Employee Security Training and Testing

Forewarned is Forearmed – Engaging Employees in Your Cybersecurity Efforts

It’s well established that most successful cyber-attacks are made possible in part by human error. Simply stated, employees are the weakest link in any firm’s cybersecurity defenses. While firewalls and other threat protection solutions may stave off some attacks, highly skilled hacktivists and cybercriminals continue to exploit the human element through phishing attempts and related schemes. The success of these efforts relies on employees’ inability to recognize threats when they pop up in their inboxes and act accordingly.

Research shows one third of employees don’t even know what phishing is, while two thirds don’t comprehend ransomware. How can employers raise awareness of these vulnerabilities and give employees the tools they need to recognize attempts to hijack protected information and take the appropriate actions?

Companies with continuous cybersecurity training are less susceptible to successful attacks

Key content elements for training:

  • Emphasize the critical role employees play in minimizing the risk of a data breach
  • Offer basic education and examples of the different means by which threats present themselves; spam, phishing, ransomware and malware, and social engineering. Give examples of what each of those might look like
  • Reinforce the need for strong passwords by enforcing a password policy. Consider adding multi-factor authentication to your protocol
  • Explain your company’s legal and/or regulatory obligations for data protection
  • Include policies and guidelines for email, internet and social media use
  • Communicate the process for reporting red flags and suspicions of a cyber-attack

Mandatory cybersecurity training during employee onboarding should be a given. But it doesn’t end there. Even annual reviews of security policies and procedures is not enough. Repetition is a key step in developing an entrenched habit. Towards that end, businesses should:

  • Offer training often to incorporate information on the latest scams and keep cybersecurity top of mind
  • Use phishing simulations to give employees real-life experience without any of the risk
  • Measure and monitor key metrics, e.g. click rates, over time to gauge training effectiveness

Cybersecurity threats are always evolving and keeping employees up to date boosts your safety. IT Radix can help develop and deliver employee cybersecurity training and testing with the specific goals of your company in mind. To schedule a conversation, click here.