March 5, 2018

So, you want to conduct cyber security awareness training, but what actions should you take to ensure that the training actually does help create a positive security awareness culture within your organisation?

The aim of cyber security awareness training, whether it comes in the form of e-learning or face to face, is to help reduce the greatest risk to your organisation – your employees. Ultimately, over 90% of incidents involve user behaviour, rather than a lack of IT measures. By educating and upskilling your employees on cyber-security, emerging threats and best practice, this can help empower employees to become your greatest defence and prevent incidents within your organisation. Today, we consider 5 simple steps to ensuring your employee cyber-security training is really effective!

1. Management buy-in

Management buy-in is a crucial step to ensuring employee engagement. Once management are themselves convinced of the benefits of cyber awareness training, employees are more likely to take the training more seriously. By encouraging engagement from a senior level, organisations are more likely to have a higher participation rate as a result. Participation levels should be reviewed during board-level meetings, with departmental leaders being given responsibility for ensuring their respective teams participate.

2. Getting the launch right

Knowing when and how to launch your awareness campaign can be crucial to its success. It’s vital to ensure that all internal communications around the project, highlight the benefits of the training, and that all training kicks off with a big push from senior management. Don’t be afraid to create a bit of a buzz around the programme before you launch and encourage participation from the start. Why not try sending initial engagement emails, as a simple and effective way of highlighting the importance of cyber training and what is expected from them as employees?

3. Employee buy-in

Crucially, after senior managers have convinced employees that awareness training is something that should be taken seriously, and the launch plans are set in motion, the final part is for the employees to buy-in to the training themselves. Aside from helping to protect the organisation from cyber-threats, cyber security awareness training also undoubtedly benefits employees in their personal lives too. Cyber training shouldn’t be tiresome, lengthy and unnecessary training that seems like a waste of their time. Moreover, this needn’t be the situation. Implement a cyber security awareness programme that is relevant and interactive!

Ultimately, if you are going to invest in training, it should be something that is engaging and easily digestible – your employees will thank you for it! At The Defence Works, we help organisations by providing bite-size, interactive and scenario-based e-learning, proven to have a huge impact on driving engagement and retainment.

Does your organisation enjoy healthy competition? If so, gamification features where you can see how you fair against your peers and even departments, are proven to be great drivers of engagement and improve employee buy-in.

4. Posters

Increasing awareness can be as simple as putting up posters around your office. Not only will this be additional decoration for your walls, more importantly posters also have a great indirect effect on employees. Although it is unlikely for employees to heavily study the posters, even a glance is substantial in achieving some transferring of knowledge, which as a result encourages employees to become more cyber aware.

Find out more about our interactive engaging and scenario-based employee awareness training:

5. Phishing

Do you want to take cyber security awareness to the next level? Or maybe, you think that your staff are already very cyber aware? Why not test your employees with phishing simulations that emulate threats they are likely to experience in their day-to-day lives? You may be surprised with the results. Crucially, if you’re worried that phishing simulations will increase your workload, this need not be the case. Try a managed service, that that is able to provide you with an in-depth insight as to individual risk profiles, without you having to do the work.

Paired with security awareness training, phishing simulations provide employees with a reinforced learning opportunity, strengthening their awareness to both the simulated cyber-attacks and the genuine ones.

Ultimately, implementing a cyber security awareness programme is fairly straightforward. In fact, in most cases it can be instantaneous with very little effort required from the organisation. However, in order for the training to be effective and actually have an impact, it is crucial that organisations consider the above factors to drive engagement and retainment. Only then, will your employees be practising good cyber-hygiene, and be on the road to creating a positive security awareness culture within your organisation.

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