Did you know that there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds on average, affecting one in three Americans every year? Unsecured usernames and passwords, minimal awareness, and zero cybersecurity education give attackers more chances of success.
With a steady flow of people in your organization, particularly new and departing employees, cybersecurity training for each employee becomes an ongoing process. While it all starts with onboarding, both new and existing employees require daily reminders and updates on the steps they must take to protect your company from an ever-changing array of cyber threats.
Importance Of Cybersecurity Education
Cybersecurity threats come in a wide variety of types. Therefore, it’s critical to recognize, report, and respond to a cyber threat proactively. Nevertheless, it’s not practiced as often as recommended, and even though it may seem obvious, human error is responsible for more than 90% of successful cyberattacks. In addition, managers should remember that hackers don’t just break into the IT department; they look for vulnerabilities. As a result, every person in your organization should be educated and trained about the best cybersecurity practices.
Data breaches are becoming common, putting users at greater risk than ever. Modern phishing attacks, whaling, social engineering attacks are becoming more sophisticated as threat actors become more inventive, making it more challenging to protect your company. In addition, malicious links, viruses, and trojans have made the internet a dangerous place – but cyber education and employee training can help make it safer for organizations.
Cybersecurity Education for Employees
Users need actionable to-dos that can help them stay alert and safe online in an environment where a single click can cost thousands (if not millions) of dollars. To ensure data protection and cyber-safety, any organization must invest in cybersecurity education for their employees. But how does cybersecurity education help an organization? Is it solely for the benefit of the employees? Or is it strictly for the sake of the management?
The answer is straightforward, and it applies to everyone – Employees are one of the weakest links for cyber criminals to gain access to your data. They’ll send phishing emails pretending to be a part of your company requesting personal information or access to specific files.
To the untrained eye, links often appear legitimate, and it’s easy to fall into the trap; and this is why cyber security education and employee training are critical and the most effective way to protect against all types of cyberattacks and data breaches. The following are the top five ways that cybersecurity education can help your company:
1. Educate To Spot a Potential Social Engineering Scam
Whether in phishing, pretexting, or ransomware – social engineering attacks are dangerous and difficult to detect. It’s critical to catch them as soon as possible if you want to protect your company from cyber threats.
Every employee in your company should be able to recognize a potential social engineering attack. A large-scale data breach can occur with just one employee clicking on the wrong link or sending personal information to the bad person. Therefore, it must be a part of your cybersecurity education and training modules to think carefully about the data exchanges before offering or participating in any email thread:
- Requests for shared credentials
- Contractual or financial information
- Personal information requests
- Strange or suspicious links and files
- Unfamiliar or suspicious phone calls
2. Password Management and Multi-Factor Authentication
When securing your devices, password management policies and multi-factor authentication (MFA) are critical. While the role of a password is straightforward, it is equally essential to rotate a strong and randomized password regularly.
Changing all default passwords on your devices is critical, as this is a vulnerability that threat actors frequently exploit. And, of course, you should never share your passwords with anyone. MFA is also necessary for system security because it requires users to confirm their credentials using two-factor authentication through a secure, secondary application every time a user accesses a device.
3. Users Should Receive Training on Device Security
Device education is a simple but critical step in protecting them. It ensures that every employee in your organization is aware of the best practices for protecting your company’s data. While this starts during onboarding, educating your employees on securing their devices is a continuous process.
Locking your devices before leaving your workstation is an essential first step when leaving the workstation, regardless of a 5-minute bathroom break or a 30-minute meeting, because leaving a device exposed for just a moment is all it takes for unwanted access to happen.
Users should learn about third-party applications that IT departments have not approved, ensuring that users are not running any vulnerable programs that attackers could exploit. It is a mistake that often happens out of good intentions, as they are productivity freeware.
In terms of compliance, make sure BYOD policies are in place, adequately enforced, and that employees are aware of them. The misuse of personal devices can cause fatal data breaches.
4. Maintain Knowledge of Software and Hardware Best Practices
Best practices for software and hardware physical security help to ensure that users are doing everything possible to secure your organization, whether it’s selecting systems with built-in defense functions or regularly updating your software and hardware.
Selecting systems with built-in layers of defense strengthens your organization’s cybersecurity from the moment they go live. With many solutions incorporating built-in security features such as data encryption and endpoint protection, these barriers make it more difficult for threat actors to infiltrate your systems.
Many people overlook the critical role that software updates play in helping to secure your organization. Prioritize updating the software and firmware on all devices to function at their best. In addition, product updates frequently include critical fixes for newly discovered vulnerabilities. Users should understand what’s behind updates and know that there’s more than just performance behind them.
5. Select The Best Cybersecurity Protocols
It isn’t easy to find a technology provider who provides the solutions you require while remaining transparent. While determining which vendor is the best fit for your organization may take some time, it is an essential step toward developing your ideal security solution.
Most vendors provide hardening guides to their customers, such as giving tips on keeping your system secure, so ask the right questions to ensure you receive your vendors’ relevant data and privacy protection policies.
Considering that the end-users of technology inside your organization are not necessarily tech-fluent, even the most basic cybersecurity education can drive these users into a healthy relationship with vendors and systems, fortifying supply-chain defense.
Choosing the right technology is critical to developing a solid cybersecurity strategy, as operating with transparency and clear communication about vulnerabilities allows your organization to develop an optimal cybersecurity strategy.
We’ll Say it Again: Cybersecurity Training Should Be Ongoing
The world has plenty of technology, which makes our lives easier, but we must understand how to manage it and keep cybersecurity in mind at all times. Therefore, cyber security education and training must be ongoing. Phishing simulations and training prompts can help prevent a disaster, but they only scratch the surface of how your users can be educated and protected.
We’ve all heard of companies paying massive fines or even going out of business due to a simple system hack. From ransomware to identity theft and phishing, it could cost you a lot, and there are far too many cyber threats out there to take for granted.
Right-Hand’s comprehensive cybersecurity education platform targets all department users, from novices to experts, with unique content to unique learning curves.
Since new cyber threats emerge daily, training should be ongoing, and learning should cater to users’ vulnerabilities and profiles. If not, they will not reach long-term knowledge retention, good habits will not kick in, and organizations will not build the necessary resilience to withstand cyber attacks.
When looking for cybersecurity training for employees, you should look for a program beyond “cybersecurity awareness in a box” and focus on personalized training, skill management, and implementation.
Schedule a demo with us today to see how our customized solutions can protect your users.