What Should Be in a Cybersecurity Training Program?

Hackers are constantly developing and testing new ways to get past a business’ defenses and to the data that can fetch them a big payoff. While a lot of these techniques are complicated pieces of malicious software that take over networks and corrupt data, one entry point has always paid off: the end user. You and your employees at the other end of the screen are often the best target for data thieves.

To fight back against these attacks, you need highly aware and well-trained users. Let’s take a look at how improve your cybersecurity through user training.

Why Is Cybersecurity Training Important?

Cybercriminals are constantly developing new methods of attack, many of which target individual employees. Robust cybersecurity training can tighten up this critical defensive layer.

Hackers often break into your network by tricking users into giving up something they shouldn’t. Internal employees are involved in over 80% of all data breaches, according to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report. Making sure these users are well training and aware of the latest cybercrime techniques is much like keeping your antivirus software updated. You’re ensuring the human level of your business is as strong as it can be.

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5 Topics to Include in a Cybersecurity Training Plan

So, what should you cover in a cybersecurity training program? It can be difficult to narrow down the topics when there is just so much out there, and with the threat landscape constantly changing as new attacks appear. Here are 5 topics that are critical today, but this just scratches the surface of cybersecurity awareness.

1.      Phishing Awareness and Testing

Phishing — using cleverly produced emails, text messages, phone calls, and even social media messages to trick you out of information — is a cybercrime classic that leads to thousands of data breaches each year. Hackers still phish simply because it works.

A well-honed cybersecurity training plan should include tips for spotting phishing emails and a procedure for dealing with them when they inevitably hit your inbox. There are also applications such as KnowBe4 that run fake phishing campaigns against your business. If you employees fail these unannounced tests, you should heavily consider updating your awareness training.

2.      Multi-Factor Authentication Fatigue

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) makes a user do something on another device, typically input a code from a text message, to gain access. The best MFA systems require two or more actions to grant access. Hackers have started to thwart MFA by a tried-and-true tactic: spam. Once they figure out an MFA system is in place, the would-be intruder spams your users’ devices with requests for access, hoping someone eventually gives in and clicks the notification or scans their fingerprint.

Your users should be aware of MFA fatigue attacks and know that true MFA requests should never spam them. A good place to start is to use a trusted authenticator mobile app, such as Microsoft or Google Authenticator.

Are Your Employees Ready for Today's Cyber Threats?

NetGain’s Virtual Chief Security Officers can create a training plan for your business needs.

3.      Remote Worker Training

If you’re doing business in the post-2020 world, you’ve seen dozens of articles every week about remote work. It has truly changed how most business is conducted and seems like it is here to stay, at least in some form. In the cybersecurity world, working from home has opened entire new “threat surfaces.” Users are much more likely to access business data on unsecured or improperly set-up networks. For a hacker, it’s like you knocked a hole in the wall and put up a flimsy door.

When you’re preparing a training plan, or working with a security expert to tailor one to your business, keep remote workers in mind. Update and share your device policies at a minimum. Also educate your employees on the business assets that should only be accessed from a secure network.

4.      Social Engineering Awareness

The cybercrime of today looks a lot less like the cascading curtains of neon green code Hollywood seems obsessed with. If a hacker can sidestep technological defenses entirely, they can be much more successful. One way of doing this is through social engineering, where the criminal establishes a real-world connection with an important gatekeeper in your business. The thief often poses as a business partner or even another employee and slowly works on squeezing critical information out of the target.

Awareness is really the key when it comes to social engineering training. If someone claims to be from a partner business, make sure your employees do their due diligence in confirming that with a known contact. You should also have a clear policy on who in your business is able to give out important business data.

5.      Physical Security

With so many sophisticated digital attacks to worry about it is easy to neglect the physical security of your business. Even though you may not consider badge readers and filing cabinets to be a layer of cybersecurity, they are. Cybercriminals are ultimately after your data, and it doesn’t matter what form it takes. If they can get their hands on physical copies of what they want, they can do just as much damage.

As you’re creating your cybersecurity training plan, be sure to give some time to real-world defenses. Make sure your employees know to not leave their badges at their desk when they step away.

Create a Cybersecurity Training Plan Tailored to Your Business

Cybersecurity training is essential for any business, no matter their size or industry. It can be daunting to jump right in if you don’t have a security expert on staff, and many small- and medium-sized businesses can’t justify the high cost of that role.

Working with a managed security services provider can set you up with a strong cybersecurity training procedure. If you partner with NetGain Technologies, you’ll work with a certified Virtual Chief Security Officer who will get to know your business and craft a plan that fits your needs. If a cybercriminal does make it past your users, you’ll be equipped to handle it with our security operations center on your side.

Our experts are ready to talk about how to tighten up your defenses. Contact us and let’s get the conversation started.

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