The need for cybersecurity training is ever growing these days. If you haven’t already scheduled a training session within your company, put it on your calendar now. The easiest way to ensure your company is not the victim of an attack is to educate your employees on the current threats. But that begs the question: How DO you train your employees correctly?
Read below for the best practices in training and execution.
The first step is to set up a supportive culture around cybersecurity so that employees feel safe and comfortable. Allow employees to ask questions and talk to someone if they need advice or guidance. Set up a forum for employees to ask questions, start discussions, share articles, and information. Foster a culture where employees are not afraid to speak out should they have questions.
Positive Reinforcement is a successful method of encouragement. No reports of anyone clicking a malicious link? Put some cupcakes in the break room. An employee successfully reported a suspicious email and got the word out before other employees were able to open it? Send a small gift card their way. Employees will be more likely to practice good security practices and etiquette when positively reinforced.
Set up Regular Cybersecurity Sessions
With the cyber world constantly changing, regular training sessions are a must if you want to stay ahead of the curve. Find the timing that works best for your company. Once a quarter could be a good starting point.
If you have the budget, hiring outside parties to come in or hold an online session is an option. If not, you can have your IT team hold and direct the sessions which will work just as well. With these sessions, there are a few rules to follow:
● Require all employees to attend – Whether the employee has been there for 20 years or 20 days, all employees should attend these sessions due to the volatile nature of the cyber world. In fact, the longer an employee has been at a company, the more susceptible they are to attacks since they may think that they’ve seen everything and are immune to making a mistake.
● Don’t make sessions too long – If the sessions are too long, employees will miss key information. Keep these short and sweet, typically under an hour.
● Mix up the content with each meeting – No one likes to go to the same meeting over and over. That’s why it’s best to make sure your sessions are different every time. Introduce new content each time or spice up the sessions with different activities. This will help prevent subject matter fatigue.
Start with the basics and teach up from there
It’s best to start simple and work your way from there. Make sure all your employees are on the same baseline and have a common understanding of cybersecurity. Start with something they can look out for daily, like common signs of a phishing email or how to report a suspicious link. Once everyone seems to understand the basics, you can continue to teach more in depth.
Use Teachings In the Real World
To ensure your training regimen is working and employees are retaining what they are taught, consider putting the lessons into practice. Schedule a fake phishing email and see who clicks the links or provides their information. You can craft up one of these emails (or download some fake ones from a verified source) and send them to your employees without their knowledge. You can then track your staff’s actions and report on company performance.
Finally, whether it be financially or mentally, your company must be fully invested in protecting your data. A superficial cybersecurity plan is just as ineffective as no plan at all. You always need to continue to invest in your employees. If you bought a new computer, that computer would need constant updates and repairs. The same goes for people. Make sure you consistently invest and care for your employees and the pay off will be worth it.
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