Here are some eye-opening statistics regarding employees and cyberattacks:
- Human errors cause 23% of data breaches, according to IBM's 2020 Cost of Data Breach Report.
- Per an Opinion Matters Study, nearly 40% of employees don't know what ransomware is.
- Help Net Security Magazine reports that nearly 25% of employees have clicked on malicious links without confirming their legitimacy.
Those are some pretty startling facts about how human interactions by employees affect your business's security. Further research indicates that email is now the most common entry point for malware, providing access in more than 90% of data breach cases. This statistic shouldn't be shocking. Your IT team or Managed IT Services partner provides your business with lots of security standards, including endpoint security management, network monitoring, two-factor authentication and other sophisticated systems to protect your business. The one thing that your IT department cannot control directly is how your employees react to incidents like phishing emails, phishing phone scams or SMS phishing, also known as smishing.
So if email is the most common point for cyberattacks, how can your business help to mitigate its risk from phishing via email, phone calls or text? Robust security policies and the latest solutions will help, but you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a data breach by adding comprehensive security awareness training for your staff.
What Does Effective Security Awareness Training Look Like?
An effective security awareness training strategy will equip your employees to spot phishing, email spoofs and other email threats. That training cannot be a one-and-done effort. Consistent security awareness training will keep employees informed on the latest in cyber threats and help you develop a security-focused culture within your company. Through continuous training, cybersecurity awareness becomes second nature to your employees as you reinforce the knowledge they've acquired regularly. A culture of security awareness helps employees while they are at work and helps them make informed choices in their personal email and online interactions.
The goal of developing a security-focused culture within your business is to nurture positive security habits with employees. This can be as simple as getting into the habit of locking your computer screen when leaving your desk to prevent data from being seen by unauthorized users. Another way to ensure your messages are hitting their mark is to conduct random security tests. Many phishing attacks come in an email about current events or popular culture - right now, the Olympics are a hot topic for phishing schemes. Using these types of items to test your employees' knowledge is a great way to see just how much your staff has learned and tailor training to employees based on the area of greatest need.
Tips to Implement Effective Security Awareness Training
Security awareness training, until recently, was often a lecturer, either online or in-person, using a slide deck to talk about cyberthreats. Businesses would conduct training once a year or even just at the time of a new hire, and the sessions often proved ineffective because of their uninteresting nature and lack of follow-up sessions. To develop a security-focused culture, implementing robust security awareness training is critical. Here are a few tips to make sure your training is successful:
- Make training sessions interactive. Employees show better comprehension if you deliver high-quality video format training. Only use text content as a complementary piece of the video. Ensure the presentation is appealing to keep staff engaged throughout and focused on essential details. If employees have questions or concerns, have face-to-face discussions or virtual conversations with subject matter experts to provide answers.
- Break training down into small modules. Employees' attention span varies widely from one to another, so having shorter, focused sessions will help them retain important information quickly. By providing smaller training pieces, you can keep employees engaged and up-to-date on the latest security topics. You can also create a consistent schedule of training that keeps security top-of-mind and builds the security culture you're striving for.
- Make learning self-paced. Employees want the ability to learn at their convenience. Having a deadline for completing training is critical, but allowing them to learn on their time is vital. Ensure you allow enough time for staff to complete each module based on how complex the subject matter is.
- Keep the message relevant. Always keep training messages current. The cyber threat landscape changes quickly, and training must be updated to cover the most recent information. Content shouldn't be overly technical, as employees have differing levels of technical understanding. Your content should be easy to understand and applicable to daily work scenarios.
- Know that your training is doing its job. Upon completion of modules, assess your employees' skills by conducting quizzes. It is also critical to conduct mock drills that test employee skills in real-life type situations.
By conducting regular security awareness training, you can help to develop a security-focused culture within your business. Training enables employees to detect potential cyber threats and handle them with the proper actions. Implementing a security training program in your company can be challenging. Fraser can help you seamlessly integrate security awareness training into your business operations. One of the best defenses against a cyberattack is having employees who can easily detect a threat and report it to your IT team or managed services provider. Let us help you get started today!