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What You Should Know About Security Awareness Training

By: Jessica Clifford

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With numerous viral attacks including savvy malware, phishing, and Ransomware scams, it seems necessary that we learn the right skills to navigate our devices like pros. For this reason, security awareness training for employees has become an asset to organizations that are interested in developing a secure and informed workforce.

Many companies that do not test their employees on internet best practices are unaware of the advantages they are missing. There are plenty of reasons to begin security awareness training for employees, and there are even more ways to get started.

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Why Begin Security Awareness Training?

Employees hold the number one position for technological disruption in an organization. From a 2016 survey, 86% experienced a phishing attack last year alone, and of that group, 13% of them took an incorrect action. Whether it be clicking on a malicious link or accidentally giving out confidential information, training and knowledge would prevent such incidents from occurring. Also, considering many social engineering threats are becoming very realistic it is more pertinent than ever to have informed employees. When beginning awareness training, staff will be able to learn several topics such as phishing, social engineering, desktop safety, recommended password practices, and more, allowing them to not be part of 13% that took the wrong action.

Organizations that are following the BYOD (bring your own device) trend, open a vulnerable playing field for hackers to roam. Essentially, hackers have more access points to get into a network because many companies following this trend do not regulate employees personal passwords and internet searches. However, testing and best practice guidelines help stop hackers from finding their way into an organization’s network.

One last and important reason to start awareness training is that it is a requirement for several industries. Organizations that fall under the category of healthcare, federal agencies, publicly traded businesses, and financial institutions must teach their employees information technology dos and don’ts. Specifically, if an organization follows a legally mandated act such as the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), Payment Card Industry (PCI), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or Sarbanes-Oxley, they must have employee IT training in place.

How to Begin Training

First, an organization selects a third-party to distribute the information. Then, they select the teaching style they think works best with their workplace’s culture, whether that be online, in a classroom, or a combination.

  • Classroom Training

Though classroom training is infrequently used, it can be helpful. Employers can tell if their employees seem to be understanding and retaining the information. It also gives the employees a chance to ask questions as soon as they arise.

  • Online Training 

Security awareness online training is a more popular method because it does not slow the productivity of the organization, and it works best with employee’s schedules. Employees will even get to work at their own pace. 

  • Visual Aids 

Visual Aids cannot solely make up a training program, but they do work as great reminders in places where employees typically meet, such as break rooms or conference areas.

Many experts recommend tailoring programs to show current trends and scams. For example, CEO Fraud is becoming more realistic as the years go on, making it a great topic to discuss with employees.

Another necessary part to remember when beginning security awareness training is testing employees. Testing staff members is essential in making sure they are retaining information, and putting their skills to action. One great way to do this is through false phishing tests, or sending fake scam emails to employees throughout the week. The staff will have to take the correct action when they receive the email, or they must register for additional training.

Make sure your company has a defense against their biggest contributor for IT difficultly by starting security awareness training. In the end, a knowledgeable staff is a prepared staff.  For more information about awareness training contact Total Computer Solutions at 336-804-8449.

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