Employee training for cybersecurity awareness is an essential requirement for organisations seeking to strengthen their cybersecurity defence. Businesses should include cybersecurity training for employees in their security budgets and procedures since employees account for the highest number of breaches.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s Office (OAIC) noted a 5% rise in data breach notifications between June and December 2020, where two in five breaches were due to human factors. In particular, the OAIC saw employee error breaches rise by 18%. What this means is small businesses need to understand the importance of cybersecurity awareness training.
Why Employee Cyber Awareness Is Important
Cybersecurity awareness and training equip your employees with the relevant skills for detecting unusual cyber incidents, how to report them, and best practices when using information and information systems to prevent exposure to security threats and risks. For example, social media cybersecurity awareness enables employees to understand social engineering scams and how to avoid them.
Moreover, nefarious cyber actors are relentless in their quest for creating sophisticated attack schemes and malware. Therefore, employees need to be trained the best cybersecurity practices to protect the business from external attacks. Creating cyber threat awareness assists employees to understand the various types of malware and attacks and how they can avoid them.
What Is Cyber Awareness Training About
Cybersecurity awareness policies
Cybersecurity awareness training policies entails training all employees and contract members. All individuals using a company’s network must be trained on how to identify security incidents, the relevant people to report the incidents, and their roles in preventing security incidents.
Cybersecurity awareness also involves risk tolerance, a training program that identifies the documented formal and informal risk tolerance models. The models stipulate the authorities who can assume the risks of various process and sign off on the same. The models are based on quantifying the risks in question to ensure employees understand risk identification and reporting.
Role-based security training
Role-based cybersecurity awareness training is a necessity for all individuals accessing a company’s network. However, not all kinds of employees require the same type of training. For instance, employees working in the IT department require a holistic training approach, mostly technical.
Their training should comprise training modules which cover complex issues and security protocols. Training other staff such as top executives, management, and low-level staff may incorporate training, such as email security and healthy password protection methods.
Monthly cadence vs annual cadence
In cybersecurity and awareness training for employees, selecting the right cadence, either monthly or annually, is dependent on some factors. Cadence refers to the frequency within which training periods should be conducted. In the case that training covers security issues that are continually changing, monthly cadence is more appropriate.
The monthly cadence will keep all employees up to date with the best skills of handling new emergent risks and threats. However, training which covers basic security practices such as password protection strategies, the annual cadence is appropriate. Training new employees do not require any particular form of cadence.
Training third parties which handle PII data
Personally identifiable information (PII) data should be protected at all costs. Training third parties who handle PII data would equip them with how to protect the loss of PII.
The cybersecurity awareness training should educate third parties on how to store PII data securely. It should further equip them with access control mechanisms, which comprise identifying the relevant people who should access or modify PII data.
The training will enlighten third parties of the PII data handling policies, which relate to receiving, sending, transmitting, and storing the data. Also, trainees will be equipped with basic encryption processes to enable them to improve their skills in securing PII data.
Free Online Cyber Awareness Resources
There are numerous free online resources which small businesses can use for cybersecurity training and awareness for employees.
- Centre for Internet Security: You can use the top 20 cybersecurity controls by the Centre for Internet Security to develop and implement a free cybersecurity training program for employees. The controls can assist you to conduct a cybersecurity skills gap analysis, train staff members on how to detect attacks, and learn acceptable best practices.
- Cybrary: Cybrary offers various end-user awareness courses that train expose employees to beginner to advanced threats, how to identify them, their impacts, and how to respond. It is a useful program for enhancing a more robust cybersecurity posture by equipping employees with skills for preventing cyber problems.
- Proofpoint Security Awareness Training: Proofpoint Security Awareness Training equips a business’s employees with the skills for responding to real-world attacks. It is a cybersecurity training software that leverages industry-leading threat intelligence to offer sufficient training and awareness, leading to a more robust defence line.