Modern businesses are constantly under threat of all kinds of cybercriminal activity. Our increased reliance on the Internet for day-to-day business operations exacerbates the situation further. Because of that, cyber threats, such as data breaches, ransomware attacks, and phishing scams, can devastate an organization’s reputation, financials, and operations.
One effective way to strengthen your organization’s cybersecurity posture is through strategic cyber security training for your employees. This article will explore cyber security training and provide six security training tips for your employees to help build a cyber-resilient organization.
What Is Cyber Security Training?
Cyber security training is an educational program where employees are taught the knowledge and skills necessary to deal with cyber threats, which includes identifying, preventing, and responding. Security training programs cover a wide range of topics, ranging from password risk management practices to email security and even social engineering awareness.
Cyber security training aims to enhance the first line of defense, which includes your employees. Employees are often the most likely target of a potential cyber attack. Therefore, cyber security training improves your organization’s overall cybersecurity by educating them on the industry’s best practices.
Considering the rate of cyber attacks and the fact one in five firms experience some form of data breach, there’s no better way to improve your organization’s cyber resilience than to educate them on the dangers of the cyber world.
6 Security Training Tips for Your Employees
To make your organization more cyber resilient, here are several security training tips to turn your employees into cyber security professionals:
Emphasize Using Strong Passwords
Weak passwords are commonly used by unaware employees. But did you know that they’re also a common gateway for all kinds of security risks? An important part of your cyber security training program must be to train your employees to create strong passwords. The new passwords must be at least 12 characters long and include both upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters.
Encourage them to avoid using easily guessable information, such as birthdates or common words, to reduce the chances of cyber incidents.
Educate Employees on the Dangers of Phishing Attacks
Phishing attacks are social engineering attacks where hackers trick your employees into revealing sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, or credit card details. So another important tip is to train your employees to be cautious when opening emails or clicking on links, especially from unknown sources.
Educate them on how to spot phishing attempts, such as identifying suspicious email addresses, spelling or grammar errors, and requests for personal information.
Encourage Keeping Software and Devices Updated
Cybercriminals will often look for common vulnerabilities in the software your organization uses. The software vendors know this, and they will look to reduce the rate of data breaches caused by security holes by implementing security patches. Therefore, you must emphasize and encourage your employees to regularly update their software, including operating systems, web browsers, and applications, to ensure they have the latest security patches.
Additionally, encourage them to keep their personal devices up to date, such as their laptops and smartphones.
Implement the Use Of Two-Factor Authentication
2FA is a security measure that adds another layer of safety to user accounts by requiring an additional verification step, such as a fingerprint, facial recognition, or a one-time code sent to a mobile device.
Most software vendors have 2FA or MFA as a security measure, meaning your employees can already reduce the chances of cyber incidents. But you must make 2FA implementation an organization-wide policy. Train your employees to enable 2FA on all their accounts, especially those that contain sensitive information or have access to critical systems, to reduce the chance of a potential data breach.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi for Sensitive Activities
Public Wi-Fi networks are highly unsecured and often a risk to your organization’s cyber resiliency. The risks associated with using public Wi-Fi networks are well documented, as hackers can easily use them to transfer malicious data to connected devices.
Therefore, a large part of your security training program is to educate your employees on the dangers of using public Wi-Fi for sensitive activities, such as accessing company email or transferring confidential data. If they must use public Wi-Fi networks, encourage them to use a virtual private network (VPN).
Practice Safe Browsing Habits
Train your employees to practice safe browsing habits by avoiding clicking on suspicious links or downloading files from untrusted websites. Instead, encourage them only to visit reputable websites and to be cautious about pop-up ads or unexpected downloads.
Moreover, you must educate them on how to spot fake or phishing websites by encouraging them to look for the lock icon and the “https” in the URL, which is an indication of a secure website.
Cybersecurity experts recognize that employees are often the first line of defense. While organizations can turn to a host of solutions to enhance their overall cybersecurity measures, one way to prevent cyber incidents and future threats is to offer cyber security training to your employees.
That way, you’re educating your employees on the dangers of the cyber world. Moreover, you’re educating them on how to identify and deal with a potential cyber risk. Security training must be a part of your disaster recovery planning, as there’s no better way to deal with digital threats than to give your employees the necessary knowledge on how to stop them.