Cyber Security

What Is Cyber Awareness Training?

What Is Cyber Awareness Training?

Undoubtedly, employees are a valuable business asset. But in matters of security, they can be the weakest link. However, it only takes creating security awareness through training to make them your best defence. As surprising as it may sound, human error counts for more than 90% of security breaches. Unfortunately for businesses and organizations, cybercriminals are aware of this fact. (1)

One weakness in humans is being too trusting or susceptible to manipulation. It doesn’t matter the level and capacity of a team member. Everyone is vulnerable. In the rapidly growing tech and cybersecurity landscape and the ever-evolving methods cybercriminals use to breach your data, you can no longer rely on technology alone to protect your business.

This is where cybersecurity awareness training comes in. In this blog, you’ll learn what cybersecurity awareness training is and what makes a good training program.

What is security awareness training?

This is the continuous process of educating employees and relevant third-party stakeholders on safeguarding a company’s assets, information and data against security threats. It ensures that cybersecurity becomes a top priority and prevents team members from putting business information, devices and other assets in jeopardy.

The rise of cybersecurity awareness training 

The rising cases of cyberattacks have increased dramatically over the past few years. Most of them are social-engineering attacks targeted at an end-user, mainly through emails. In 2021, the average cost of data breaches was a whopping USD$3.86 and USD$4.24 million. This makes cyber awareness training critical for the survival of businesses. (2)

Criminal elements have long been known to use the natural behaviour and patterns of individuals to con them into surrendering money and information. Cybercriminals use similar tricks to make employees open channels where sensitive company information and data are compromised.

However, their ways are getting more sophisticated. Cybersecurity awareness training is all about making employees aware of the ever-changing methods used by cybercriminals to create threats and how to avoid them. In addition, research shows that cyber awareness training can lower cyberattack incidents by 70%. (3)

What makes a decent cybersecurity awareness training program?

For starters, a security awareness training program should encompass the areas of data protection, privacy policy and IP protection and their roles in reducing incidents of cyberattacks. The training programs should also be inclusive, involving team members from managerial to subordinate staff levels. If you’re contemplating on starting a security training program, here are some of the crucial areas to include:

  1. Phishing and social engineering scams

Phishing and other forms of social engineering scams use email, fake websites, chats and other methods to obtain sensitive information from organizations. These threats appear to come from reputable sources, which helps them succeed. Using this approach, cybercriminals can quickly obtain passwords, data and credit card numbers. (4)

  • Secure networks, passwords, and access control

As part of your cybersecurity awareness training, be sure to go over the basics of passwords, access privileges and the importance of using secure networks. Many employees are unaware of the dangers of actions like using unsecured Wi-Fi connections or weak passwords.

  • Device Safety and Security

As the bring your own device (BYOD) trend continues to grow, an increasing number of employees now bring their personal computers or mobile devices to work. When employees use these personal devices to connect to company networks and access corporate data, the more the entry points are for threats.

This makes it critical for them to be aware of the risks involved in that setup and ways to protect their devices and company information. In addition, there are other threats that come from working from home and remote work setups. Unattended devices and logged-in accounts are a security risk.

  • Threat response plan and escalation procedures

It’s not enough that employees are aware of security threats without a way to deal with them. It’s crucial that security awareness training sessions include responding to threat situations. Having a threat escalation and response plan will keep everyone aware of the steps to take when faced with a threat.

Implementing cybersecurity awareness training

When looking to start and implement security awareness training, it’s essential to keep in mind that most people don’t give much thought to cybersecurity. Therefore, creating interest in cybersecurity can be a challenge. Ensure that your security communications are understandable and enjoyable for your workers to generate an interest in learning and practise.