Training in the workplace: IT security

In recent years we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the use of advanced technology in the workplace. While this shift is making businesses more efficient, it also increases the threat of cybersecurity breaches. A 2019 Study by the Ponemon Institute found the 76% of businesses had experienced a cyberattack in the previous 12 months. Breaches are not only increasingly common, they are also extremely costly. According to IC3’s 2019 Internet Crime Report, the total reported losses worldwide due to cybercrime in 2019 was $3.5 billion.

Security training for all personnel is any organization’s best defense against cyber attacks and data breaches. It is critical that businesses not only make IT security training a priority, but also effectively train their employees to ensure the highest levels of understanding on this important subject. 

Best techniques for training employees

Effective cybersecurity training should not only educate employees but also encourage behavioral changes. Training should promote accountability while also providing the right tools to find and prevent a potential cybersecurity threat. 

The best practices in implementing IT security training include:

  • Mandatory Cybersecurity Training for New Recruits: As a start, you should include a training module on IT security in the onboarding process. This will set the standard from the beginning, educating new employees about safe (and unsafe) practices.
  • Actionable and Updated Training: Cybersecurity is a dynamic subject. As such, staff members need to constantly refresh their knowledge in light of new threats and other developments. This makes regular training sessions with up to date materials essential. Working with an expert in cybersecurity who is across the latest developments in the sector can be helpful in ensuring your staff stay up to date.
  • ThreatSim Phishing Simulations: Phishing is one of the most common risks faced by businesses. Simulations are an effective way of teaching your employees to recognize these attacks and how to deal with them.
  • Learning Management Systems: Employees are often on the frontline of a cybersecurity attack. LMS and gamification techniques help to keep their interest during security training.

How to avoid cybersecurity threats

Any comprehensive security training program should be supported by assessments and reinforcements, as well as analysis to make sure it is continuing to be effective in educating your staff and keeping them up to date with the latest threats. This will equip your team to safeguard their online activities, and in turn protect your company’s assets, profits, and reputation.

A security training program will cover how to avoid security threats, such as:

  • Avoid sharing personal information such as your social security number to any email no matter how legitimate it appears to be.
  • Phishers can attack through any link. Never open an unsolicited link or popup.
  • Use strong and complicated passwords that are not easy to crack and regularly change your passwords.
  • Only use secure and encrypted networks.
  • Keep all security software updated.

Understanding testing

Testing and identifying threats is an important part of cybersecurity. An organization’s security training should cover the key types of tests and how these are best used to detect threats.

Following are some of the tests that should be a part of the training module:

  • Phishing: This is one of the biggest cybersecurity threats for any organization. Training tests should include identification of false emails, phishing information, and similar details.
  • Malicious Software: Employees should be able to detect any content that might contain a virus. This test should involve both spam content and social media communications.
  • Downloadable Malware: Viruses that can adversely affect the functionality of a device and its data security can be associated with downloads. Employees should be tested on their knowledge of ransomware and how this can impact the company.

If you’d like to introduce effective, comprehensive IT training for your employees, get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you implement a training program that will protect your business and your assets.