There’s a popular notion that only large enterprises are affected by cyberattacks. In reality, however, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are just as vulnerable, as they often have weak cyber defenses.
To defend against cyberattacks, it’s necessary for SMBs to deploy security solutions like antivirus software and firewalls. It’s equally important for SMBs to provide their employees with cybersecurity awareness training
What is cybersecurity awareness training?
Cybersecurity awareness training is the process of educating employees about the risks of cyberattacks and the steps they can take to prevent them. It aims to make employees understand their role in protecting the company’s data and systems from cyberthreats.
Cybersecurity awareness training is the process of educating employees about the risks of cyberattacks and the steps they can take to prevent them.
Why should your business conduct cybersecurity awareness training?
With effective cybersecurity awareness training, your business can:
- Reduce the risk of attacks: Educating your staff on cybersecurity risks minimizes the possibility of cyberattacks occurring in the first place.
- Reduce the impact of attacks: Cybersecurity awareness training teaches employees how to properly respond to an attack, limiting the damage to your company
- Demonstrate compliance: In some industries, cybersecurity awareness training is a compliance requirement. If you’re in the healthcare industry, for instance, you must comply with the HIPAA Security Rule, which includes provisions for employee training.
Related article: 4 Types of employees that are most vulnerable to cyberattacks
How do you conduct cybersecurity awareness training?
Ensure a successful cybersecurity awareness training program for your business by doing the following:
1. Evaluate what your employees' know about cybersecurity
To assess how much your staff know about cybersecurity, have them answer cybersecurity awareness surveys. This will help you identify the areas of your cybersecurity initiatives that are lacking and how you can strengthen them.
If you don’t have the time or manpower to conduct assessments, you can reach out to a managed IT services provider like NetQuest. We will perform an in-depth evaluation of your employees’ cybersecurity knowledge and recommend steps to improve it.
2. Have everyone participate
By doing so, your cybersecurity awareness training not only becomes more effective, but it also reminds your employees of their responsibility to protect the company from threats.
3. Be transparent
Inform your team of the goals and methods employed in your cybersecurity awareness training initiative. You should also conduct a short meeting or send an email to explain what participants should expect and why the training is important.
4. Make it enjoyable
No employee wants to sit through a dull presentation, so make sure your cybersecurity awareness training is engaging.
To do this, you can incorporate competition elements like quizzes and leaderboards into your training program. This will not only make it more fun for employees but also increase their motivation to learn. You can also use videos to explain complex concepts in an understandable manner.
5. Do it regularly
Conducting a one-time cybersecurity awareness training session is not enough, as cyberthreats are always evolving. As such, you need to conduct monthly or quarterly training sessions. You can also send out monthly newsletters with the latest cybersecurity news. Finally, you can set up cyberattack simulations every month to test what your staff have learned and if they can apply this knowledge.
6. Evaluate and improve
The following metrics will help you gauge the effectiveness of your cybersecurity awareness training program:
- Participant satisfaction: This refers to the overall content appeal, accessibility of materials, and number of satisfied participants.
- Training statistics: These include training duration, how many people completed thev training, and pass/fail rates.
- Subjective indicators: These refer to the general reception of your cybersecurity awareness training program, such as security perception, employee comments, and informal discussions.
Use the data you collected to improve your future cybersecurity awareness training programs.
If you need help developing an effective cybersecurity awareness training program for your team, reach out to NetQuest. Our team of IT professionals will assist you from start to finish so you can better protect your business from cyberattacks. Get a free consultation today.