In a world where news of a widespread cyber attack is becoming commonplace, it’s important that your employees receive cybersecurity training regularly. Without proper training, your employees can make innocent mistakes that can have huge consequences for your company’s data security.
Why Your Company Needs Cybersecurity Training
Your employees need training in cybersecurity because they’re not perfect. They may not always be thinking about cybersecurity, or they may get careless. And sometimes, your employees can make mistakes – and employee mistakes can cost your company, in the form of expensive data breaches.
Fortunately, you can reduce this risk of employee-related data breaches by conducting regular cybersecurity training for your staff.
7 Essential Components of Any Cybersecurity Training
Here are seven key topics you should include in the cybersecurity training you provide to your employees.
1. Password Security
The first key element of any cybersecurity training is the topic of passwords and authentication. In fact, 51% of people reuse a minimum of five passwords between business and personal accounts – and 69% admit to sharing their passwords with co-workers. This explains why 81% of corporate data breaches are related to poor password security.
In your cybersecurity training, stress to employees that they need unique passwords for each account they access and that these passwords should be strong and complex. In addition, these passwords should be changed every few months. You should also consider employing two-factor authentication for all employee accounts – even if employees balk at the added hassle.
2. Email Security
Email security is another key component of all cybersecurity training. After all, 94% of malware is delivered via email. The FBI reports that in 2019, more than $1.7 billion – half of all cybercrime losses – were stolen due to compromised email accounts.
In your cybersecurity training, teach your employees how to use spam filters, identify phishing emails and email scams, and avoid malware distributed as email attachments. It may seem like security 101 to you, but these are things that employees consistently overlook on a day-to-day basis.
Even better, have your employees conduct important communications via a secure, end-to-end encrypted collaboration app like Wickr. With industry-leading encryption and user verification, email scams are rendered useless if your business uses Wickr for its communications.
3. Social Engineering
Social engineering plays a large role in many email-related attacks, as well as other types of data breaches and scams. 65% of cyber attackers use spear phishing, a type of social engineering attack, as the primary means of infection. And there is a reason that hackers are increasingly using spearfishing — 79% of all social engineering attacks are successful.
Employees need to be trained on identifying social engineering scams, especially those employing phishing and spear phishing techniques. They need to be cautious with all emails and texts they receive, even and especially those that appear to be originating from high-level officials in your company.
4. Social Media
Learning how to deal with social media is especially important to your company’s cybersecurity training. Careless employees can leak sensitive data via their social media accounts, as well as fall prey to social media scams perpetrated by malicious actors monitoring their tweets and posts.
In fact, 20% of businesses have suffered malware infections via social media. Another 12% have experienced security breaches resulting from a social media-based cyber attack.
Employees need to be trained on how to safely use social media, both personally and as part of their jobs. This includes adhering to your company’s social media guidelines as well as learning how to avoid social media scams.
5. Safe Browsing
All cybersecurity training needs to include a section on how to safely browse the Internet. This should include configuring browser security settings, identifying unsafe websites, not clicking on suspicious links, and using only encrypted websites. You may also want to provide employees with a secure VPN for safer browsing and train them on how and why to use it.
6. Mobile Device Security
With employees increasingly working from home, your remote workforce needs to be trained on how to safely and securely use personal devices for company work. The BYOD movement was gaining steam before the COVID-19 crisis. Now, using a combination of company and personal devices – especially phones and other mobile devices – has become even more commonplace during long periods of quarantine.
Mixing business with pleasure, at least in terms of technology, dramatically increases your company’s cyber risk. And this risk is significant, seeing that 90% of working adults say they use their employer-issued devices for personal activities. Half of those taking part in the survey also said they let friends and family members use their company-owned devices.
For these reasons, it’s important to teach your employees proper security for all mobile devices. This includes how to safely and securely use mobile devices both at home and in public.
7. Physical Security
Physical security is also important with mobile devices. If a malicious actor steals an employee’s phone or laptop computer, all company information stored on that device is at risk. Cybercriminals can also use stolen devices to gain access to your corporate network and all the data stored within.
Physical cybersecurity also extends to your company’s premises. Employees need to know how to physically secure servers and other computer hardware, and why that’s important.
Cybersecurity Training is Not a One-Time Thing
Just as technology is constantly advancing, so are the threats posed by cybercriminals. You need to foster a culture of security among employees at all levels and keep them constantly briefed on new and changing threats. Be sure to prioritize periodic cybersecurity training to keep both your workers and your data safe.
Wickr is the encrypted communications platform that should be part of your cybersecurity plan – learn more today!