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How to Create an Effective Cybersecurity Awareness Training Program

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

The past couple of years have been full of ups and downs for businesses of all sizes across all industries. Many experts are predicting a recession in 2023 and while we don't have answers as to how extensive the recession will be many IT experts agree that a recession leads to higher occurrences of cybersecurity concerns. It is reported that there was a 31% rise in cyber-attacks per company between 2020 and 2021. This points to the fact that hackers may be more active as the economy is headed for a downturn.

While businesses continue to prepare for a period of recession, they are shifting to having more and more teammates working from home, on the road, or really anywhere. While having a remote workforce has many benefits, it can also lead to new security challenges. The combination of the impending recession and a change in workforce behaviors could result in a big opportunities for hackers. Now is the time for companies to look at their security policies and software to make sure they are as protected as possible. Security Awareness Training is highly recommended for all businesses as 95% of cyber security breaches result from human error.

What's Cybersecurity Awareness Training?

Hackers aren't getting any less sophisticated, and they continue to find new ways to target employees. Cybersecurity awareness training puts the topic on employees mind while educating them on how they can avoid falling victim to a hacker's attempts.

A good cybersecurity awareness training program well help train employees to recognize potential problems and threats and how they should act on them. From avoiding opening the email all together or reporting it to the right people, training will give employees guidance on how to handle an issue.

Key Points in Creating a Good Cybersecurity Awareness Training Program

Cybersecurity awareness training is going to look different for each business. Organization may have certain areas that need to be addresses or may have threats that are unique to their specific industry. For example a health clinic will have very different concerns from a construction firm.

No matter the differences in needs a successful cybersecurity awareness training program will often have the same foundational components.

Full Participation

No matter their role all members of your team should receive proper training on the basics of cybersecurity. Don't just focus on teammates who have access to sensitive information, every teammates can end up in a situation that could put your organization at risk.

Full participation from everyone promotes a culture of safety and security while ensuring that when employees are promoted or change their role they are equipped with the basics of cybersecurity.

Open communication

Creating a culture that encourages teammates to communicate about cybersecurity concerns can be an important step in protecting your organization. Sometimes employees feel confused or embarrassed and are too nervous to speak out about a security concern.

Encourage teammates to have open communication about security and keep your employees updated regularly on your cybersecurity efforts.

Prioritize Training as an Ongoing Process

Organizations sometimes focus on one-time security awareness training at hire or during orientation. While this is helpful it doesn't always keep employees up to date on current concerns and allows employees time to forget as the topic is not top-of-mind.

It is recommended to make cybersecurity a regular part of your employees training and to regularly emphasize that cybersecurity is a critical part of their job. It is a serious matter that employees should be considering every time they touch a computer or sensitive information. Ongoing training shows employees that you are taking the topic seriously and they should be too.

Incorporate testing into training

A good security awareness training program not only includes interactive ongoing training but also tests users on their learned skills. Assessments or testing after a training help the information stick better. Not only does testing help your team encourage participation in the training it also helps you determine if training is getting the necessary information across.

One great way to test users after training is to perform test runs or context training. For example, training can include real-life phishing scams so your team can practice what they have learned while receiving some practical information.

If you'd like more information about creating a robust training program for your team or need cybersecurity guidance, MapleTronics is here to help. Contact us today.


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