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4 Elements of an Effective Cyber Security Awareness Training Program

benefits of cyber security awareness trainingYour employees likely already know that they play a critical role in protecting company data assets, and that failing to uphold that responsibility can have disastrous consequences. However, an understanding of the stakes is not enough to protect the company from data breaches; your employees need the right tools and information presented in a digestible, actionable way. 

Conveying facts and instructions via a long PowerPoint presentation simply isn’t effective. In order to get all of your employees on the same page, your business needs to implement a cyber security awareness training program that engages and educates. Here’s a brief checklist to help ensure that your employees retain vital cyber security information and put it into practice.

1. Diverse Tools

To avoid information overload and appeal to different learning styles, use a variety of tools, including interactive exercises, to communicate the information. Simulated phishing attacks, quizzes, videos and even games can often help demonstrate concepts far better than bullet points on a slide.

2. Relevant Information 

Narrow the focus of the training to key topics like device security management, password hygiene and the risk posed by phishing, malware and ransomware. Try to connect to participants on a personal level, and share stories of the real-life consequences of cyber attacks to drive points home. Don’t be afraid to use humor to engage the audience and make the experience memorable—in a positive way.

3. Regular Reinforcement 

Cyber security threats are constantly evolving, which means awareness training is not a one-and-done deal. Your organization should have year-round programming with refreshers and updates occurring at regular intervals. Even if there is very little new material to present, it’s advisable to review the same information to prevent your employees from getting too relaxed about upholding cyber security best practices. 

Make sure to track metrics and offer employees information on breach risks. Also offer additional training to those who require it, such as employees who have clicked on phishing test emails or taken other actions that can put company data at risk.

4. Participation of Senior Staff 

Keeping data secure is an organization-wide effort, which is why it’s important to foster a culture of cyber security awareness from the top down. The involvement of leadership in cyber awareness training not only communicates that security is important, but demonstrates a sense of fairness because everyone is being held to the same standard. If leadership is lax on cyber security practices, employees may lose motivation or feel that their efforts aren’t valuable to the company.

How an MSP Can Help 

In addition to the layered security protection services we offer, CoreTech offers cyber security training that will educate your employees about their role in preventing data breaches and empower them with the tools and resources to succeed. Our comprehensive training includes creating an acceptable use policy (AUP) and procedures for IT security, real-world simulations, threat awareness training, password hygiene guidelines and device security tips. 

The smallest mistake can compromise your reputation or lead to devastating financial loss. Don’t expose your business to unnecessary risk. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of cyber security awareness training.

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Topics: Staff Training, Security Threats, Network Security