In this post, we will reveal the objectives of a cybersecurity training program.
From careless staff to malicious insiders, an organization's employees can be one of its biggest cybersecurity threats. In fact, the number of insider incidents across the globe reached 4,700 this year with an overall cost of $11.45 million.
While 62% of insider incidents were caused by employee negligence, 23% of insider incidents were related to staff with malicious intent.
However, with the right cybersecurity training, an organization's employees can become its strongest line of defense. In other words, employees who are given proper security awareness training are capable of identifying and avoiding a potential cyber-attack or data breach.
Businesses can hire a Managed Services Provider (MSP) to train their employees in various aspects of cybersecurity and improve their network security. Let's take a look at how MSPs can help businesses enhance their IT security through a comprehensive cybersecurity training program for employees.
Table of Contents
Objectives Of A Cybersecurity Training Program
Identifying and Mitigating Different Types of Cybersecurity Threats
MSPs can train a company's employees to identify the below-mentioned cybersecurity threats, among others:
This is a type of social engineering attack where cyber-attackers trick individuals into obtaining their critical data such as passwords and usernames. Email and text messages are some of the common means of initiating a phishing attack. MSPs impart the following lessons through the cybersecurity training program to help employees identify a phishing attack:
- Never open emails from unfamiliar senders
- Always use a spam filter
- Refrain from clicking on suspicious links and attachments
- Always check the domain name in the email
- Watch out for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and poor formatting in an email as these are the common tell-tale signs of malicious intent
- Report and mark emails and text messages that create an unnecessary sense of emergency or ask for financial details as spam
This is malicious software that cybercriminals install on an individual's device and try to gain unauthorized access to his/her sensitive information or cause extensive damage to the data and the device. Here's what MSPs teach to help employees recognize and reduce the effect of a potential malware attack:
- Never click on pop-up messages
- Closely monitor files attached in emails and websites
- Always keep the device's software updated
- Back-up data regularly either to an external hard drive or the cloud
- Never download unauthorized software on devices
2. Underlining the Importance of Password Security
Strong passwords can act as a robust barrier to cyber-attacks. A few important password security tips that MSPs suggest to employees include:
- Use strong and complex words in a password
- Avoid using the same password for different accounts
- Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
- Never use Personal Identifiable Information (PII) such as credit card details and social security numbers as username or password
- In case the password is compromised, change it immediately and inform the concerned authority
3. Practicing Safe Internet and Social Media Habits
One of the aims of the security training program is to encourage employees to incorporate healthy internet and social media habits such as:
- Recognizing suspicious or spoofed domains
- Understanding the difference between Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
- Refraining from entering credentials and login information in untrusted websites
- Avoiding sharing personal details on social media platforms
4. Highlighting the Importance of Physical Security of the Business
Apart from training employees on cybersecurity practices, MSPs teach them to protect their organization from the following physical security threats:
This is a type of data theft where the employee’s personal or sensitive information is stolen by malicious insiders and visitors by secretly observing them. Employees can counter shoulder surfing by being vigilant and ensuring that nobody is looking at their system as they type their password or any other sensitive information.
Also, when asked to provide their personal information, such as social security or credit card number, they should write it on paper and not speak it out loud to prevent its theft through eavesdropping. The paper should then be shred instantly.
This is a physical security breach where an unauthorized person follows an employee or any other staff of the organization and enters a highly secure area of the business based on that employee’s credentials. Tailgating can lead to data theft while putting the organization’s property and employees at risk. Employees can prevent tailgating by incorporating the below-mentioned countermeasures:
- Employees should be aware of anyone following them through a restricted business area
- They should immediately inform the concerned authority if they notice a suspicious individual on the company premise
- They should ensure that physical security panels, such as doors and locks, in the business's premises are working properly
5. Incorporating a Robust Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) Policy
With the BYOD culture on the rise, many employees use their personal devices to store business and customer data, as well as to perform work-related tasks. These personal devices, if not protected properly, come with their share of cybersecurity risks such as malware infiltration. MSPs develop a strong BYOD policy that covers the following objectives:
- Ensuring employees protect their personal devices through a strong password
- Incorporating the use of personal devices with full-disk encryption
- Leveraging Virtual Private Network (VPN) set-up for personal devices
Once organizations deploy a proper security training program for employees, they should ensure to update and repeat it regularly. It will develop a good habit of prioritizing cybersecurity in employees. Further, regular training will keep employees informed about the latest cybersecurity threats and help them counter them proactively.
However, if an employee does fall victim to a cybersecurity attack, organizations should refrain from criticizing him/her publicly. Instead, the employee should be given a chance to learn from his/her mistake. Also, organizations can use the case for creating further cybersecurity awareness among other employees.
Further, companies need to make cybersecurity training compulsory for new employees. It will give them a clear idea of how important cybersecurity is to the organization’s safety. This, in turn, will encourage them to be careful with their online behavior from the very beginning.
Employees play a critical role in strengthening the security of an organization. So, instead of considering them the weakest security link, organizations should work towards transforming them into their greatest security asset through a strong security awareness training program. Alternatively, businesses can enroll their important staff members for cybersecurity online degrees.
In summary, businesses must use a viable security program encompassing the above-mentioned objectives to help employees understand and thwart potential cybercrime incidents in an effective way.
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