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6 Proven Best Practices for Cybersecurity Training for Employees

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If you don’t have one already, there’s a good chance that you may be considering a cybersecurity training program for your employees. Recent news is filled with headlines about major cyber attacks. This has led many businesses to work hard to keep their cybersecurity awareness training up to speed.
“Your employees are your first line of defense against security threats. Without them, you’re leaving yourself wide open.” – Robert Hacker, vCIO, Global CTI
Like most things, cyber awareness training comes with its own set of best practices, and like most education, it takes a bit of strategy to make sure it sticks. However, it’s well worth the dedication. Studies show that cyber awareness training can decrease risks by 70%.

Whether you already have a program in place or are just starting out, you can build or enhance a training program that works. To help you out, let’s look at 7 things to include in your course and 6 strategies to make the information stick.

Why Security Awareness Training is Vital

Cybersecurity awareness training is essential for protecting your organization. This training educates your team on how to identify and respond to various cyber threats like phishing emails and malware.

Of course, you may also use cybersecurity tools to enhance your network security and block threats. Such tools are helpful, but they cannot be a replacement for good training. According to a Stanford University study, 88% of data breaches are caused by simple human errors. This is true even if the organization uses advanced cybersecurity tools.

7 Things to Include in Your Cybersecurity Training Program

Social Engineering

Social engineering is a tactic where hackers trick people into revealing confidential information. They might pose as a trusted colleague or a tech support agent to convince an employee to share passwords or other sensitive data.

Training your employees to recognize the signs of social engineering reduces their susceptibility to it. It’s also important to note that cybercriminals may enact this strategy in person, not just online. For instance, a criminal may pose as a hardware repair technician and enter your office.

Phishing Simulations

Phishing simulations are practice exercises where employees receive fake phishing emails in a controlled environment. The goal is to see if they can spot the fake emails and avoid falling for a scam.

This training tool gives employees hands-on experience identifying phishing attempts, which is much more effective than just reading about them. It also provides immediate feedback. If someone falls for the simulated phishing email, they’ll be notified and given tips on what to look for in the future.

Cloud Security Threats

Cloud security threats focus on vulnerabilities in cloud-based storage and services. Unlike traditional on-site servers, the cloud is accessible from anywhere, which makes it a tempting target for hackers. Your cybersecurity training should cover how to securely access and manage data in the cloud without giving hackers an easy way in.

Wi-Fi Best Practices

Understanding how to use Wi-Fi securely is an important part of any cybersecurity training program. Many people connect to Wi-Fi networks without thinking twice, but this can expose you to risks. Cybercriminals often use insecure Wi-Fi networks to access devices.

Here are a few Wi-Fi best practices to teach your employees.
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Password Security

Most people know they should use strong passwords. However, not everyone is fully aware of what that actually means. For this reason, it’s important to include training on what a strong password looks like and how it should be used. For example, it’s worth mentioning that using the same password for multiple accounts is a bad idea.

Removable Media

Removable media refers to USB drives, external hard drives, SD cards, or anything else that you can plug into a computer. These devices are convenient for transferring files, but they can also be a security risk. If someone plugs in a device that has malware on it, it could infect the computer or even the entire network. Ensure your employees are aware of this risk.

Physical Information Security

Although cybersecurity typically focuses on digital threats, your physical security is part of your information technology security. For instance, if someone steals a company laptop, they may be able to access the files on it. Include information about these risks in your cybersecurity training.
Gain More Insights Into How You Can Defend Your SMB From Cyber Threats

6 Strategies That Make Your Cybersecurity Training Stick

1. Regular Retraining

Cybersecurity training isn’t one-and-done. People need reviews to keep their knowledge and skills fresh and cyber threats are subject to change. Retrain your employees at least annually if not more.

2. Leadership Involvement

Getting buy-in from leadership is a critical factor in the success of your cybersecurity training program. When leaders are on board, it’s easier to allocate resources toward effective training. Buy-in also helps create a culture of cybersecurity awareness throughout your organization.

3. Targeted Training Courses

People are more likely to remember information that directly applies to their job. That’s why targeted training courses are so effective. Provide each department with tailored training specific to the risks they might encounter.

For example, the finance team should receive training on how to spot fraudulent transactions, while the sales team might need to know how to secure customer data.

4. Diverse Training Approaches

Using a variety of training methods can make your cybersecurity program more effective. When you mix things up, like using videos, quizzes, and hands-on exercises, you cater to different learning styles. This diversity helps people remember the material better because it engages them in multiple ways.

5. Learner Feedback

When employees can share what they found helpful or confusing, it provides valuable insights. You can use this feedback to make adjustments to the training material or methods, ensuring they are as effective as possible.

Feedback also gives employees a sense of ownership in the training process. When people feel their opinions are valued, they’re more likely to engage with the material and apply what they’ve learned.

6. Post-Training Assessments

Post-training assessments are the tests or evaluations that happen after the cybersecurity training is complete. These tests serve two main purposes. First, they identify gaps in employees’ understanding of the material. Second, taking a test helps solidify the information in their memory.

Need a Hand Rolling Out Your Cybersecurity Training Program?

Knowing what to include and how to present it is one thing, but rolling it out is a whole other process. You may already have a plan of action on this, but if you need an extra hand or aren’t sure where to start, there’s help.

Global CTI can help you train your team and manage your computer systems. This training won’t cost much and can save you a lot of money on potential breaches lack of knowledge may have caused. We understand cybersecurity and training best practices and will use both knowledge sets to give your business top cybersecurity training.

Contact us now to set up your training!
You’re looking to unlock your network’s full potential and stay on the leading edge of safe, secure, and efficient technology. Trust Global CTI to help you navigate all the options and create a highly integrated business network based on your customized performance goals. We deliver world-class products and services, along with ongoing customer support to ensure your communication and technology solutions improve connectivity, stabilize networks, keep your people safe, and provide real-time communication.