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October 31, 2016

Ways to Improve Cybersecurity Awareness and Training

Written by Shina Neo

Ways to Improve Cybersecurity Awareness and Training

With the increase in cybercrime focused on businesses, high-impact organizations are starting to recognize the importance of implementing cybersecurity awareness training programs to protect and secure their intellectual property. One-off cybersecurity training initiatives are not enough to prevent your organization from being a victim of cybercrime. Establishing BYOD policies, data loss prevention strategies and consistent, agile cybersecurity awareness training is critical to ensuring confidential data is difficult to obtain.

According to research conducted by Citrix, councils in the UK are spending nine times as much money on health and safety training than IT security training. While mindfulness training in the workplace is essential to ensuring employee engagement, retention and productivity, it is even more critical to focus on cybersecurity awareness training.

The ISACA’s Global Cybersecurity Status report revealed, 83 percent of organization claimed cyberattacks as being among the top three threats they face; however, only 38 percent said they were prepared to deal with it.

According to the National Cybersecurity Institute, “there has been a problematic disconnect and lack of both integration and collaboration between the C-suite and IT departments.” All employees play a key role in safeguarding an organization’s digital assets, and as such, should be well equipped with the awareness and knowledge to keep from being hacked or transmitting company-wide viruses.

Here are five steps to improve cybersecurity awareness within your organization, according to Jack Danahy, co-founder and CTO of Barkly.

User Adoption: Oftentimes, individual employees outside of the IT department don’t understand the security measures in place prevent cyberattacks. It is important that cybersecurity initiatives are explained in a way that is easily understandable and retainable to better protect against cyber threats.

Computer-Based Training: Organizations can require employees to take a cybersecurity awareness training program once or twice a year, but is that truly effective? Instead, organizations should make it a top priority to implement security awareness training on a consistent basis to expose employees to real-world phishing and hacking scenarios, as well as emphasize security best practices. 

Make It Personal: Sometimes it doesn’t quite have the same impact if it’s not personal. Tell your employees about real-world data breaches that have occurred to people they might know, the consequences and how it could have been prevented.

Outline the Consequences: Just like any other training initiative, security training takes time away from their day-to-day job. However, a lack of cybersecurity awareness can result in a loss of confidential data, ultimately leading to poor business performance and possibly organizational failure. More specifically, this can affect an employee’s job. 

Be Clear: Security awareness training needs to be clear, concise and to the point. Leave out the technological jargon and avoid dense training materials.

In a world with increasing digital capabilities, organizations are faced with the challenge of safeguarding their intellectual property with a rapidly growing number of cyber threats. Implementing cybersecurity initiatives should not just be about increasing rules and regulation. Instead, high-impact organizations create an effective security awareness culture that empowers employees to make the best judgment based on their learned knowledge of cyber threats. 

The most effective security awareness training program is relevant, applicable, retainable, consistent and up to date. Although no amount of training can fully 100 percent ensure data security and protection against cyber threats, training employees to be conscientious of their actions can be the most effective form of security control.


Shina Neo

Shina Neo is the content marketing manager at Content Raven where she is responsible for the publication of all blog posts, white papers, eBooks, infographics and social media campaigns. Previously, Shina worked as a news reporter and has written for numerous newspapers and magazines nationwide. She holds a Masters of Science in Journalism from Boston University.

Report: Preventing Revenue Loss with Content Security


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