Cyber security has a lot of working parts. It is a simple word, but when discussed at the company level, it carries serious weight. Email security, network security, endpoint protection, and more are all key aspects of a complex cyber security strategy.
However, most security breaches happen from the inside. This makes security awareness training a must. Employees make mistakes. It’s natural. But employee mistakes can be very costly for your business.
A few important cyber security attack statistics include:
- 52 percent of attacks were via hackers
- 33 percent of attacks were social
- 28 percent of cyber attacks involved malware
- 21 percent of security breaches were casual errors (employee)
From implementing detailed security awareness training to integrating security technology like email archiving, there is much to do to keep your company safe. Let’s take a closer look at the human element and how you can take action company-wide.
1. Get Your Finger On The Pulse Of Security Threats
In order to develop a security awareness training program that has value, you need to evaluate the most essential elements of your company’s security. The assessment can be a company-wide survey about cyber security.
Or it can be an email phishing test initiated across all departments. Tests are very valuable for assessments, since you can net tangible data to show just how much a security awareness training program is needed. Thus getting the C-suite onboard.
2. C-Suite Needs To Be Involved
As much as you may want to bypass bringing the executives onboard, you’ll need to. Why? Security awareness programs can cost money and time. You want to be able to get the top brass involved and excited in order to carve out time to hold training, instead of attending to the daily workload.
This can be tricky, since many C-suite executives are slightly detached from security issues, unless you are in a fast-paced technology company. Email phishing tests as explained above are good to show necessity. But you also can’t go wrong with data. Show executives just how much a security breach can affect the company’s bottomline and you will find getting them onboard pretty easy.
3. Focus On Phishing Attacks
Your security awareness training should have a large amount of time carved out for phishing attacks. Why? According to the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, phishing cyber attacks have increased by over 250 percent. That is a serious uptick in phishing, and all companies, large and small are at risk.
The increase can also be attributed to the increase in SaaS services. Hackers have become very good at creating cloned emails of many major SaaS services companies in order to get company employees to open them.
In the training, you also need to explain the impact employees have on the company’s security. It is a foundational change that needs to happen. If employees are not onboard, the security awareness training program will not be successful.
4. Security Awareness Training Isn’t A One-Time Event
If you’re the digital security officer, or managing the development of the security awareness training, the program needs to be ongoing. It is not simply a one-time training event. Hackers are continuously honing their craft, and training your employees needs to run along the same lines.
Updating your team on security threat trends in a monthly or quarterly company newsletter, holding ongoing training sessions, and testing the team on security threats can add value to the program and ultimately facilitate success.
5. Use Data-Driven Metrics To Track Program Progress
Your security training should also not be without data to support its effectiveness, as well as the need to continue the program throughout the year. Your C-suite will also want to see progress, since they are allocating resources to the program. But how do you measure success?
Before implementing the security awareness training program, take a baseline of threats encountered, potential email phishing attacks, and other security breaches. Than as the training moves forward, reassess the data and see if there is an improvement.
You can also measure the actual awareness of your employees. This is accomplished by recording the number of potential threats and security incidents reported by the team before and after the training program. Feedback and testing can also be useful.
In Conclusion . . .
Security attacks are not limited to the size of a company, or how many employees that company has. It is about the measures you take to thwart threats and taking action when a potential security breach happens. Do you have a security awareness training program in place at your company? If not, it is time to take action.