Tips for Employee Cybersecurity Awareness & Training
Automation is a great way to regulate your business operations and protect them from errors and other cybersecurity threats. However, most businesses still need real human employees to perform tasks, interact with clients and different teams, and monitor automated processes to make sure everything is running smoothly.
And humans make mistakes, there’s no way to avoid them. But there are lots of ways to increase employee cybersecurity awareness to ensure that your digital processes aren’t being exposed to unwanted threats. Here are some tips to help keep your employees informed about the latest protocols involving cybersecurity awareness.
Shareable Protocols & Procedures
Offering cybersecurity awareness training is a great way to increase the protection of your business data and systems. But every one of us has gone to a mandated class or been given an online course to complete by an employer, only to promptly forget 98% of everything we just learned.
That’s why we recommend having an area on your intranet or in your employee handbook that lays out your policies and procedures regarding cybersecurity awareness.
Your policies and procedures resources should include detailed documentation of all employee security best practices including things like firewall rules, password best practices, a list of prohibited websites, instructions on how to handle work and personal mobile device use, and more.
Focus on Dynamic Cybersecurity Awareness Training
We are all consuming a massive amount of content every day. From Facebook and TikTok videos during lunch breaks to online news articles and streaming services, our brains are hardwired to tune into content that is engaging.
Your cybersecurity awareness training exercises and content should also be engaging. While it’s possible to make your employees read long educational articles, read long emails from the IT department, or watch boring videos that list all the things they should be doing to keep themselves and your company safe, why waste your time and money?
Many statistics show that interactive training is best for concept retention, and there are tons of great tools out there, just waiting for you to use them.
Employee training should include elements like small quizzes, dynamic videos that are short and engaging, group activities, or other puzzles and tests.
Test Your Training Methods
A manufacturing company recently sent out a “test” email to see how many employees would click on an unfamiliar email, thus creating a potential for a data breach or cyberattack. It was a part of their employee cybersecurity awareness training
Once the email was sent, the IT department waited a few days to see how many people would engage in potentially harmful cybersecurity activities. Once they had their results, they sent out another email, detailing the mistakes (if any) each person tested had made.
But the problem was this: the results email looked exactly like the test email. So no one clicked on it to see their insights.
It’s important to think through the types of tests and cybersecurity awareness training you want to offer to your employees because it’s often difficult for certain employees to distinguish what is a legitimate, if atypical, email request and what is a scam.
Including resources on the best way to identify malicious or spam email content is a great place to start. So is play-testing your training methods.
Identify Your Specific Threats
Email security is one of the biggest methods hackers use to target businesses, but technology is changing. And some remote-based companies are moving away from email altogether.
That’s why it’s important to weigh the importance and trendiness of a threat with the risk it poses to your business specifically.
For example, you may not have a lot of email use in certain departments, but your employees may use collaboration tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams to share important files and conversations. Creating a risk assessment plan around those tools will be more important than teaching people how to double-check the reliability of an email from the CEO.
Focus on Current & Trending Cybersecurity Awareness Topics
While there are many great tips for cybersecurity awareness that are relevant year over year, it’s also important to spend time on the most relevant trending topics. According to usecure, these are the top 12 cybersecurity awareness training topics for 2022:
- Phishing attacks: These attacks are continuing to increase in frequency, partially due to the increase in remote work initiatives
- Removable media: In a study done at an Illinois college, almost 300 USB drives were dropped around campus. 98% of the drives were picked up, with more than half of those found had their files (unknown to the finder) clicked and opened.
- Passwords & authentication
- Physical Security: though most of us know not to, we still leave sensitive information like passwords in easily accessible areas, like a desk-side sticky note.
- Mobile Device Security
- Working Remotely
- Public Wi-Fi; Cloud Security
- Social Media Use
- Internet & Email Use
- Social Engineering: According to usecure, “Employees need to be educated on security awareness topics that cover the most common social engineering techniques and the psychology of influence (for instance: scarcity, urgency, and reciprocity), in order to combat these threats.”
- Security at Home
Five years ago, this list of topics would likely have looked very different. Responding to and educating about emerging threats is just as important as instilling best practice education into all your employees, from new hires to senior staff.
Verve – Managed Services Built from Your Specific Business Needs
Just like your employees are the lifeblood of your company, we understand that people and their habits and needs should be at the forefront of our cybersecurity efforts.
That’s why we offer tailored managed IT services that include:
- 24/7 IT support monitoring and alerting,
- helpdesk support services,
- onsite support,
- infrastructure support,
- mobile device support,
- and cloud support.