How-To Guide: Teaching Cybersecurity to Employees

Cybersecurity impacts every business, no matter the size. There are many threats that loom externally, but sometimes employees can be the weak link in security. In fact, a study by Shred-It found that employee negligence is the biggest cause of data breaches. The research relayed that 47% of C-suite executives and 42% of small business owners reported that human error led to a breach. How can your company avoid this travesty? Teaching cybersecurity to employees is fundamental to curbing risky behavior.

Your employees need to care about cybersecurity

Cybersecurity may seem like something that no one in your company needs to be aware of besides your tech team. Not so! Cybersecurity is the responsibility of every employee because they all have access to your network and data.

Impress upon them the importance of following protocols and staying alert. Let them know that cybersecurity is part of your company’s culture and that everyone has to be involved in keeping your systems secure.

Getting them to care also means that they need more than just a five-minute training or e-learning class when they join the company. You should have regular training sessions with employees to keep them in tune with new threats like ransomware, which is dramatically on the rise with 55% of IT providers stating their clients experienced a ransomware attack in the first half of 2018.

Key strategies to teach cybersecurity to employees

Perform live-fire training sessions

Users in this simulation undergo what an attack would be like. Much of the time, this type of exercise is carried out with phishing tests. Your IT provider or department can send out fake phishing emails to see who “bites.”

You can then share those results with your team along with additional best practices on how to avoid phishing schemes.

Start cyber awareness from day one

Employees can be engaged with cybersecurity from day one. On the first day of employment, new hires should participate in cybersecurity training. When they see that your company has a commitment to security, it will easily become part of their day.

Teach them from the start what your security protocols are and how you expect them to engage with sensitive data. For example, you may need to inform them that any time they work remotely, they must always use a VPN for enhanced security. In-office security is essential to, like teaching them always to lock their screens when they leave their desk.

Communicate the ongoing importance of cybersecurity

No company wants to be in a headline that includes the words ‘data breach’. To keep your business secure, communication could be your greatest tool. Develop a plan that will be ongoing and continues to communicate policies, procedures, and the latest news in cybersecurity.

Being this open with communication and teaching also helps you break down silos so employees can work together to ensure security is always top of mind.

Designate cybersecurity culture advocates

Every department should have a cybersecurity culture advocate. This advocate acts as an extension of your IT team, always motivating and teaching employees about cybersecurity. This designation will further help your entire company understand the day-to-day importance of being cyber aware.

If you are ready to develop or reevaluate your cybersecurity awareness training for employees, consider using experts for employee training. Working with CTSI, your employees will be well informed on current and emerging threats. Contact us today to learn more.