Cybersecurity Awareness Training for Employees

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According to a study by IBM in 2021, almost 82% of data breaches were caused by human errors. 

The bitter truth is that more than weak security systems, cyber attackers take advantage of the lack of awareness among people to carry out their malicious activities.

In this blog, we will explore why cybersecurity awareness training is important

Cyberattacks Caused by Lack of Awareness

Before we delve into the significance of cybersecurity awareness, let us look at the cyberattacks perpetuated by a lack of awareness among people. 

  • Phishing: The cyber attackers send emails or text messages that appear to be from legitimate sources. Most people fall prey to such malicious messages without checking their authenticity. 
  • Spear Phishing: Spear Phishing is a more targeted form of phishing. It targets specific individuals or organizations. The emails are more convincing and contain information relevant to the victims, thereby tricking them into clicking the links or revealing sensitive information.  
  • Whaling: Whaling targets high-profile individuals or executives and lures them into biting the bait by including financial information or sensitive business data.  
  • Malware: Employees are highly vulnerable to malware attacks as they are easily prone to download attachments or click on links from untrusted sources. A malware can steal or encrypt data, monitor user activities, or disrupt the system completely. 
  • Ransomware AttacksImagine a critical resource handling sensitive financial or customer data falling victim to a cyberattack. The perpetrators can encrypt the data and demand a ransom from the victim or the organization to release it. 

Importance of Cybersecurity Awareness Training

Had victims paused for a moment and taken cautious steps to ensure the emails, messages, or files were legitimate, many cyberattacks could have been thwarted easily, sparing the loss of millions of dollars. 

Hence, every employer must ensure employees are aware of best cybersecurity practices. Organizing and conducting a cybersecurity awareness program has many benefits.

  • Employees would be educated on the types of cyber threats. 
  • They would be extra cautious when they receive emails, links, or attachments from unknown sources. 
  • They would be aware of the best security practices like the use of strong passwords, reporting unusual or suspicious activities, etc. 
  • Employees would understand their roles and responsibilities in safeguarding themselves and the organizational assets against cyber threats, which creates a healthy culture of security within the organization. 

Modules to be Covered in the Training Program

When choosing a training program, employers must check whether relevant modules are covered to educate and empower the employees.

A good training program should focus on four areas: 

  • Awareness of cyber threats.
  • Risks associated with every type of cyber threat. 
  • Action to be taken when a cyberattack occurs. 
  • Best Practices to secure oneself from cyberattacks. 

Modules for the benefit of employees: 

Please note that this is just an outline for guidance. The curriculum will vary depending on the specific needs of an organization and its employees. 

How to Ensure Effective Training? 

  • Customize the training based on employee roles to make it more relevant and relatable. 
  • Cybersecurity can be a dry subject due to the technicalities involved. Hence, make it engaging using interactive methods like tests, quizzes, simulations, etc. 
  • Conduct regular refresher sessions for employees to stay updated on the latest cyber threats and best security practices. 
  • Encourage employees to put forth their questions and concerns to enable a complete understanding of their roles and responsibilities in cybersecurity

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