3 Keys to an Effective Staff Cybersecurity Training Program

Your employees are one of the single most important elements of your IT security, and they can either be utilised as a resource to strengthen your security – or they can become a serious risk. This all depends on how much training they receive to boost cybersecurity awareness, empower their ability to recognise and prevent threats, and react effectively during an attack. Here are the 3 most important elements of a successful employee cybersecurity training program.

1. Support active engagement

Cybersecurity can seem boring or irrelevant to many employees, which can make training in this area feel like a chore rather than something essential to their role. It’s important that your cybersecurity training program actively connects with your employees, shows why these measures are so important, and creates an environment where staff buy into this skill set.

This can be achieved through various activities that focus on:

  • Personal safety – Cyberattacks target individuals as well as businesses, and the skills your employees learn through this training can be applied in their personal lives and extended to friends and family. You’re not just looking out for your business; you’re looking out for the personal safety of your team too.
  • Real-life scenarios – Through gamification or demonstrations, you can show employees exactly how vulnerable your system and their personal information is. Try to make it more exciting than simply reeling off facts and figures – you can even have a white hat hacker perform a phishing attack on your systems to see exactly how these attacks occur.
  • Reinforcement – Cybersecurity awareness shouldn’t end when you walk out of the training session. Instead, work with your marketing team or IT partner to develop an ongoing series of IT security content that you can send out in newsletters, on social media, or in videos to help your team refine their knowledge and stay updated on threats.

2. Take on cybersecurity myths

You’ll probably be very surprised about the different misconceptions people have about IT security. Common myths about cybersecurity include the belief that a basic and memorable password is sufficient security, that hackers would have no real reason to target them, and that IT security compliance is the job of the company – not individuals. Many people also believe that there’s no risk in using their personal devices on work networks or lending their work devices to friends and family members. Another common myth in this age of remote working is that there’s no risk to using home or public Wi-Fi if the devices they’re using are secured with passwords.

When people aren’t aware of the risks their behaviours and practices incur, it becomes a very real security vulnerability that hackers are actively targeting. Because most people outside of the IT industry itself understandably don’t have the expertise to question these misconceptions, they can unknowingly become victims of unsophisticated yet devastating cyberattacks.

3. Utilise the right IT security tech and policies

For businesses that aren’t experts in IT security, cybersecurity training can be a case of the blind leading the blind. When companies don’t realise that their own policies and technology is putting them at risk of attack, it’s impossible to train your staff sufficiently to help shore up your defences. Without an expert review of IT security, many organisations simply don’t know they are sitting with significant vulnerabilities. This commonly includes networks unprotected by firewalls, no monitoring against email-based attacks or data leaks, insufficient data backup and recovery, weak website security, or insufficient network monitoring.

Today, cybersecurity attacks are more sophisticated and devastating than they have ever been. Securing your business should be left up to experts who understand the threat landscape, the technologies needed to prevent attacks and the role that employees can take to shore up these defences. Chat to Otto IT for cybersecurity awareness training that keeps your employees, your data, and your core business networks safe.

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