To significantly reduce the likelihood of a data breach, your business’s security program must start with your employees and strong security policies rather than entirely depending on your IT team or the latest security solutions.
By providing regular security training for all your employees, your organisation will be better prepared to withstand cyber attacks and carry out business as usual. You will also create a security focused culture within your business, one where cyber security awareness becomes second nature to your employees.
Cyber criminals can target your employees at any moment to gain access to sensitive business data. With news of malware, phishing and data breaches flooding the headlines almost daily, employees are most likely aware of the increasing problem. But most won’t understand the gravity of it or in particular the growing threat of the Dark Web.
A fast-growing market for personal and corporate data and user credentials, the Dark Web is the criminal underbelly of the Internet where cyber criminals access, sell or exploit data for profit. Imagine the consequences of your sensitive company information or customer data being hacked and stolen for profit. The cost could be catastrophic, possibly putting you out of business.
Simply put, taking user training seriously makes you a good employer, by helping staff to understand the mistakes they’re making and enabling them to work more effectively. If your employees receive regular security awareness training, their calculated decision-making and quick response can effectively block deceiving threats.
But you can’t expect your staff to teach themselves. It’s your responsibility to ensure you adequately prepare them to identify and ward off potential cyber attacks. Properly trained employees will be more aware of the business’s security policies and will realise that their employer’s cyber security is their responsibility as well.
Security Culture and Its Influence on Employees
Simply conducting a one-time employee training session for the sake of compliance will not be effective. Only regular security awareness training will truly protect your business from looming cyber threats.
The following statistics throw light on why security awareness training is essential in today’s threat landscape:
And don’t be fooled into thinking only large organisations are at risk. For example, research shows that 90% of SMEs have had some combination of email addresses, passwords or other PII data exposed on the Dark Web.
The aim of developing a security focused culture is to nurture positive security habits among employees. For example, the simple habit of locking one’s computer screen when leaving their desk can prevent data from being accessed by unauthorised users.
Tips to Implement Effective Security Awareness Training
Until recently, it has been common for companies to provide security awareness training as lectures using a slide deck, once a year or once during induction. These sessions have proved ineffective because they are uninteresting and lack continuity.
Here are a few tips that can help you effectively implement robust security training:
1. Make the training sessions interactive - Your employees will be more engaged if you deliver training, preferably in high-quality video format since it grabs more attention. Text content should be minimal and only complementary to the video. Make the presentation appealing to your employees so that they do not miss out on important details. Also, make opportunities for employees to clear doubts through discussions with subject matter experts.
2. Break the training into smaller modules - Since the attention span of your employees will almost certainly vary from one to another, breaking training sessions into smaller modules will help them retain information faster as a whole.
3. Facilitate self-paced learning - Give your employees the freedom to learn at their convenience. This, of course, does not mean deadlines should not be set either. Make sure you give your employees sufficient time to complete each training module based on its complexity.
4. Training must include relevant material - The training material must not contain any outdated information. Given how quickly the cyber threat landscape is changing, the training must be updated regularly and must cover new cyber threats, such as the growing threat of the Dark Web, so hackers don’t end up tricking your employees. Don’t make content overly technical. Deliver it in an easy-to-understand manner which is easy to apply to daily work scenarios.
5. Conduct reviews with quizzes and mock drills - To assess your employees’ preparedness, you must conduct regular tests, including mock drills, that assess alertness based on their response to simulated scams.
Transform Your Weakest Link Into Your Prime Defence
The rise in cyber crime and thriving Dark Web marketplaces do not bode well for businesses. It’s essential that organisations take a few steps right now to secure their data and systems from this growing threat.
Creating a transformative security culture within your business will enable your employees to detect even sophisticated cyber threats and undertake adequate action.
At Quintech, we understand that implementing robust security awareness training can be a bit challenging. We can help you seamlessly integrate security awareness training into your business operations to make your employees the first line of defence against existing or imminent cyber threats. Using the very latest cyber protection tools, including our Dark Web Monitoring Solution, we can tailor a proactive cyber security solution to your needs, so that you’re fully covered and reassured that you can focus on your business.
Please get in touch with our team of cyber security experts today and let us get started. Call us on 01684 887200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
1. IBM 2020 Cost of Data Breach Report
2. Opinion Matters Survey
3. Help Net Security Magazine