four months, training scores were above average; employees were still able to accurately identify and avoid clicking on phishing emails. But after six months, test scores started to drop. Scores continued to decline with each month that passed after their initial training.
To keep employees well prepared and acting as positive agents in cybercrime prevention, they need training and refreshers in cyber awareness at regular intervals.
5 Topics to Cover When Developing a Cyber Secure Culture
The gold standard for security awareness training is to develop a cyber secure culture. This is one where everyone within the organization is cognizant of the strong need to protect sensitive data, avoid phishing scams and keep passwords secure.
CISA reports that an employee who is well-trained in cyber-hygiene will significantly help reduce company risk. Cyber awareness training reduces the chance of your employees falling victim to various different online attacks.
To be well-trained doesn’t have to mean boring. It’s better to mix up your delivery methods. Lucky for you, we have a few examples of exciting ways to keep your employees engaged in their training:
- Self-service videos that get emailed once per month.
- Team-based roundtable discussions.
- Security “tip of the week” in company newsletters or messaging channels.
- Training session given by an IT professional.
- Simulated phishing tests.
- Cybersecurity posters.
- Celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October.
It’s important to remember that while phishing is a big topic to cover, it’s not the only one. As part of our cyber security services, we suggest including these important topics as you build a cyber secure culture:
1. Phishing: Email, Text and Social Media
Email phishing is still the most prevalent method of attack used by cyber criminals. But SMS phishing (smishing) and phishing over social media are both growing. It’s imperative that your employees know what these look like, so they can avoid falling for such sinister scams.
2. Password Security and Credentials
Many businesses have moved most of their data and processes to cloud-based platforms. This has led to a steep increase in credential theft because it’s the easiest way to breach SaaS cloud tools. Credential theft is now the number one cause of data breaches globally. This makes it a critical topic to address with your team.
Discuss the need to keep passwords secure and the use of strong passwords. Also, help them learn about and navigate password management tools.
3. Mobile Device Security
Mobile devices are now used for a large part of the workload in a typical office setting. They’re handy for reading and replying to an email from anywhere. Most companies will not even consider using software these days if it doesn’t have a great mobile app.
Review security needs like securing devices with a passcode and keeping them properly updated, especially if these devices are used to access business data and applications.
4. Data Privacy and Security
Data privacy regulations are something else that has been rising in discussion over the years. Most companies have more than one data privacy regulation requiring compliance. Train employees on proper data handling and security procedures to reduce the risk of falling victim to a data leak or breach that can end up in a costly compliance penalty.
Want Top-Notch Cyber Security Services? Train Your Employees!
Ever-evolving phishing schemes, complex ransomware attacks, risky file-sharing practices and technical regulations mean the people in your organization are the weakest link in your network security. There’s a lot of information and best practices employees need to retain and utilize on top of managing their busy day-to-day tasks.
For many businesses, keeping people up to speed is a big challenge because the days of one-and-done annual training are no longer effective. This is why the implementation of an ongoing, company-wide cyber security awareness training program is critical. At SkyTerra, we believe in teaching your team how to avoid the risks of social engineering with such comprehensive programs as KnowBe4, the leading industry solution for staying current on the latest phishing and ransomware tactics. Contact Us today for more information on how to make your employees cyber aware and improve the effectiveness of cyber security services.