How To Create Effective Cyber Security Training For Employees

As businesses rely more on the internet and technology, they are more exposed to cyber threats. Taking all the precautions and even getting the best security system won't work if the employees aren't educated about cybersecurity. 
 
The people inside the organisation are the pathway to sensitive information. In fact, 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error.  To eliminate the risk of cyber threats, the employees need to know more about it. Here's where cybersecurity training comes in.
 
With the number of remote workers relentlessly going up, cybersecurity training is needed more than ever. The “human attack surface” of employees working on a computer is estimated to reach 4 billion people this year.
 
Prevention is much better and considerably cheaper than finding a solution. Cybersecurity training is the best tool for effective prevention and protection from cyber attacks. 
 
Who Should be Educated about Cyber Security within a Company?
 
If you are thinking about which employees should go through training, let us make it easier for you. The answer is everyone. 
If an employee uses a computer (for any reason), they need training. A single email opened by an employee can take the whole system down. That's why everyone in the company needs to be educated about cybersecurity.
 
Cybersecurity training can help employees recognize risks and take the right precaution measures to minimize the exposure.
 
Ten Tips for Creating Effective Cyber Security Training for Employees
 
What you share and how you conduct the training is directly linked to how effective the training will be. 
Some useful guidance can go a long way when it comes to creating successful cybersecurity training for your employees. Here are a few important tips that will lead to an effective training program:
 
1. Use Everyday Language:  Go for simple and comprehensible explanations. You want everyone to understand what you are saying. Using technical and security jargon won’t make that happen.
Unless your company consists of security experts, you need to simplify the language. Conversational language is the best choice.
 
2. Define What’s Important:  Trying to teach your employees about every nick and crack of cybersecurity won't help you train them well. They can't learn it all. Especially since some of them will hear about it for the first time.
Instead, focus on what’s relevant for your company and its security. You can send out a survey to find out how much your employees already know. Based on that, you can create a program that covers necessary information they know nothing about. Don’t waste time on general knowledge. Invest your efforts into practical and relevant training. 
 
3. Detect Weak Points in Your System:  Take a look at your current security and assess its strengths and weaknesses. Every security system has its weak points. Those weak points demand your undivided attention.
Inform and educate employees of potential security gaps and weakest links. Ensure that they have a complete understanding of how to prevent any kind of security breach through those weak points. 
 
4. Clarify the Common Misconceptions:  Employees probably know a thing or two about cyber threats and cybersecurity. But how truthful are their beliefs?  Misconceptions can expose your company to the world of cyber crime. You need to identify and clarify the common misconceptions.
 
Ask the employees about their ideas on cyber crime and address those beliefs. Also, you can mention some of the most common misconceptions among employees, such as:
 
● Password isn’t necessary – 32% of employees think that there is a low risk connected to not using password protection on their work laptop or digital devices.
 
● Sensitive data can be stored anywhere – 69% of employees don't believe that storing sensitive personal data on the work computer would violate company security policies.
 
● Encrypting data isn’t necessary – 50% of employees believe that having unencrypted data on their work devices carries a small risk. 
 
● Compliance shouldn’t be general knowledge – Employees don’t understand the importance of knowing and understanding the company’s privacy regulations. MediaPro reported that 62% of their employees don’t know if their organization needs to be compliant with the California Consumer Privacy Act.
 
5. Use Microlearning:  To maximize the effectiveness of cybersecurity training, use microlearning. Small and digestible units will ensure that employees remember what they are taught.
Hours-long presentations will drain out the employees. On the other hand, microlearning is concise and should focus on vital information and practical tips. 
 
6. Provide Examples: Real-life examples will help employees wrap their heads around theoretical information. Do some research on businesses that have been a victim of cyber attracts. Show the employees the threats do get realized. What's more, explain the consequences to help them grasp the severity of cyber attacks. Also, let the employees share their stories on cyber attracts. There is probably at least one employee who has been a victim of a cyber-attack or identity theft. Real stories make the threat more real. 
 
7. Get Specific with Email Risks:  Considering that 91% of cyber attacks start with an email, you need to pay extra attention to it. Not to mention that the average employee spends about 2.6 hours on emails and receives 120 emails per day.
These statistics are enough to help you understand the importance of email security. Inform your employees of email phishing scams and other common email threats. 
 
8. Create Simulated Cyber Attacks:  Simulated real-time cyber attracts are best for preparing the employees. Each department should go through a simulated cyber attack. This will help them sharpen their cybersecurity instincts.
The drill will allow you to evaluate your employees’ actions. Based on the evaluation, you’ll know whether they’ve mastered the training or they need some additional practice. 
 
9. Include Cyber Security Training in Onboarding Process:  The best way to assure cybersecurity is to educate employees as soon as they step through your doors. Make cybersecurity training a part of the onboarding training. 
If you train the employees from the very start, you’ll minimize the opportunities for breaches caused by ignorance. 
 
10. Make the Training Ongoing:   Cybersecurity training shouldn't be a one-time thing. Continually and regularly inform and educate employees of cyber threats and prevention.As the new forms of cyber-attacks emerge, you need to stay up to date. You can update the training through educational videos or engaging material. The cybersecurity training needs to be an ongoing effort to be effective. 
 
Conclusion
 
The time and money you invest in cybersecurity training are nothing compared to the time and money you'll have to invest if you get attracted. Protecting your company’s proprietary information, customers’ data, and employee information should be a priority.
 
Your employees are your front-line troops. Getting them prepared and armed with the right information is necessary if you want to keep your company safe. Therefore, don't waste any more time and create effective cybersecurity training. 
 
About the Author: Kristin Savage is a freelance writer with a focus on innovative technologies in business. While pursuing a degree in Mass Communication, she works as an editor at flashcard and essay database Subjecto
 
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