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No matter the size, kind, or industry of the organization, cyber security must be given top priority because it has been on the rise recently. By 2025, the annual cost of cybercrime is anticipated to exceed $10.5 trillion worldwide. This startling statistic demonstrates the need for companies to train their staff in cybersecurity best practices. However, improving employee awareness of cybersecurity issues and providing them with training can seem like a massive undertaking, and most businesses are unsure of where to start. Continue reading to learn how to effectively train your employees and improve awareness of cyber threats. 

What is Cyber Security Awareness? 

Cybersecurity awareness is about giving your employees the tools they need to play a part in defending your company against potential security attacks. Credentialing, resources, solutions, training, and technologies are used to provide information and take action to defend your company through cyber security awareness. 

A business can make sure that its employees, contractors, and suppliers are aware of the existence of cyber dangers, how to recognize them, and the possible impact on your organization by fostering a culture of cyber security awareness in the workplace. 

Moreover, staff that is knowledgeable about cyber security can take the necessary actions to guarantee that such threats are proactively mitigated. 

Because prevention is always better than cure, adopting a cyber awareness program offers all enterprises an affordable way to implement a strong defense against cyber attacks. 

Why is Cyber Security Awareness Critical?  

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A company’s brand, finances, and credibility can all be saved if a data breach or cybercrime is detected quickly. The easiest method to avoid a data breach is to identify early warning indicators and rectify them before any serious harm is done.  

Employee cyber security training is a wonderful first step, but it shouldn’t be done just once. 

Many organizations have been compelled by recent events to implement their business continuity strategies and use remote working. Anecdotal data, however, indicates that the percentage of cyberattacks has also grown as a result. 

That is why it is crucial that organizations, especially small and medium-sized firms, promote cyber security awareness, both onsite and remotely, to avoid potential data breaches. 

Here are critical actions that can be taken by businesses to educate employees about cyber security and boost their understanding of it.

1.Make Cybersecurity a Top Priority in Your Company.

Any program to increase cyber security awareness must be put into action if it is to be successful, just like any other company-wide endeavor. Spend some time determining the weak points, teams, or departments that could benefit right away from cyber security awareness training. Long-term benefits will come from creating a thorough plan to methodically address cybersecurity weaknesses among your employees.

2.Get Senior Management Involved

Engaging with senior management and influential employees will help any cyber security awareness program gain traction. Senior management’s involvement will demonstrate the initiative’s high priority and importance. Furthermore, top-down support ensures that those ultimately responsible for cybersecurity will contribute to its success.

3.Conduct Ongoing Cybersecurity Training

Employee training is an essential component of any effective cybersecurity strategy. A comprehensive security awareness training program will raise overall cybersecurity awareness and provide employees with the confidence and knowledge needed to recognize cyber threats and respond appropriately to prevent them, as well as the escalation process. 

However, it is critical to ensure that cybersecurity training is not a one-time event and is carried out on a regular basis. This reinforces the importance of cybersecurity and fosters a security-conscious culture. Given that employees are the first line of defense against cyberattacks, having them well-trained can significantly strengthen your organization’s defenses.

4.Conduct Cyber Security Drills

A cyber drill is an excellent way to put an organization’s defenses to the test, particularly its employees’ ability to respond quickly to a potential threat in a simulated environment. Cyber drills are simulated cyberattacks that are typically conducted by an internal or external team to test a company’s security measures. 

Different types of drills test employees’ alertness when it comes to identifying and avoiding phishing scams. For example, a phishing simulation simulates a phishing attack to test employees’ alertness when it comes to identifying and avoiding phishing scams. 

Based on how many employees fell for the simulated phishing attack, an organization can determine whether phishing should be given more attention during the next cybersecurity awareness training session or whether resources should be spent strengthening awareness of other aspects of cybersecurity.

5.Establish Rigorous Cybersecurity Policies and Procedures.

Improving cybersecurity awareness can be accomplished by ensuring that robust cybersecurity policies and procedures are in place. A cybersecurity policy is a document that outlines each employee’s responsibilities for protecting a company’s information security. A cybersecurity policy defines the standards of behavior for activities such as social media use, the appropriate exchange of sensitive information via email, internet usage, accessing work applications when working remotely, and password management. 

Businesses can effectively raise cybersecurity awareness by defining and promoting best practices for activities such as the ones listed above, as well as outlining the impact and consequences of failing to do so.

6.Make Cybersecurity Training Programs Engaging

Regular cybersecurity training programs can be made more effective by making the content interesting. Employees may become desensitized to the importance of cybersecurity if repetitive training programs consist entirely of written content or slides. 

There are several ways to make these programs more engaging, such as using video content, gamifying learning through interactive activities/competitions among employees, or implementing a reward system for successfully identifying threats, which can significantly increase the effectiveness of cybersecurity training programs and thus improve cybersecurity awareness.

7.Reinforcing the Confidentiality

To protect your company’s data from cyber threats, hold the following employee training sessions:  

  • Ask them to change passwords on a regular and unique basis. 
  • Teach them about the dangers of using universal passwords, and use real-world examples from previous data breaches. They should also investigate whether any of their account credentials have been pawned. 
  • Discuss why multi-factor authentication, VPNs, and other secure log-on processes are necessary, even if they save time. 
  • To combat unsecured data storage of company data, provide concrete examples of stolen data events caused by an errant flash drive or a hacked personal Dropbox account.

Employee cybersecurity awareness training teaches them how they can help protect your company. IP Consulting takes a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity with your organizational needs and your budget in mind. Our expert team offers businesses best-in-class cybersecurity solutions that keep up with the ever-changing nature of cyber threats. Contact us by filling out our online form.