Your business is as secure as each of your employees

Top Tips to Improve Your Employees’ Cyber Awareness

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Unfortunately, it remains the case that humans are the weakest link in the cyber security chain. In a survey of British businesses, 88% of large businesses cited employee negligence as one of the largest information security threats. Human error is the leading cause of data breaches, which means that your business needs to start taking employee cyber awareness seriously.  

Investing in a cyber awareness programme is an important step in helping to protect your organization against cyber-attacks. Here are some top tips on how to improve cyber security awareness within your organization (and here’s a solution to add “secure” to your products). 

1. Involve everyone

Too often it is assumed that cyber security training is only required at lower levels of a business. But in fact, it needs to be enforced from the top down. To be effective, a cyber awareness programme must include board members and employees in upper management positions. 

This is important because there has been a recent rise in phishing attacks that are specifically designed to target individuals in senior positions. So-called business email compromise attacks involve attackers stealing email credentials and then impersonating senior executives in order to trick employees or even other businesses into wiring financial payments to substitute bank accounts.  

2. Make the content relevant

Logistic business, delivery service and people from different business areas

It is important that training should be tailored to the organization and industry in which it operates. For example, employees working in medical and healthcare sectors will need to be aware of risks relating to handling sensitive patient data, use of specialist equipment, and hot desking. 

Training also needs to be adapted to the individuals taking the training, taking into account the differing types of data and systems that they have access to. IT and technical staff, for example, will require different training than their colleagues in HR or finance. 

3. Don’t just cover threats at work

One limitation of many businesses’ cyber awareness programmes is that they focus exclusively on the workplace. It is vital that you tie good working practice to a high level of personal security practice in order to ensure that the staff remains cyber aware at all times. 

Make sure that your staff are educated on how to protect themselves and their data at home. This should include everything from setting strong passwords to configuring smart devices in a safe way. When the staff is able to access important business data through their personal devices, it is essential that these devices are also secured. 

4. Conduct continuous training

Some organizations believe that cyber security training is something that only needs to be provided to newcomers – this is a mistake. It is important that cyber awareness training should be conducted periodically as well as being regularly reviewed and refreshed. Threats evolve and change all the time, so your training should too. 

Provide regular sessions that tackle different contemporary subjects – this could include GDPR compliance, practical tips for recognizing phishing emails, password management, and even information about what to do in the event of a cyber incident. 

5. Keep it interactive

Businesses sometimes make the mistake of delivering cyber security awareness training sessions that are simply too dull. So, rather than just running through a PowerPoint presentation, make training more fun and engaging by running interactive workshops. One of the best ways to keep staff engaged is through gamification. 

Utilizing quizzes, competition or collaboration, and awards can be a useful way to not only make training more interesting, but also keep your staff talking about issues after the training is completed.  

6. Commission regular simulated attacks

Ethical hacking assessments, such as penetration testing, that simulate common cyber threats such as social engineering attacks are a great way to test employees’ awareness. According to industry experts Redscan, regular pen testing helps improve your cyber security by: 

  • Fixing vulnerabilities before they are exploited by cybercriminals 
  • Providing independent assurance of security controls 
  • Improving awareness and understanding of cyber security risks 
  • Supporting PCI DSS, ISO 27001, and GDPR compliance 
  • Demonstrating a continuous commitment to security 
  • Supplying the insight needed to prioritize future investments

The types of penetration tests your business сould utilize:

  • Network Testing
  • Web application security testing
  • Social engineering
  • Wireless testing
  • Application and API security code review
  • Mobile security testing
  • Firewall configuration review
  • Host configuration review

The results of assessments can be used to improve employee training by highlighting real-life events. With regular assessments, you’ll be able to measure and track results over time. 

And with KeepSolid VPN Unlimited OEM, you can ensure your business and products are secure and secured!

This article was contributed to KeepSolid by Dakota Murphey.

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