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Cybersecurity awareness for employees

1 November 2022
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What is Cyber Security Awareness?

Cyber security awareness involves being aware of cyber breaches and risks in everyday situations. This means being aware of the dangers of browsing the web, checking email, and interacting online are all aspects of cybersecurity awareness. As business leaders, it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone sees cybersecurity as an important part of their job. Not everyone in an organization needs to understand concepts like DNS cache leaks, but giving each user information related to their work helps them stay safe online. Job-based training for technical and non-technical employees is the best way to prepare the right people for legitimate cybersecurity threats. Cybersecurity awareness may mean a little different for your general staff than it does for technical teams. Data management, rights and regulations are topics that your IT team should know about, but may not apply to the rest of your organization. Providing each group with appropriate training is key to building a cybersecurity awareness program that inspires lasting behavior change.

Why is knowing cyber security important? 

Similar to security, cybersecurity issues can come at a high cost. If you’re struggling to allocate a suitable budget for cybersecurity training, tools, or talent, you need to think about it from a risk management perspective. With the number of cyberattacks increasing every year, the risk of not educating your employees about cybersecurity increases.

Cybercriminals are constantly looking for new ways to bypass the latest security tools and technologies, ending up in your users’ inboxes and browsers. In 2021 alone, 85% of data breaches involved human factors, and 94% of malware was delivered via email.

These email attacks almost always involve some form of phishing. Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails pretending to be legitimate in order to force victims to reveal sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. You may have seen phishing emails before, offering you free TV or asking you to change your password. Although spam filters catch most of them, some still reach your inbox occasionally.

Not only is phishing an easy attack to make, but so is Google search. Anyone with access to the dark web can buy a phishing app just like you would buy a book on Amazon. Your employees will eventually experience a cyber incident, and you’ll want them to be prepared to respond by reporting threats to IT or your security team. Fortunately, cybersecurity awareness training can be an effective defense against phishing attacks.

Defending against phishing and social engineering attacks ultimately comes down to knowing what you’re up against. These can take many forms, but the most common cyber attack is a phishing email asking you for usernames, passwords and personally identifiable information (PII). A good rule of thumb is to exercise a healthy dose of skepticism whenever an email asks for personal information, especially emails from an unexpected sender. This can seem like a daunting task for any business, let alone a small business. The truth is that the chances of not training your employees are too high to ignore. 

According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach last year was $4.24 million. 38 percent of companies lost business due to violations, accounting for more than half of the financial losses. By training your employees to recognize these attacks, you can reduce the risk of accidents or damage.

Although cybersecurity awareness is the first step, employees must personally adopt and carefully use both professional cybersecurity practices for them to be truly effective. This is called security culture or security culture. Safety culture is defined as the collective awareness, attitudes and behavior of an organization towards safety. Research from ISACA and the CMMI Institute has shown that organizations with a strong cybersecurity culture benefit from increased visibility into potential threats, reduced cyber incidents, and greater resilience after protection.

Best practices for cybersecurity professionals 

Encourage taking good care of your equipment 

A study found that 15% of corporate damage is caused by lost or missing devices. Whether it’s an enterprise or a personal device, training your employees in cybersecurity involves understanding that their devices act as gateways to your network. So it is important to take care of their device and use it properly even in their home.

You can do the following: 

  • Teach the difference between personal use and professional use. 
  • Make it mandatory to have a professional account based on monitoring, restricted installations and web filtering.
  • Beware of loss and theft of old ones. Ensure security patches and operating system updates are followed.

Device management and monitoring systems, such as our Multi-OS remote device management, can help reduce risk by quickly updating updates and monitoring device status and status at all times. But this should only be a security measure, and the best security service of the user will be the user’s responsibility.

Teach employees how to spot suspicious activity 

Raise your employees’ awareness of suspicious activity to improve their cybersecurity awareness by teaching them to look for the following signs: 

  • Various pop-ups at startup, during normal operation, or before shutdown 
  • An extension or a new tab in the browser 
  • Loss of mouse or keyboard control 

Make cybersecurity awareness an ongoing conversation 

On average, office workers spend up to a quarter of their work day on email-related tasks. This makes a one-time cybersecurity email a poor choice, as they may not be able to understand its meaning or get the message in one sitting.

Here are some best practices for showing cybersecurity awareness to your employees: 

Use different methods for cybersecurity education, such as regular announcements or newsletter updates. For every update, follow the KISS rule: Keep it short and simple. In this way, they can gather the information and keep the information in the middle of their busy days. 

You can take the cybersecurity test to see if the course is available. For example, as part of its email security training, HP sends phishing test emails and encourages users to report them to IT. Also, you can encourage your employees to report suspicious activity immediately. Even if it turns out to be a false alarm, it can still benefit the user by removing errors from their device that are preventing productivity.

Final Thoughts 

Training your employees in cybersecurity awareness helps them understand how they play a role in protecting your business. Instead of being just another cog in the organization, they are the first two eyes on guard against other threats. By encouraging vigilance and awareness of cybersecurity, it is something they can carry beyond the company, even when things return to normal.

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