There are a lot of aspects related to cybersecurity you can invest in. Modern software and technology, security protocols and policies, and more. However, one essential element of the whole system can’t be 100% controlled. The members and employees of your organisation. Having top-of-the-line cybersecurity measures without doing the proper staff awareness training is like having a Ferrari and giving the keys to someone without a driver’s license. You know that there are going to be problems. Hackers often are exploiting human errors to achieve their targets. In this article, we are going to cover why training your team in the good practices of cybersecurity is essential for reducing the chance of hacking and data breaches.
What is staff awareness training?
The main goal of such activity is to increase the knowledge of your employees about the cybersecurity threats that pose harm to your company’s system and how this can be prevented. One of the leading providers of such services worldwide – CybSafe has analyzed data from the UK’s Information Commissioners Office and found out that in 2019 human mistakes were the reason for around 90% of data breaches.
Prevention of such errors can be made by making sure that the people that work for you are familiar and can identify information security threats and handle them accordingly. Like every other thing, this works best when the solution is tailor-made for the needs of the specific organisation. You should have custom training that is in line with the cybersecurity threats your organisation faces. Based on that you will know what specific staff members should undergo it and how often it should be made.
When your team is familiar with the potential cyber threats and knows how to handle and avoid them, you can be sure that your system, networks, and devices and your operation, in general, are better protected.
What organisations should invest in the cybersecurity skills of their staff?
It doesn’t matter if you are a public or private entity. The best option is that any company or institution invests some of its budget for training of such kind. However, for some that investment is more crucial than for others. You should consider hiring a company to provide you with such service if:
- Your employees handle sensitive data – payment information, health records, and other private information;
- You have compliance or regulatory obligation to undergo such pieces of training;
- There has already been a breach or attempts of breaching the cyber defenses of the organisation;
- If the employees have little or limited knowledge about cybersecurity.
In most cases, there is a need to train the whole staff of the company or institution. This is necessary because any member of personnel can be an object of cyberattack. For specific departments, the training should be developed and adapted to their activities and needs. A good example was the staff awareness training our team did for the National Revenue Agency (NRA) in Bulgaria. There we worked explicitly with the InfoSec team – the main people that should be responsible and aware of the cybersecurity problems.
Most of the large organisations or enterprises are challenged with finding well-experienced professionals who are willing to become part of the team and contribute to their cybersecurity. This is the problem that the NRA had when they turned to us.
Any organisation should ensure the cyber resilience of its networks and systems to avoid and minimize any potential incidents in the future. And staff awareness training is always part of the remedy for that, along with other aspects like penetration testing or vulnerability assessment, depending on the specific needs of the client.
How to define what type of training you need?
Each remedy treats a specific problem. The first step is to understand the main “pain points” that you have. This is a two-sided process that involves the cybersecurity consultants and staff from the organisation on key positions or/and managerial levels. Gathering information from them and doing an assessment of the needs and risk your company is facing is step one in the process. All of this is done with the help and supervision of the people that handle the training as well.
After that, the consultants will propose and support the organisation of the training, by choosing the specific topics and the target audience from the personnel. This will be done after the analyses of the internal structure of the entity. The final step is carrying out the training itself and providing recommendations for future actions and learning activities.
What are the elements of the process?
In our experience, four key elements need to be in place to make it successful:
- Maintain compliance – you can keep your employees updated on the latest compliance requirements and teach them how to work with sensitive data securely;
- Defend against relevant attacks – you can conduct security awareness training to change the mindset and behavior of your staff;
- Create a culture of security – employees are an aspect of the cybersecurity of the company. Creating and nurturing a security-conscious culture can ensure the safety of your employees and your business as a whole;
- Ongoing training – cyberattacks change and evolve. Your employees need to be updated regularly about the latest threats that your business can face and be prepared when they come across them.
You need to understand that this is a process and not a stand-alone effort. Learning constantly about the cybersecurity risks and the ways to prevent them is like going to school – there is always something new you should know when you go to the next level. Maintaining constant and deeper knowledge of your team about these things is the cornerstone of the cybersecurity of your company.
Why should you invest in staff awareness training?
As we already mentioned, increasing staff awareness is an essential part of your cybersecurity. One bad decision of an employee can lead to a massive data breach. A small investment in such training and awareness activities can save you a lot of trouble. And it should be done based on the needs and the goals of the organisation. This is why a tailor-made approach is always best in these cases since companies don’t have the internal resources and knowledge to conduct such activities. If you are interested you can learn more about staff awareness and get in touch with our expert team for further assistance.