Last year, industry records show that phishing was involved in 93% of successful security breaches. But we shouldn’t point the finger at human error alone. Today’s phishing attacks can be pretty convincing. And, ultimately, we’re all in this together. What businesses really need is to implement solutions that empower end-users to be a strong line of defense. You need cybersecurity awareness training.
Here are 10 steps to help you ensure your end-user training program is a success.
1. Get support from the whole organization
To successfully implement a cybersecurity awareness program, you need company-wide buy-in. From the CEO and CISO to the end-users themselves, the whole business must understand what’s at stake, what the fallout of a breach looks like, and what processes should be in place for prevention and recovery. You also need to make sure there’s enough budget allocated for the resources and technology required to create and maintain those processes.
2. Establish a baseline
Some end users may be more cybersecurity conscious than you realize, while others may require more guidance. Before you can measure the success of any user training, it’s important to establish a baseline. Run a phishing simulation to determine what kinds of education are needed and how best to focus your training efforts.
3. Make a game plan
Round up your IT teams to develop a formal plan for your training. This should be a living document that gets regular updates. Threats change every day, and your training plan should be able to accommodate the newest risks and cyberattack methods your end users may encounter.
4. Express yourself
Your game plan should also include communication with the teams involved. Work with IT teams to determine how best to communicate training related information to all employees. This also helps underscore the fact that security awareness is a group effort, and that no single person or team is responsible for the business’ overall security.
5. Train Early
Cybersecurity awareness training should be part of your onboarding process. As soon as a new employee starts learning the ropes of your businesses, they should also learn their part in keeping it safe.
6. Train often
Not only does training need to be reinforced in order to “stick,” but security risks continue to evolve at alarming rates. One round of training might prepare end users for today’s threats, but what happens a few months down the road, after they’ve started to relax post-training and cyberattack tactics have changed? Training should be ongoing throughout the duration of an employee’s time with the company.
Need help with Cybersecurity Awareness Training? Schedule a no-commitment demo and consultation with Xari Group here.
7. Continually Reevaluate
The key to successful programs is a combination of ongoing training and reassessment. Don’t shy away from testing your end-users and security systems, and be sure to take the results and use them to refine your programs and processes. And it’s never a bad idea to take a day to simulate a breach scenario with key teams and stakeholders, to ensure that your organization’s communication and recovery processes are where they need to be.
8. Make cyber-awareness part of the culture
It’s not just the right combination of people, processes, and technology that help prevent attacks before they happen. It’s also the right attitude. Training programs succeed when everyone involved understands their roles, responsibilities, and contributions. Consider appointing cyber-awareness advocates to help reinforce training and support IT teams.
9. Practice cyber-hygiene at home
In our increasingly mobile culture, corporate and personal devices are becoming almost interchangeable. It’s crucial that your end users put their training to use at home, and also understand how that training is applicable in keeping their families and personal data safe.
10. Create incentives and rewards
By rewarding users who report malicious emails and websites, or who share security-related tips and info, you give users yet another reason to support your security efforts.
Read more about Security Awareness Training from our available online resources.