Do's and Don'ts of Security Awareness Training

Most Comprehensive Cybersecurity Agenda

Scammers are busier than ever with remote work in full swing. So let’s talk about some security awareness training’ do’s and don’ts.

Do's and Don'ts of Security Awareness Training

Cybercrime is constantly evolving. However, since more businesses now operate remotely, scammers have intensified their efforts. Additionally, employees are busier, which makes it more likely that security awareness training best practices will be overlooked. For more information, keep reading!

What is security awareness training?

A formal program called security awareness training aims to teach staff how to secure corporate assets and avoid privacy violations. People who receive effective training learn how to handle data responsibly, recognize and avoid circumstances that could be detrimental, and react to cyber risks.

Why is security awareness training effective?

Awareness and education are important. Modern technology is insufficient to safeguard your company. Users are on the front lines, and even the most cutting-edge cybersecurity systems can’t compensate for a staff that isn’t properly trained.

Furthermore, fraudsters are more likely to attack the human aspect as your defenses get stronger. Additionally, most employees tend to underestimate the negative effects that negligent actions can have on your company’s overall security posture. With the proper instruction, you can lessen the likelihood of misinformation and give your workers the best possible start.

Who needs security awareness training?

All members of a network, including senior management, who share, store, modify, or otherwise access your corporate data, should be familiar with the fundamentals of data protection. All new personnel, including independent contractors, students, and interns, should be expected to complete training as part of their onboarding in addition to the regular training provided to current employees.

Why should employees be trained in security awareness?

The majority of security breaches are caused by human error rather than technical issues. Cybercriminals purposefully target employees in order to gain access to an organization’s IT systems or sensitive data since they are aware of the lack of knowledge among employees. The first step in making your staff your best line of defense against cyberattacks is security awareness training. With the help of information security training, you can encourage safe practices and prepare your staff to spot potential dangers. Training on security awareness is a crucial component of GDPR compliance.

Additionally, training lessens the possibility of human error. For instance, according to our research, our users’ errors during a simulated phishing attack were reduced by 50% after receiving ongoing awareness training and phishing testing.

But how do you succeed with security awareness training?

There are numerous types of awareness training. Some decide to hold annual one-day workshops for the entire company. Some people prepare a ton of materials to go through, while others might send a select few employees to a course and then ask them to teach it to the rest of the company. However, for a number of reasons, it can be challenging to conduct cyber security training efficiently. For instance, it’s always difficult to determine whether the training was effective because your employees may get bored or forget what they learnt. You can use the practical advice we’ve provided in this post to step up your efforts.

#1: Start by getting your employees on board

Getting your staff invested in the process is the first step in developing a security awareness training program. In order to gain your staff’s support for the training, it can be good to start by outlining why it is important and not just something they should finish fast to cross it off their to-do lists. Your staff will be more devoted to enhancing the security culture of your company if they are aware of the training’s objectives. The main takeaway from the course will also be more likely to stick in their minds and be applied.

#2: Involve All Levels of the Company

All organizational levels are concerned about information security and privacy. Be sure to include senior management in particular. This conveys clearly that management takes security as seriously as employees do and that the organization is dedicated to

#3: Show both the personal and organizational importance of security awareness

Everyone is more concerned with issues that could affect them directly. We advise security training courses that explain the value of sound security procedures in both home and office settings.

Showing your employees what they personally risk from a data breach will encourage them to take the training seriously because personal data breaches can have a negative impact on both employees and the business.

By addressing the personal component of data security, you can teach your staff how to maintain appropriate online behavior both at work and at home. In other words, instead of being something people have to remember to do when they are at work, these healthy habits will become routine activities in their lives.

#4: Keep it simple

Making the material real and simple to understand is one of our most crucial suggestions for effective security awareness training. Keep in mind that the majority of your staff members lack technical experience, and that it’s simple to get disheartened during training when you have to Google every other term.

Employees may feel even further removed from the field of IT security when using fancy terminology. They won’t be able to defend themselves or the company from dangers if they don’t know what the risks are.

As a result, you should use simple, everyday language when describing concepts. This will enhance learning and raise staff enthusiasm for the security training, resulting in a long-term success for the program.

Also keep in mind that you don’t have to teach a topic in its entirety in one lesson. You can gradually increase your employees’ knowledge by dividing up teachings into manageable chunks without overwhelming them with information.

#5: Give it in small pieces more often

The training materials used in traditional eLearning and by rivals have often lasted 30 to 40 minutes and attempted to cover as many topics as possible with dry and boring content. Employees detest this torture, and as a result, the organization’s cyber security has weakened.

A game changer is delivering extremely interesting content that staff can utilize immediately at work or at home. It has been demonstrated that brief, year-round training sessions that only require a few minutes to complete are quite successful at increasing worker awareness. As employees are taking the training on their own because they can put it to immediate use and because it does not interfere with their day jobs, training departments no longer need to actively recruit people to attend the training.

#6: Provide relevant content

All employees in all divisions of your company should be able to participate in the security awareness training. You don’t have to go into great detail on the rules governing information security or the technical aspects of how computers operate. All you have to do is write information that everyone can understand. Learning about IT security shouldn’t be difficult for anyone, but it should be something in which your company can have confidence.

Create training programs that are geared toward your employees rather than your IT staff and that are both educational and enjoyable. Nobody ought to feel bored while attending classes. Using contemporary examples to make concepts clear and illustrate how security mistakes occur is one approach to achieve this. It also works well to have material that is clear and concise.

#7: Make it interactive

Maintaining interest in security awareness training is simple with the addition of interactive techniques. For instance, after the training, you could provide a brief test to your staff members covering the main points of the course. Quizzes have various benefits, including keeping your employees interested in security training and providing you with a tool to gauge their level of understanding. Your staff will continue to actively participate in your cybersecurity training program thanks to interactive approaches. Your staff will be more aware of their critical role in ensuring the safety of your company the more they engage in the learning process.

#8: Measure your efforts

Put measures in place to evaluate the effects of your program and show a profit.

Don’t concentrate your evaluation of advancement on likeability. It’s beneficial to inject some humor into security awareness, but it doesn’t matter if employee surveys reveal that they love your program. If their conduct is altering, it matters.

Your objective should be to change your behavior; thankfully, this change

Technical controls that are correctly set up assist tracking and reporting; software can give information about high-risk (and malevolent) users; and endpoint security controls track the frequency of malware infections and successfully launched phishing assaults. Tools for security awareness training also assess user knowledge levels and divide user data into categories to get program metrics. They provide data to help pinpoint problem areas and staff members who can benefit from additional training.

#9: Use varied learning methods

Training in awareness is a continuous process. Employ a range of teaching techniques to keep your staff interested.

You can use interactive slides to teach topics, films to demonstrate them, and quizzes to assess your employees’ understanding, for instance, in addition to brief e-learning courses.

Additionally, you may keep security top of mind by putting up posters or infographics throughout the office or by simulating genuine phishing attacks.

Your staff will find it more enjoyable to work with IT security and to keep security awareness up thanks to these touchpoints. Your imagination is the only constraint on how to establish and retain consciousness.

#10: Follow up with your employees

After you’ve implemented your security training, you must continually check in on how your staff members are doing so that you can gauge the training’s effectiveness.

Try to get your staff’s opinions on the programs and the overall awareness training. What do your staff members like and dislike about the courses? Your staff should find value in and benefit from security awareness training. You should expect subpar performance if your team does not appreciate the training.

Since awareness training is a continuous process, it’s important to listen to your team and make any adjustments. Why aren’t your staff enrolling in the courses, if that is the case? Do they require additional time to finish the courses? Should the content be more specialized still? Investigate the causes and take appropriate action to address the issues. Make sure your staff enjoy and desire to participate in the awareness training.

Security Awareness Training - Bad Case Practises

These are the most common mistakes when implementing a Security Awareness Training:

Punishing employees

As cybercriminals develop their skills and their degree of sophistication rises, the environment of cybersecurity is constantly shifting. Employees are intended to learn and fail safely during the supplied training. It is improper to discipline employees who perform poorly during training. The outcomes that businesses should be seeking for will be obtained by identifying the areas that require reinforcement and by offering further training.

Not Listening for Feedback

The main objective is to put together a security awareness training program, but it’s crucial to be mindful of how you’re getting employee input. It’s not ideal if communication feels like a one-way street all the time. It’s crucial to hold casual conversations with staff members to find out what challenges they face and how you can best support their education on these crucial security topics.

We frequently ignore this because we concentrate on employee training as a means of ensuring compliance. You cannot create a culture of security by producing material, delivering it, and then merely marking the task as completed. This will not keep your organization secure.

Instead, we ought to concentrate on providing security awareness training that helps employees stay safe—both for themselves and for your business. To understand what is working and what is not, their feedback is essential. You can learn what they enjoy and find objectionable. Instead of just ticking the box for compliance, this will make your security awareness program stronger and more efficient.

Too Technical

Know your target market. For instance, there is a chance that your staff will become confused by the complexity if you begin providing training to them with a lot of technical security jargon, concepts, and specifics.

Usually, the CTO, IT, or engineering leader is responsible for providing security training to their staff. Even while it looks like a good fit, your employees might not always understand the technical discussions you have with them.

It’s acceptable to introduce technical phrases, but make sure you explain them well. If you don’t, your staff will be left in the dark when it comes to studying new subjects. You will see a gradual decline in engagement and performance when an employee loses trust in both themselves and their online training when they begin to get lost in it.

Even though you might want to jot down every technical term, definition, scenario, and example you can think of, you should be aware that nobody will remember them. Instead, select the key ideas from the material you’re attempting to impart and divide them into simpler, more digestible parts.

Not Interesting

You should start over if your security awareness training consists of dozens of “Death By PowerPoint” slides. In addition to being a waste of time, creating your presentations won’t help you secure your business from a cyberattack.

Even though cybersecurity is a serious subject, learning about it can still be enjoyable. Ineffective security awareness campaigns lead to breaches. If employees aren’t engaged, it’s our fault. To ensure that staff truly learn how to defend themselves, we must implement a program.

Compliance Focus

Compliance is the primary motivator of most company choices. Even if compliance is required, we can still put a strong emphasis on security. You must understand that compliance does not inevitably equate to security as your firm works toward compliance for SOC 2, ISO 27001, or any other regulatory framework.

To check that box for them, you typically make your personnel swiftly go through security awareness training. Although this encourages conformity, you are forcing them to learn material that they will rapidly forget.

Instead of approaching security awareness training from a regulatory standpoint, concentrate on the employee learning process. This entails sporadically providing fresh content all through the year that is dedicated to various security-related subjects. This bite-sized method keeps staff members interested in security throughout the year without overwhelming them with information. This is crucial because you want them to learn rather than merely follow along.

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