According to the official statistics from the government’s recent Cyber security breaches survey (2023), 59% of medium-sized businesses recall cyber security breaches or attacks. Despite this, however, many organizations still struggle to implement an effective cyber security awareness training program.
With digital communications being ingrained in the workplace culture, increasingly due to companies adopting hybrid and remote working methods, the need for a comprehensive awareness training strategy has never been greater.
Although most organizations have realized the importance of introducing basic cyber security to their employees, some still treat cyber security training as a box-ticking exercise. Ignoring the importance of cyber security awareness in the workplace leaves businesses vulnerable to cyber attacks, operational disruption, and reputational damage.
Why Is Security Awareness Training Needed?
Cyber security awareness training is necessary for organizations to minimize the risks of cyber threats. This includes ensuring that team members know how to spot the likes of phishing attacks, what methods can be used by hackers (such as email, social media, and SMS messages), and what actions to take to report a phishing attempt.
Effective training should go beyond just raising awareness and providing staff with the knowledge required. Instead, a strategy must be put in place to help create a robust Cyber Security Culture within the workplace.
What Is Meant By A ‘Cyber Security Culture’ In The Workplace?
The idea of a Cyber Security Culture refers to a culture that is developed on beliefs, knowledge, and attitudes of all people in the workplace towards cyber security. Instead of simply raising awareness of cyber security and conducting a few training exercises over the course of a year, creating a Cyber Security Culture allows employees to embed integral measures into their day-to-day work practices. All staff members of an organization should be involved, starting with management developing and enforcing a solid cyber security strategy.
Next Steps Organizations Should Be Taking
Aside from written policies and videos, organizations must take a more active role in providing teams with the relevant information to implement security measures. Security awareness training can take place in a wide range of forms, such as training newsletters, workshops, practical sessions, and online games.
A variety of these forms help make training fun and engaging for employees. However, the crucial phase that is often missed within an effective training program is testing. Regular phishing simulations that challenge employees, including board-level/management positions, must be run frequently and use real-world situations within the content. This helps cement the knowledge and values within a robust Cyber Security Culture.
As mentioned, this training should be regular, involve current trends, and be updated depending on employee’s results and feedback. This guarantees employees are updated with new trends and are able to develop their skills in spotting cyber threats and mitigating cyber risk over time.
Every organization should have an overall cyber security strategy implemented that works in line with the Cyber Security Culture and security awareness training strategy. Your employees are the last line of defense against attack and often the easiest to breach without adequate training.
There are many other security solutions and procedures that can help minimize the number of threats that reach your employees. All organizations must work towards maturing these and source solutions to prevent future cyber attacks in an ever-evolving threat landscape.
Using The Support Of A Third-Party To Bridge Any Gaps
Where an organization may lack the know-how, time, and resources to develop a strategy, there are third-party cyber security organizations, consisting of teams of cyber experts, who can assist in bridging any gaps.
Whether that is to provide the in-depth security knowledge / experience some IT teams do not have, or the resources and time to carry out cyber security assessments, awareness training, and management.
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