We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating – employees are your first line of defense when it comes to many cyberattacks. With the COVID-19 pandemic causing a rise in phishing attacks and other threats, it’s important that your end users know how to identify potential threats so they can be stopped at the source. Below are the best employee cybersecurity training methods that we at NetGain use both internally and recommend to clients.
Testing and Training
In order to understand your employee’s ability to recognize cyber threats, you must test them on a variety of threats such as email phishing, text phishing, and more. This testing will allow your organization to find out what your users aren’t familiar with, so you can educate them. For example, employees may not know how to recognize when a malicious email is altered to like it is coming from a fellow employee or other internal source, or may not know what to do when an attack is being forceful or threatening. Once your organization has this information, you can develop training and ongoing testing to ensure you have optimized employee cybersecurity training.
Interested in a more in-depth conversation on cybersecurity? Get advice from a former FBI agent with our on-demand webinar, FBI Insights on Fighting Cybercrime.
Employee Cybersecurity Training Programs
You may be wondering how you can implement this testing and training. There are many, many programs available for organizations to leverage. A few examples are KnowBe4, Sophos, and Proofpoint. At NetGain, our security team uses KnowBe4, due to its worldwide program and constantly updated training.
These programs allow your I.T. security team to send out simulated attacks, such as fake phishing emails, so that your employees get tested in a real-world situation on their cybersecurity knowledge, without any of the risk of a breach. These tests collect data on your employee cybersecurity awareness, so you can pinpoint the areas of improvement. Based on that data, training courses from the program can be leveraged to educate employees on areas of cyberthreats they may not be as familiar with. These testing and training programs can be customized based off of your organization’s individual needs. For unique industries such as healthcare, or more at-risk industries such as the financial sector, you can customize training and testing to your vertical as well.
This testing, training, and re-testing on a continuous basis is the most important part of employee cybersecurity training. Simulations of real-life cyberattacks allow employees to recognize actual threats when they come in, and continuous training allows your organization to both track your improvement over time, and stay up to date on the ever-shifting cybersecurity landscape.
In addition to recurring training based off of knowledge gaps, training courses can be done ad-hoc as well. These can be utilized throughout the year as your I.T. security team feels they are needed. For example, a course is offered on how to work from home safely, as well as how to use a cell phone safely. These courses would be excellent to offer for all employees if your organization is still working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Protect Your Business – Educate, Test, Repeat
As stated before, the most important aspect of employee cybersecurity training is that it is done continually. A program like KnowBe4 is the best method for educating employees, as it allows for this continuous training, and is updated continuously itself to stay on top of emerging cyber threats. If employees can recognize the many kinds of cyberattacks that exist today, they can stop them in their tracks, preventing a breach and a huge loss to your organization.