The threat from cybercrime is growing. A 2019 report suggests a 67 percent increase in security breaches over the past five years, making this one of the most significant risks for modern businesses. It’s crucial business owners develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy to mitigate the risk of a breach and protect their organization.

To be effective, this strategy must include security training for employees and other end-users. According to Cisco, only 51 percent of organizations claim to have provided employees with sufficient training.

If you need to improve your IT security training awareness, here are some key points to consider:

Focus on building knowledge and understanding

The goal of security training should always be to increase the knowledge of the end-user. Although human error causes many data breaches, employees aren’t always to blame. Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods. Unless your employees are aware of the types of attacks they may encounter, it’s not fair to expect them to mitigate them.

Before you develop your training, find out what your employees already know. This will help you target any training to build upon their existing level of knowledge.

Tailor education to the end-user

You should also ensure you tailor your training to the end-user. An off-the-shelf security training package may miss critical elements relevant to your organization. This leaves you exposed to cybersecurity threats despite your best intentions.

Instead, develop education packages based upon your employees’ workflow and internet habits. This approach will ensure you include training on the exact procedures your staff must follow to keep your data safe.

You must also tailor this training to educate about the most relevant threats. For example, phishing attacks are still one of the most common ways cybercriminals target employees. It’s vital your end-users understand what these attacks entail, how to identify them, and what they should do when they receive a suspect email.

The bottom line:

Understand the threats most likely to impact your staff and target your security training accordingly.

Periodically assess security awareness

Providing education to your employees is only one part of the equation. An effective cybersecurity strategy requires employees to act upon the new information acquired.

Establish methods to assess your employee’s knowledge and adherence to cybersecurity procedures regularly.

These assessments will help you establish how much knowledge your staff has retained from the educational sessions. They will also help you identify any training needs to further strengthen your cybersecurity strategy.

Adopt a continuous learning strategy

It’s essential to note security training isn’t a one-time event. When you assess security awareness, you should also prepare to hold more training as often as required.

Cybersecurity is a dynamic threat to your business. Hackers adapt their methods continuously to evade protective measures. For this reason, it’s vital you refresh end-users’ knowledge at regular intervals. When you stay one step ahead of the criminals, you minimize the risk to your organization.

Proofpoint Essential Security Awareness

The Proofpoint Essential Security Awareness package can help you deliver effective security training to your employees. Following the key points outlined above, it provides a comprehensive educational package tailored to your workforce. Are you struggling to know where to start? Do you need expert input to ensure your cybersecurity training covers all bases? Get in touch to find out how we can help.