Cybersecurity Training in a Workplace: 7 Questions to Ask Your Employees

Big or small, organizations around the world are being targeted by hackers who are often after money or valuable information. Thus, the consequences of falling victim to cyber attacks can be hazardous. You may know that cybercriminals can breach systems with the help of malicious applications or by exploiting software vulnerabilities. However, many of us forget that hackers can also get in by tricking uneducated members of the workplace. Therefore, specialists highly recommend educating employees on cybersecurity to prevent cyber attacks and, as a result, protect a company’s reputation and avoid losses. Of course, before starting training sessions, it is essential to know how to educate employees and how to ensure that they learn. To learn more, we invite you to read our full blog post.

According to the report prepared by FireEye.com, about 51 percent of organizations do not think that they are ready for cyber attacks. Nonetheless, 76 percent of organizations that participated in the study plan to increase their cybersecurity budget in 2020, which does sound promising. No doubt, one of the areas where such funds should be used is cybersecurity training, as reports suggest that 90 percent of cyber attacks occur due to human error. For companies who plan on educating their employees, we recommend reviewing the following questions and answers that will help conduct productive training sessions.

1. Do you understand the importance of cybersecurity training?

It is not easy to learn something when you do not feel motivated to do so. One of the reasons why employees might not feel motivated to learn about cybersecurity is because they may not understand why it is necessary. Therefore, it is vital to talk about how the knowledge gained during cybersecurity training can help the company and what could happen if, for example, a worker accidentally leaked sensitive information or launched malware. We believe that explaining why it is essential for them to gain skills to prevent cyber attacks can increase their motivation and make it easier for them to take in the information presented during cybersecurity training.

2. Do you understand what is being discussed during cybersecurity training?

Even if a person is enthusiastic, he can quickly lose his motivation to learn if he does not know the specific terms or expressions used in training. No doubt, experts responsible for cybersecurity training might use various terms, such as RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) connections, DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-service) attacks, or ransomware. Not everyone might know such expressions, which might make them feel silly and, as a result, lose their interest. Consequently, we believe that it is essential to define new terms before each cybersecurity training session.

3. Is simply presenting information enough?

Cybersecurity experts recommend teaching employees things like how to recognize various types of phishing attacks, how to keep the accounts that they have access to safe, how to protect the company’s or its clients' sensitive information, or how to surf the Internet safely. However, we recommend not only explaining these things but also demonstrating them. Doing so can teach employees to put their learned knowledge into practice. For example, the first training session dedicated to spear-phishing could be in theory only, but, in the next one, the company could organize practical exercises to consolidate previously gained knowledge about the mentioned attacks.

4. Do you use what you learn during training?

Even if workers receive cybersecurity training, their habits might still not change. Besides educating employees on cybersecurity, organizations should also make it clear that they want their workers to use the knowledge gained during training. For instance, if the topic was the importance of strong passwords, employees could be asked to change their work login credentials until the next training session. Of course, if there are too many accounts and it would be too difficult to think and memorize tons of unique login credentials, a dedicated password manager could offer a solution. Plus, such a tool could increase the strength of the company's passwords as well as keep them safe.

5. Do you know how to report cybersecurity threats?

Employees must know who they should inform if they receive a phishing email or notice anything else that could put your company’s cybersecurity at risk. If your organization is under the hackers’ radar, they might try multiple things, and they might not give up for a long time. Thus, it is best if your employees inform your cybersecurity specialists right away so they could tighten the organization’s security, tell other members of the workplace about the situation and train them what to do if it is needed.

6. How often should we organize cybersecurity training?

In truth, you should educate your employees on cybersecurity as often as possible because cyber threats and security recommendations change all the time. Meaning, having a training session every couple of years or even once a year is not enough to ensure that your workers are aware of the latest threats and safety precautions.

7. Do you need consulting in between cybersecurity training sessions?

It might take some time for employees to take in the information presented during cybersecurity training sessions. Once they do, they might have questions about what they learned during activities. Also, they could need help while trying to apply the new knowledge in practice. Having someone who they could go to with their questions right away instead of waiting for the new training session might help your workers learn better and implement changes that could help protect the company from cyber threats faster.

Overall, educating employees on cybersecurity is vital, but not an easy task. Before starting training, it is best to talk with employees to get an understanding of what could motivate them to learn and what methods would work the best. We hope that our presented questions and answers will help companies to organize productive training sessions. If you have any questions about cybersecurity training or tips on how to make such activities more effective, we encourage you to leave a comment at the end of this blog post.

February 20, 2020

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