The post-pandemic era has seen many companies turn to working from home fully. While at it, employees may use personal devices and unsafe internet connections for their work routine. This leaves the company’s data vulnerable to attack.
Thus, businesses should understand that hackers can unknowingly access the employees’ devices anytime. Once they are in, they will control those devices, affecting the organization’s operations. IT teams are now paying more attention to training employees on information and cyber security. If you are looking for the best way to keep your personnel on the know, here are some tips that will help.
Communicate the Importance of Information Security
The first and most important step in any training is effectively communicating its importance. When doing so, ensure not to use technical terms that could be confusing. The goal is to help your employees understand the severity of a security breach and not get them to pass an IT test.
If the topic concerns external threats your organization may not have experienced yet, provide relatable examples. Teach them how to use various services to enhance their security, PhoneHistory, for instance, is a great tool for looking up the real identity of a caller or a stranger using their number.
Highlight the Consequences of a Security Breach
Most people are quick to point a finger once a security incident arises. While it is true that the employee might have triggered the incident, they may not fully understand the consequences. Hence, they may not be keen on how they handle information. Ensure all your employees understand the implications of company files falling into the wrong hands online. Most importantly, let them know how to behave when this happens.
Automate the Training
Creating an in-house training course makes it easy for new employees to learn all they need to know about cybersecurity. The course could include notes, experiments, tests, awards, and rankings. It can also be integrated with HR systems to easily track and record an employee’s performance. An automated process is also time-saving and easy to manage.
Stay Updated on the Current Trends in Information Security
It is surprising how little media coverage cybersecurity threats get. To keep your employees updated, promptly share any emerging security breach trends with them. You can even include a “cybersecurity news” section on your website to avoid bombarding your employees with emails. However, encourage them to check this section for any updates. A great way to keep them committed is to let them know that security is everyone’s responsibility.
Seek Professional Cybersecurity Training
Hackers are always inventing new methods to get away with their crimes. If your security system is only updated annually, the business risks failure due to malicious attacks. It is no different when it comes to the employees. If your employee gets cybersecurity training once a year or every two or three years, this creates gaps in their skills. However, inviting professionals to speak about emerging vulnerabilities and how they can keep themselves safe empowers them.
Train Your Employees to Watch Out for Suspicious Activity
Teaching employees to spot a system security breach involves training them to be aware and alert. Cybercriminals capitalize on human mistakes to infiltrate your organization’s systems without raising the attention of your IT team. They use anything from malicious texts to spam emails to attack and steal data.
Suspicious system activities could be anything from the slowing down of devices to unwarranted password reset requests. Develop a process for your employee to report such activities. If you can catch an attack early enough, you can stop it before it causes irreversible damage.
Add Information Security Training As Part of the Hiring Process
For most organizations, employees only pass the hiring process if they can prove they are qualified for the job and can do it better than anyone else. While this greatly benefits the company in terms of performance, it is not enough to let them into your systems just yet.
Conversely, human resource managers should also consider checking applicants’ knowledge of cyber security, including phishing, spoofing, and password security, in addition to their qualifications. Subsequently, these areas should also be part of the onboarding training process for new employees.
Implement a Zero-Trust Structure Within the Organization
Cyber attackers are becoming more creative, inventing new tricks daily that employees cannot keep up with. It, therefore, becomes harder to detect attacks as they happen, which is why you need a zero-trust structure. This principle states that every access attempt into the data system should be treated as a suspicious activity unless proven otherwise. It reduces the blast of breaches within your organization by providing a natural firewall.
Test Their Preparedness Using Drill Experiences
Drill attacks are not only for fire stations or terrorist attacks. When an organization gets new software, it does not just hand it to the employees without proper training. Similarly, cyber security threats can be played out in a realistic environment to test employee readiness. It exposes them to the realities of a cybersecurity threat and helps assess their weaknesses. Hence, you know where they need training while employees learn how to act in case of an actual attack.
Offer Personal and Self-Paced Training
Cybersecurity training is important in any organization, but it will not do any good if some employees lag in it. For the training to be effective, it should be done at a comfortable pace for everyone. Online courses and training webinars are among the most personalized and customizable programs. Again, they are self-paced, meaning employees can go back and forth with the content as much as they need without pulling others behind.
With more businesses adopting the freelance and work-from-home lifestyle, cyber and information security threats are equally becoming rampant. News of data breaches, malware attacks, and ransomware are breaking the news daily. While there are solid resources that can help protect your organization from these attacks, things can only work if your employees are well trained and knowledgeable about information security.