In today’s digital age, businesses are always at risk from internal and external cyberattacks. Moreover, human-error or intentional internal network intrusions by the employees can cause serious security breaches inside organizations. This post emphasizes the importance of cybersecurity awareness in the corporate world.
In this technology-driven era, companies have to maintain a tremendous amount of sensitive data due to the hike in sophisticated technologies, and each company is legally held responsible for the loss of any personal information. Studies prove that majority of cyberattacks attempts to employ social engineering techniques to discover user credentials.
As per studies and real-life cyberattacks worldwide, it is evident that people are the weakest link in any cybersecurity defense method. To withstand cyberattacks, employee training is the most effective tool to educate staff on how to handle data and how to act during an event. Such exercises begin with the company’s acknowledgment that employees are vulnerable to security breaches.
The Need For Cybersecurity Awareness
Cyberattacks show no sign of slowing down from phishing to ransomware, and the most effective way to defend it is by training the employees on cybersecurity. Security awareness mainly focuses on making the staff aware of recording the consequences of a cyberattack and that the cybercriminals will misuse data, which could affect the business continuity of the organization. Cybersecurity awareness can also have many other benefits, as discussed below.
- Maintaining compliance: Different organizations are legally bound to obey rules and regulations for cybersecurity, and by educating employees about the same, they will work accordingly. The focus will be given on ensuring security policies, risks, threats, norms, and expected behavior of attackers.
- Ensuring data security: Employees will be made aware of how weak security measures are vulnerable to attacks and how to implement multi-layered organizational cybersecurity measures for data security and privacy protection of personal data.
- Real-time security breach identification: Training will let employees make dynamic decisions during a cyber intrusion, and thus the detection time will be lower. Such a quick response will help mitigate the impact of the cyberattack to some extent.
The Relevance Of Executing An End-To-End Training Plan
Cybersecurity training for employees will be conducted in closed secure environments, which consist of mock cyberattacks using phishing and ransomware to observe how the staff responds to such incidents. Targeting the entire workforce can help develop a baseline of security behaviors, but as the program matures, the high-risk team will be identified for customized training.
For every new employee, doing online cybersecurity training should be mandatory. Then the program should be continuous so that employees are always alert against malware, back doors, and phishing. Introductory level training such as password rotation and periodic patches should be given to professionals having limited technology-related knowledge such as marketing executives, human resource executives, and sales representatives.
Managerial level training is to be given to executives who led IT teams and works with IT security management panels. Besides, IT professionals are supposed to be experts in intrusion detection and mitigation methods using security management tools and penetration testing. In other words, anyone having any exposure to the digital network should be trained on cybersecurity for proper mitigation of risks.
The Necessity Of A Feedback Mechanism
Unfortunately, despite sophisticated efforts, workers tend to make manual errors, which makes the entire network vulnerable. To compensate such errors, a strong feedback loop is recommended to get insights into user behavior and how they react during cyberattack simulation executed for security training. A cybersecurity feedback loop can be summarized as given below.
- Capture the user behavior by analyzing the actions on phishing messages.
- Convey the information to the end-user that the user has clicked on a malicious link and send a report on how to avoid such mistakes in the future.
- Convey the direct consequences of the behavior from the information security perspective, and simulation tests will be repeated until the user learns to identify similar threats.
- Recapturing and retesting the behaviors until professionals have learned to identify threats and can report and mitigate during cyber incidents.
Teaching professionals using techniques such as L1 feedback can help the business gather and analyze information in the longer run. Such data could give insights into the workforce’s weakness and in which sector they need more training and awareness. It is from such feedbacks; trainers decide the time and areas to be focused so that the cybersecurity employees can be trained further.
To recapitulate, it is evident that cybersecurity training for professionals working in any sector is indispensable since most companies utilize digital networks for business operations, and social engineering is the primary technique hackers use to attack such networks. Moreover, since cyber-attacks are a mutant-like organism, cybersecurity awareness is a necessity in security defense. Cybersecurity training is continuous, and with relevant feedback, such programs will be periodically updated to adapt to ever-evolving tools and techniques utilized by cybercriminals.
Vikas is a technology enthusiast working with a leading IT company based out of Noida, India. Having 15 years of versatile experience in IT industry working with different domains functions ranging from a client-facing developer role to working in Human Resource’s team as Manager for Matrix & Reports/Dashboards for global & regional HR leadership. Currently, Vikas is working as Project Manager and exploring how Cybersecurity can enhance the end user’s or client’s overall experience.