Tips For Training Employees on Cyber Security Threats
If an intruder had access to your personal, business, and financial information today, what would the implications be? If that sentence wasn’t enough to make the hair on the back of your neck, maybe these statistics will. In a recent study, it was discovered that 43% of cyber attacks are on small businesses, and of those small businesses, 60% go out of business within six months following an attack. In addition, the average cost of cyber attacks in the U.S. is steadily climbing with the average as of January 2017 being just over seven millions dollars (Small Business Trends).
Bottom line us, cyber security threats can happen at any time, anywhere. As hackers techniques have become increasingly more sophisticated, it’s often difficult to identify threats in real time. It’s important now more than ever that your staff is educated on cyber security, so you can identify threats before they become a breach.
What topics should be covered in cyber security training?
Now that you know why cybersecurity training for employees is important, let’s talk about what topics need to be covered:
Different types of threats
In order for employees to spot security breaches, it’s important for them to know where threats present themselves. The majority of threats come from spamming, phishing, malware, and social engineering. We suggest providing real world examples and using video training to showcase what those types of threats look like.
The importance of password security
It’s easy to use the same password for every account you have, but it is NOT the safe way! Employees should know that passwords are the first line of protection to keep sensitive information safe. Make sure your employees know how to set strong passwords that incorporate a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
Email, internet, and social media policies
Ensuring your employees know what suspicious links look like will help prevent any threats. This includes suspicious links from unknown people or organizations, links in unexpected emails, and anything your antivirus program deems untrustworthy. Your employees should understand not to browse the internet or social media during work. But as a formality, you should outline any rules for internet browsing and social media usage on company devices, and for using company email addresses.
Protection of company data
Cyber security training for new employees should explain the regulatory and legal obligations of data protection. Remember, don’t assume that all employees are aware of these policies and understand them! Training on how to protect company data should be provided during onboarding and consistently throughout their time at the company.
How to report threats
Now that your employees know how to identify threats, make sure they have a clear understanding on who to report the threat to, and how.
How do I make my cyber security training effective?
Once you’ve established the topics your training will cover, you’ll need to figure out how to make those trainings effective. Not everyone learns the same, and let’s face it: cyber security isn’t exactly considered a “fun” topic. Here are a few tips we have for keeping employees engaged.
Get executive buy-in
The cost of cyber security training is worth the ROI. If you’re having trouble getting executive buy-in, pull together some statistics on the costs of training vs. the costs of rebuilding your reputation and customer base post attack.
Train early, and train often
Cyber security training should be a mandatory task in employee onboarding. But it should also be repeated, as cyber security threats are changing every day, and it’s not always top of mind for employees.
Utilize interactive content
While this is a boring topic for most, there are ways you can make it fun! Consider making an animated training, or record in-person videos. We also suggest utilizing quizzes as checkpoints throughout the training, to make sure your employees understand the concepts before moving on.
Empower your employees
Employees want to know you’re recognizing their efforts to prevent cyber attacks. Consider using a learning management system (LMS), and incorporate gamification tricks that make them feel excited, recognized and appreciated. Keep everyone in the loop on identified threats, and even consider making cyber security prevention a core value to your company culture.
If you’re looking for help in the cyber security department, you’ve come to the right place. Thinline Technologies provides a variety of services that can help your organization stay breach free. Visit our services page or give us a call at (410) 453-9300.