Cybersecurity Training for Employees: What You Need to Know

When it comes to cybersecurity, an enterprise needs to be savvy. Knowledge of cybersecurity and information technology is extremely important because it’s the basis for preventing a cyber breach or attack. Employees should be educated in the realm of cybersecurity (and trained accordingly) because a security threat cannot be avoided or reported if it is not recognized! This seems obvious but you’d be surprised. The most common threat is caused by human error and is the main reason cyber training exists. Let’s face it: we all make mistakes and have dealt with some type of hack (attempted or successful). We’ll cover human error along with what else needs to be taught in an efficient cybersecurity training program, safe internet habits, and suggestions for high-quality learning.

Cybersecurity Awareness Training Doesn’t Cut It

When employers make cybersecurity awareness training a priority they are helping to prevent major losses within a company. However, awareness training rarely addresses the skill and application of that knowledge.  Changing risky employee behavior is what will actually help quell a cyber-attack and is critical for businesses to understand that. It’s not enough to simply be knowledgeable about security but to implement a career-long training strategy that will help to eradicate cybercrime altogether. There are constantly new threats to cyber safety, so ongoing training is essential and should be a part of the overall job training process from the very beginning. 

employee cyber security training

Some think that small businesses can avoid major hacks and breaches but that is simply untrue. Since human error is the biggest problem we face, that means that everyone is at risk. In order to drive home the urgency of cybersecurity employees must be kept abreast of all the latest data: a weekly bulletin highlighting what’s new in the realm of cybersecurity and safety is an effective measure in spreading awareness and targeting what needs to be done.

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The Basics of Cyber Training

Cybersecurity threats come in a myriad of forms and disguises. They’re all dressed up and ready to go! It’s crucial that a cyber threat is identified, reported, and addressed. If you see something, say something. This seems like common knowledge but human error accounts for 95% of successful cyber-attacks. With that information, managers should keep in mind, hackers don’t just come through the IT department by brute force, they go after vulnerabilities. That’s why cybersecurity skills and understanding are the responsibility of every role in the company.

cybersecurity training for employees

So let’s not only focus on what employees should know but what they should do. In order for training to be effective, “live fire” practice attacks should be conducted so that employees are skilled at handling this type of breach. A live-fire exercise is a simulation of the real thing. Like a fire drill, this implementation will mimic a true-to-life scenario and will help prepare employees on how to behave and react when an actual cyber-attack occurs.

What Should Cybersecurity Training Look Like?

All training programs are unique but what makes the most difference is efficacy and how that’s implemented in the workplace. A business should focus on not only cybersecurity training in general but the right cybersecurity dangers to look for such as insider threats, ransomware, etc. This type of training should be mandatory for all employees at every level. This means that anyone using a computer (which is just about everyone) should know how to identify phishing schemes and social engineering attacks. If these things are not easily identifiable, they may go overlooked and wreak severe havoc. These attacks can happen via email or on the telephone so that’s a base that should definitely be covered. Secure browsing practices should also be covered during training. All employees should be able to identify and avoid suspicious links and, since phishing attempts are on the rise, evade hacking attempts. In the case of remote work (which has been on the rise for months now due to the COVID-19 pandemic), the dangers of public Wi-Fi should be acknowledged and addressed (including the possibility of a password or other data being leaked).

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Lastly, Cyber Training Should Be an Ongoing

Cybersecurity is always on the rise and new threats are constantly emerging, so it’s necessary for training to be ongoing. The world is filled with technology and this makes our lives easier, but it’s critical that we know how to manage it and that we keep cybersecurity in our line of vision at all times. This means that cyber training should be ongoing. Since new cyber threats emerge daily, training should be a life-long process and employees have to be tested on what they learn. If not, there may be long-lasting business-related ramifications.

When searching for cybersecurity training for employees, a program that goes beyond cybersecurity awareness and focuses on skills and implementation is your best bet. Now for our plug, Cybint Complete is a training program that covers everything discussed above. The behavior-changing program was developed by cybersecurity experts – with threat intelligence updates frequently available on the platform. Cybint’s cybersecurity training is based on one’s job function, which is extremely helpful because it allows for specificity; cyber training isn’t a one size fits all sort of program. Right now, training is free for businesses through the end of the year, so there’s a no-cost risk. This venture in security training is fool-proof for a business as the return on investment has proven consistent.

Katherine Sloan

Katherine is a New York City-based freelance writer and editor whose work mostly explores art, literary themes and film. She has also most recently forayed into the world of STEM editing. You can read her non-fiction essays at A Gathering of the Tribes and Overture Global.