These days, it’s no longer possible to deny the role your employees have in keeping your data – and your business – safe. Cybersecurity training programs are now more critical than ever. With that in mind, though, you need to ensure your own training isn’t missing the mark. Let’s talk about that.
Cybersecurity training is critical, now more than ever. You’re doubtless already aware of that – you probably even have a program in place to teach your staff the basics. And that program is probably missing quite a bit.
Fact is, most businesses seem to focus solely on the informational side of cybersecurity training. But if you want your training to be effective – if you want it to resonate with your workers – you need to take things further. You need to focus on what your training – on what most training – is missing.
An Understanding of Social Engineering
Phishing is one of the most common cyber attack tactics for a reason – it works. It doesn’t take much for even a well-informed person to fall victim to a phishing email, either. Stress-based carelessness and simple fatigue impact us all at one point or another.
Security awareness education and training simply aren’t enough to mitigate this threat. Sure, teaching people about some of the common tactics used by scammers can help them better recognize the signs that they’re being targeted. But at the same time, it won’t address the incaution that ultimately makes phishing successful.
Instead of solely focusing on information, your training should also focus on mindfulness – on teaching your workers to think differently and be more cautious in how they conduct themselves. This need not apply just to cybersecurity, either. Framing your exercises as a way your staff can further enrich their personal lives can go a long way towards helping them embrace it.
A Focus On Emerging Threats
The cybersecurity market is in constant flux. Every day, new threats emerge, new tactics by which hackers may attempt to compromise your organization. It’s your job to stay abreast of these threats – to pay attention to security researchers and media releases so you can better stay on top of things.
But how exactly does any of this apply to employee training programs?
Whenever a major breach occurs or a major vulnerability is revealed, discuss with your team how the target may have done things better. Keep your training material up to date with lessons that may be gleaned from those breaches.
Last but certainly not least, you need to make your training something employees will actually want to bother with. Establish why your training program is important – why your workers should pay attention to it. Be transparent about why security matters, and about their agency and role in keeping your business safe.
Beyond that, your goal should be to make them actually feel motivated to engage with whatever programs you’ve implemented. Create an interesting narrative that focuses less on the technical side of cyber attacks and more on stories of what happens when cyberattacks succeed. Know and understand the sort of things your staff finds interesting, and structure the narrative on that.
And of course, there’s gamification – that buzzword everyone’s on about. By offering incentives and rewards, visual aids, and entertaining activities, you can get people far more interested in your cybersecurity processes and policies than you ever could with simple information.
Too often, businesses treat cyber training as a way to simply vomit information at their staff. This rarely works. In order for your cybersecurity training programs to actually be effective, you need to go a little further. You need to focus on the above items – on exactly what you’re missing.
About the Author: Max Emelianov started HostForWeb in 2001. In his role as HostForWeb’s CEO, he focuses on teamwork and providing the best support for his customers while delivering cutting-edge web hosting services.