As cybersecurity hardware and software improves every year, people are more likely to fall victim to hackers and scammers. And, if we are talking about the security of entire organizations, everyone is vulnerable here: both ordinary employees and senior management. This is a serious problem, as attackers aim at the psyche of people, put pressure on their feelings and manipulate. How to protect yourself from this? “Forewarned is forearmed”, we will answer.
In this article, we will explain why it is important to take care of cybersecurity awareness training, talk about the main threats and why the formation of an appropriate culture among employees is the key to protecting from data leakage.
Why is cybersecurity awareness important among employees?
Since we use various digital devices and the Internet in one way or another on a daily basis, cybersecurity skills are becoming increasingly relevant both at work and in everyday life. Training in this regard is a great way to prepare for various difficulties that may arise during work, and learn how to respond to them correctly.
Thus, employees will be significantly less at risk, and the data, reputation and assets of the company will be more reliably protected. Here it is more useful to be realistic, and not to harbor illusions, arguing that your company will certainly not be attacked by intruders or scammers.
Being an optimist is great, but not in this case. In this case, the wiser decision would be to prepare for any possible scenario, and be ready for anything.
Trending topics in cyber security
Threats faced by people working in the information field can take a variety of forms. For the most part, the list includes: phishing, ransomware, spyware, social engineering. Also, the problems include the lack of awareness of people about how to better behave on the Internet, use various devices, as well as a lack of understanding of the legal aspects of cybersecurity, etc. Let us look at some of these things in more detail.
Phishing is perhaps the most common threat. Fraudsters impersonate some trusted person, in order to steal information. Usually phishing emails are very similar in design to real mailings, and it can be very difficult for an inexperienced user to see the difference.
Therefore, phishing awareness training is an important part of many cybersecurity awareness training programs for employees. People are taught to identify suspicious emails, pay attention to formatting, sender email addresses, and other nuances.
2. Social engineering
In essence, a social engineer is someone who, using knowledge of human psychology, manipulates people into doing certain actions to disclose confidential information.
Malefactors usually put pressure on people’s feelings, causing certain emotions — fear or a sense of trust. Therefore, it is necessary that your employees be able to immediately recognize such things, and be ready to respond to such threats as if they were something everyday.
3. Passwords and authentication
Modern people usually have several accounts in social networks, messengers, e-mail, in the company’s internal network, etc. All of these accounts require a username and password to access. Agree, remembering ten different passwords can be difficult, so people very often set either very simple passwords or the same ones for all accounts.
Which, in fact, in the event of a compromise, can be extremely dangerous, since attackers can immediately gain access to most accounts. Therefore, cybersecurity education also focuses on making a person understand how important it is to create strong passwords, and how to store them correctly.
4. Public Wi-Fi and Internet browsing
Using public wireless networks, such as in a train or a hotel, can put your employees at risk because attackers are well aware of how to hack into routers and how to gain access to computers connected to these devices.
Safety training should ensure that employees are well aware of these risks and know how to minimize them. The same can be said about the work on the Internet in general. People need to understand what suspicious websites look like, what cyber hygiene is, what viruses are, how to download files safely, etc.
5. Mobile security
Various portable devices that employees carry with them can also be a problem for the employer. Sometimes people lose their laptops and mobile phones in public places, or get robbed. And if employees neglect security protocols or encryption, it can be a real disaster.
Therefore, to keep mobile devices secure, employees must be trained to use strong passwords and encryption, avoid potentially dangerous places, and keep a close eye on their belongings.
6. Working remotely
Working remotely using cloud computing is no longer unusual. It is convenient and allows employees to work in comfortable conditions. However, at the same time, there is a growing risk that the security of devices used by employees will also be reduced.
Cybersecurity awareness training teaches people how to properly organize work processes when they are away from the office, for example, use office devices only for work, do not share them with family members, etc.
7. Removable media
There is a study that in 98% of cases people picked up USB drives found in public places, and in 45% of cases opened the files they found inside. Removable media can be extremely dangerous because they can contain viruses and all sorts of spyware or malware.
Your employees must understand that even if they find a USB flash drive in their office, in no case should it be connected to a computer, but they should inform their manager about it.
Cybersecurity awareness is about building a culture, not training just for show
Given the number of threats and potential problems that employees may face, it would be naive to assume that if you gathered them in one room for half an hour to educate them about strong passwords and not to leave a computer unattended, these recommendations will be constantly performed. Yes, for a while people will be vigilant, but soon they will most likely stop. And even if you conduct such explanatory conversations from time to time, they will soon lead to nothing but irritation in the team.
It is very important to develop the right culture of behavior in the workplace. To make cybersecurity one of the permanent skills of employees, so that they understand their influence and responsibility while working with information. This can be achieved with the help of special cybersecurity awareness training, which forms the proper behavioral patterns and habits in people.
Start training your employees today
Planning and continuity are vital to a successful cybersecurity awareness programs. Regular and exciting activities are more likely to be positively received by employees and turn into vivid memories, knowledge and skills.
If you are truly interested in cybersecurity in your company, please take a look at our interactive employee cybersecurity awareness training platform. It has been developed taking into account the specifics of adult education, and it is aimed at informing and educating, as well as qualitatively changing the attitude of employees towards cybersecurity issues, and developing an appropriate culture of behavior in the workplace.