What is Security Awareness Training?

In simple words, Security awareness training means educating your staff about the different cyber threats that a company is exposed to. And providing them with the knowledge and tools to identify and prevent any data leakage or any other malicious attack, according to your business style and policies.

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Why Security Awareness Training?

“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link”. This good old mantra by itself should suffice for management to invest efforts, time, and resources in cybersecurity training for employees who access databases, manipulate virtual assets, financial information, create and register transactions, and any other meaningful information for the business.

Logically, we cannot pretend to turn our employees into professional ethical hackers, or sysadmins overnight. It is feasible and necessary at the very least, to empower your employees with the right knowledge, so they develop a sense of security awareness and commitment to maintaining a well-protected environment: turning the user base into a human firewall is quintessential to prevent security breaches that may lead to catastrophic loss of revenue, reliability, and impact on brand reputation.

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What’s a human firewall?

Just like a firewall protecting your network, a human firewall will protect your business from phishing and other attacks, protecting sensitive data.  With the proper training, your staff will gain the required knowledge and commitment to identify, prevent, and report any data breaches or suspicious activity. Ready to take your employee awareness training to the next level?

Types of Training

Every organization will have a style of training that’s more compatible with its culture. There are many options, including:

Classroom training

This allows instructors to see whether learners are engaged throughout the process and adjust accordingly, at the same time they are able to apply the “Human touch”, which is often missing in online training. It also allows participants to ask questions in real-time.

Online training

Online training scales much better than in-person training, and it will likely be less disruptive to employee productivity since learners can work through the content from any location at their own convenience. This can also allow learners to work through the material at their own pace.

Visual aids

Having posters or any other source of visual aids in the office can be beneficial to maintain awareness and interest, however, that alone cannot be the only source of training. After going through a great security awareness training program, these visual aids can come really handy.

Phishing campaigns

Nothing captures a learner’s attention quite like the realization that they’ve fallen for any type of phishing attack. Of course, learners who fail the phishing test should be automatically enrolled in further training.

Which one is better?

In some cases, a combination of these may be the best option. Due to the fact that security threats are constantly changing, this type of training is not a one-and-done exercise. Constant coaching through multiple media is ideal, especially if the organization has high turnover rates. Lack of training in one organization makes other organizations vulnerable. It’s a little like leaving your house door unlocked – with the keys to next door waiting inside.

Technological defenses are, definitely, a valuable weapon in preventing breaches. But technological defenses require input from humans. Firewalls need to be turned on. Security warnings need to be acknowledged. Software needs to be updated.

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