Should My Employees Receive Cybersecurity Training?

It seems a simple enough question, “Should my employees receive cybersecurity training?” Most people will agree that more training is always better. Cybersecurity training can greatly reduce the risk for data breaches and help protect the company’s assets. It is crucial for employees to be aware of the numerous security threats out there so that they can take measures to protect themselves and the company. When employees are aware of these security threats, the tactics that are used (such as phishing and malware), and procedures to follow if a threat is identified, you are strengthening some of your company’s most important assets, its data. 

However, despite all of the benefits of cybersecurity training, the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) reports that only about 31% of employees actually receive education and training each year. When you factor in all the benefits of cybersecurity training, that number is astounding. Particularly because cybersecurity threats continue to be an area of concern for not only companies but for individuals as well. While we can all agree that cybersecurity training is crucial for protecting companies from cyberattacks, it’s not being implemented nearly enough to be truly effective. So, what can we do?  

Consistently Provide Cybersecurity Training 

Companies should provide frequent cybersecurity training and education for all employees. Training should be done on the first day (or during the onboarding process) for all new employees and, at minimum, annually for existing employees. Cybersecurity threats and scams are continuously evolving. The more you and your employees stay up to date on the latest threats, the more protected your company will be.  

Educate Employees on the Different Types of Cybersecurity Threats 

There are numerous types of cybersecurity threats out there. Educating your employees on these threats and tactics can give your company a leg up. Be sure to include the most common threats like phishing, spam, malware, and ransomware. 

Phishing. Give your employees examples of what phishing emails might look like and what information they may request. Typically, these emails ask for usernames, passwords, or other sensitive information. You can give them case studies of real phishing scams as examples of what to do and what not to do. Have them practice procedures for identifying and reporting a phishing email.

Spam. Spam can come in a variety of forms including internet pop-up ads, emails, and even social media messages. Even with firewalls and other measures, sometimes spam can still get through to your employees. Train them on what spam can look like and how to take proper action against it.

Malware. Malware is considered a major threat to organizations. It will interfere with the functioning of your devices like computers, tablets, printers, etc. Sometimes, employees are tricked into downloading malware. Be sure your training includes proper procedures on malware prevention and how to address a situation where malware has been installed.

Ransomware. This is another major threat to companies. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) defines ransomware as, “a form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable. Malicious actors then demand ransom in exchange for decryption.” This can be a major problem for companies. Having proper procedures and protocols in place can help prevent attacks, saving your company a huge headache as well as valuable time and money.

Stress the Importance of Password Security 

In Chubb’s Third Annual Cybersecurity Survey, it was found that “only one-third (31%) of respondents report that they regularly change online passwords, and a half (49%) have shared one or more account passwords with someone else.” This indicates a major disconnect in people knowing cybersecurity best practices and actually following through with them. Training your employees on these best practices can help to mitigate the risk of a data breach or cybersecurity attack.

Your employees are the most important defense you have against a security breach. Implementing cybersecurity training can be a huge undertaking for any business, especially since cybersecurity attacks and tactics are constantly evolving and ever-changing.

If you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of implementing cybersecurity training in your organization, that’s where we come in. We specialize in training employees on best practices in security measures, so you can rest easy knowing your employees will receive top-notch training in best practices. This allows your business to be proactive, instead of reactive, against potential security threats. If you’re ready to protect your organization against cyberattacks and increase your security, reach out to us. We are happy to help. You can also download our free cybersecurity checklist to assess how prepared your business is for preventing cyberattacks.

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