What Is Security Awareness Training And Why Is It Important?
Security awareness training refers to a strategy that is employed by security and IT professionals, in an attempt to mitigate risk from users. With the help of a security awareness program, users as well as employees can better understand what role they play when it comes to combating breaches in information security.
With the help of good security awareness training, employees can better understand what rules of cyber hygiene to follow. They will understand what the security risks are that are associated with their actions. This will enable them to better identify any cyber attacks they may encounter online.
There are challenges in place, when it comes to teaching users as well as employees about security awareness. A good security awareness program can better help employees understand how important their role is. In this article, you will learn why security awareness training is important, as well as the best practices associated with starting your own security awareness program.
What Is Security Awareness Training?
Security awareness training refers to empowering users and employees with information regarding how to better protect themselves online. With the help of security awareness programs, users will be more informed when using software online.
With the help of security awareness training, risk from employees as well as users can be mitigated. This way, they can play an active role when it comes to combating breaches in information security. IT as well as security professionals make use of security awareness training in order to mitigate risk from users. Through these programs, users as well as employees can better understand what role they play in protecting and preventing breaches in information security.
When users and employees are informed about security awareness, they can follow better cyber hygiene practices. They will also know what the security risks are, based on the actions that they take. This can enable them to better identify any cyber threats or attacks as well.
Why Is It Important?
According to research, nearly 90% of all security breaches involve human error in one way or another. With the help of security awareness training, you can better address mistakes that employees make when it comes to cybersecurity. This can minimise risks associated with losing IP, PIL, brand reputation or financial resources.
When an information security awareness program is good, it addresses mistakes that employees may make when using the web, or their email. They can even make mistakes in the physical world, such as not disposing of documents properly.
Best Practices To Approach Awareness Training
A good security training program tried to engage the modern workforce, in an attempt to reduce risk from users. There are a lot of security awareness programs that don't follow the best practices in education. They tend to deliver one-off training sessions that end up overwhelming the users. In the worst case, the users can end up forgetting everything they learnt. You can ensure that your employees learn more about cyber security solutions, by making the program more immersive and engaging.
In order for the training to be memorable, it will need to be done persistently. The training should be delivered on a regular basis, but in doses that are small. This will help the employees fit the training into their busy schedules. One other thing you should consider is the benefits associated with positive reinforcement. Training that uses positive reinforcement and even humour tends to work better than training that is either boring or fear-based. This helps improve retention in user security awareness training.
Security Awareness Training Topics
Human error plays a role in more than 90% of all breaches in cybersecurity. This is why managing cyber risks from employees is essential for businesses. Security awareness training enables businesses to steer away from data breaches as well as showcase regulatory compliance. You should also know what the security awareness news is, so you can keep your employees up to date with the latest developments.
If you want to launch a security awareness program, then you could have various questions. One of these is what kind of topics should you include? You'll need to tell employees the answer to the question, 'Why is cyber security awareness important?'. In addition to this, you'll also need to explain the best practices related to security awareness.
Here are twelve topics that you should cover in your security awareness program:
- Phishing Attacks
Cyber criminals continue to make use of phishing attacks, now turning to smarter ideas, in order to trick users and employees. Their aim is to trick either users or employees into downloading attachments with malicious software. In this way, they will try to gain access to sensitive data.
- Removable Media
This is a storage medium that is portable, allowing users to copy information onto the device. They can then remove that copied information to another USB device. And say this USB device happens to contain malware, then when it's reattached to the PC or laptop. Then it could end up infecting the device with the malware.
Some commonly used removable media include SD cards, USB sticks, smartphones and even CDs.
- Authentication and Passwords
If your employees use a password that is too common, then it's possible for malicious entities to detect what those passwords are. They can then gain access to your employee's accounts. When employees use simple passwords, or they have password patterns that are recognisable, they become easier to detect.
This is why employees should know how to make strong passwords. Otherwise, malicious entities could gain access to a large number of employee accounts.
- Physical Security
In today's world, a lot of attacks tend to happen through the digital media. This is why all sensitive data should be secured. This is vital when it comes to the integrity of the security system of your business. Employees should be made aware of risks associated with leaving documents or computers unattended as well. They should never leave vital information unattended, either at work or even at home. Being vigilant can help reduce the security risk.
- Mobile Device Security
The world is more connected today than ever before, and this doesn't come without risks attached. When it comes to security awareness training in 2022, user-device accountability has become increasingly important. This is especially true for people who work remotely, or while travelling.
An online course on the best practices for workers using mobile devices can help them learn what they should do. They can also learn how to avoid risks, without the need for expensive security protocols.
- Working Remotely
Employees need to be made aware of the risks associated with working remotely. Any personal devices that they use for work needs to remain locked, any time they are not attending to it. That device should also have anti-virus software installed.
- Public WiFi
Employees should be made aware of how they can use public WiFi services in a safe manner. There are WiFi networks that are fake, that end up posing as coffee shops that offer free WiFi. If the end user links to such a WiFi connection, then they would be accessing public servers that are non-secure.
- Cloud Security
Cloud applications are being adopted by more and more businesses, transforming how they work. At the same time, a large amount of data that is private is also being stored remotely. This could be affected by hacks on a large scale.
- Using Social Media
Some employees can end up oversharing on the internet. If they end up talking about sensitive information, then this could become accessible to malicious actors as well. A malicious actor could even pretend to be a trusted source, to gain access to this information.
Employees need to know how to protect themselves using their privacy settings. They should also be made aware of why they shouldn't spread information in public.
- Internet And The Email
There are many employees that have already been exposed to breaches of data. This can strongly from using simple or even repeat emails for various accounts. A key part of the IT induction process is educating employees on safe habits regarding using the internet.
- Social Engineering
This is a tactic that is commonly used by malicious actors in order to gain the trust of users and employees. They offer lures that are valuable, and can even impersonate people in order to gain access to personal information.
- Security At Home
The company network can be affected by malware in personal devices as well. Say a person unknowingly downloaded an application with malware. Then they bring that personal device to work and connect it to the company network. This risks the integrity of the company network as well.
This is why employees need to be made aware of the best internet practices. They should know to not share files that aren't encrypted. All their downloads should be authenticated as well. This will help reduce the risk.
Security awareness training is essential to ensuring that employees and users don't end up causing data breaches. This is a strategy that is commonly used by security and IT professionals in order to prevent and mitigate risks from users. If your business doesn't already have a security training program in place, then consider implementing one.
Your security awareness program should cover a wide range of topics, from phishing attacks, all the way to what good internet hygiene is. When employees are made aware of the role they play in security breaches, they can better work to actively prevent them.
If you want to start a security awareness program, then get in touch with Bluefort Security. From Bluefort Security, you can gain professional support regarding implementing security awareness programs at your business.