As more aspects of our lives are digitized and moving online, cyberattacks become more imminent, frequent, and bear more significant damage potential. Because of this ever-present threat, cybersecurity has become a critical issue for every organization.
With cybercrime costs growing at an alarming rate, organizations are trying to tackle this problem using advanced technology. However, the human element remains one of the focal points of the issue. Establishing comprehensive cybersecurity awareness through employee training is one of the most effective strategies in dealing with cybersecurity.
Creating and implementing a cybersecurity awareness training program is challenging, but the benefits are enormous. Well-trained employees dramatically reduce risks and decrease financial damage from fines, legal procedures, reputation, and customer loss.
This post will discuss the importance of cybersecurity awareness training and its benefits, then provide ten actionable tips for creating and implementing a great cybersecurity awareness training program.
Why Cybersecurity Awareness Training Is So Important
Cybersecurity awareness is the term used to describe the knowledge, understanding, familiarity, day-to-day attention, and mindfulness of cybersecurity threats and attacks. It includes ways to avoid them and how to react appropriately when they occur.
Common examples of cybersecurity awareness are knowledge, consciousness, and correct behavior regarding:
- Browsing the internet
- Handling emails
- Social engineering tactics like phishing attacks
- Device loss or theft
- Updating security password settings, authentication, and authorized access
- Types of cyberattacks
- Security compliance
Different levels of cybersecurity awareness change in width and depth between different organizations and people inside each organization. Security, IT, development, and marketing team members need different cybersecurity awareness levels. However, the principles are the same, and so is the method of attaining a constant high level of appropriate awareness—effective, regular, and continuous cybersecurity awareness training.
Since a system is only resilient and robust as the people operating it, humans remain the weakest link in cybersecurity. In 2021, the volume of cyberattack attempts reached an all-time high after a 50% increase compared to 2020. To make matters worse, attack sophistication has also rapidly heightened.
With more employees working from home and digitization expanding, cyberattacks’ risks and potential damage have also increased. The average cost of data breaches has risen to a record $4.35M.
Cybersecurity awareness training is critical in such an environment because maintaining strong cybersecurity awareness is the only way to reduce risk across an organization.
The Benefits of Cybersecurity Awareness Training
Training programs provide many advantages for the employees and the organization. Cybersecurity awareness training is no different and has many benefits, including:
- Reduce human errors – According to IBM, 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error. More awareness equals fewer errors.
- Prevent damages to your organization – Non-compliance to security standards and weak security can create financial harm in terms of fines, legal expenses, income loss, theft of funds, and more.
- Optimize and strengthen your technological security – Technological tools are essential in preventing breaches but require installation, maintenance, input, and updates. Cybersecurity awareness training allows your employees to use those tools optimally.
- Helps build an organization’s security culture – Continuous training helps assimilate new processes into your workflow. Building and using a solid cybersecurity awareness training program contributes to developing a security culture across your organization.
- Improve compliance – Compliance requirements for organizations focus on employee training, including cybersecurity.
- Enhance customer trust and professional reputation – 70% of consumers believe businesses don’t adequately protect their personal information. Investing in employee cybersecurity awareness training sends customers a clear message of seriousness and professionalism.
10 Tips for a Great Cybersecurity Awareness Training Program
Now that we understand why your organization must have cybersecurity awareness training, here are ten tips to help you create a great program that benefits your team and business.
1. Harness your employees – explain, convince and share
Cybersecurity awareness is in the mind of your employees. Cybersecurity awareness training can be effective and beneficial only if everyone across your organization is on board. Be sure to involve everyone in the process. If your team understands the importance and purpose of the training, they will be more committed to it. If not, they will treat it like another task to take off their to-do lists.
Start by explaining the importance of cybersecurity awareness training and how valuable it is. Listen carefully and consider people’s thoughts, suggestions, and inputs. The more participants are actively involved in planning, creating, and implementing the process, the more likely they will cooperate and participate. Making the cybersecurity awareness training more effective.
2. Implement the training program across your organization and beyond
A chain is as strong as the weakest link. Every human in your organization can potentially create an opening for an attack if not properly educated and trained. Bring aboard as many stakeholders as possible, beginning with direct employees from all levels and, if possible, your contractors, vendors, and partners.
The best way to go about it is by explaining cybersecurity awareness’s importance and benefits. Make it clear that, in the long run, it will not hinder work but improve it by saving time and money for all concerned.
3. Make cybersecurity clear and focus on the human factor
Before you start training, you must clarify and define your training goals. Create a comprehensive and clear picture of your organization’s cybersecurity situation, then convey it straightforwardly to all participants.
Ensure your staff understands the threats facing your organization and all relevant cybersecurity fundamental issues. The explanation should be adapted to the audience’s technical understanding levels. Always emphasize that:
- 80-95% of breaches are due to human errors.
- The most secure data transfer protocol is useless if bypassed via unprotected email.
- The most sophisticated anti-malware application will be compromised if it’s not installed correctly and regularly updated.
4. Keep it simple and gradual
A robust, comprehensive cybersecurity awareness training program tackles countless issues, which can be very challenging to most employees, especially the ones with no technical background. These include malware, viruses, trojan horse, worms, denial of service (DoS) attacks, social engineering, phishing attacks, ransomware, and attack vectors. Learning all this at once could be overwhelming.
To be effective, try to keep things simple and progress as gradually as possible. Divide your training program into the smallest elements possible, and introduce it over a long period.
5. Customize your training program
Different roles have different vulnerabilities depending on parameters such as type and place of work, access to sensitive systems, applications, data, and varying responsibilities. A low-level call-center operator working from the office differs from an IT manager or head of accounting working from home. There are also significant differences between general staff and technical teams.
Another critical concern is your industry and sector. There are many common cybersecurity issues, but at the same time, each industry and sector has its own unique sets of problems, solutions, compliance issues, and specific priorities.
When planning your training program, always keep in mind your audience and their line of work, capabilities, knowledge, roles, and responsibilities so that you can customize your training accordingly. Customization will help you utilize your resources more efficiently and ensure the effectiveness of the training process.
6. Start Training at Onboarding
One of the best ways to assimilate a new process in an organization is to make it part of the onboarding stage. This way, new employees will be committed to the process as they see it as an integral part of their job.
Onboarding software can assist you in bringing your new hires smoothly into your organization. Cybersecurity awareness training should be a key part of the onboarding process and facilitated with this software right from the start for new employees.
7. Use advanced cybersecurity training platforms
Planning, building, implementing, and running a cybersecurity awareness training program for all your employees can be time-consuming.
Using smart, advanced cybersecurity training platforms is an excellent way to save time and money. These tools help in all the process stages, from planning to the actual training, using automation, data analysis, and real-time feedback.
8. Make training engaging and effective with video
It is a well-established fact that enjoyment and engagement make training more effective. One of the best tools is video learning which raises information retention by 95%. However, creating a wide variety of training videos can be complicated and expensive.
Use an AI video generator like Reals by Hour One to easily create customized, engaging videos that enhance your training program’s effectiveness with virtual presenters. It will help you to quickly and efficiently make training videos and allow you to update them continuously. This ease of change is essential in cybersecurity awareness’s ever-changing and evolving world.
9. Follow, test, and measure
You can’t correctly manage something if you don’t follow and measure it. After creating and initiating your training program, you must continuously monitor its progress and measure its effectiveness.
Ask for employee feedback, conduct tests and quizzes, and measure program effectiveness using your training platform.
10. Continuously update and adjust the program
Cybersecurity is a highly dynamic field. Moreover, as your organization changes and evolves, cybersecurity challenges change accordingly.
Be aware of these dynamics, and continuously update and adjust your training program accordingly. Use tools that allow you to quickly and easily update old training materials and create new ones, such as AI video generators, to save time and money.
Use Hour One for Cybersecurity Awareness Training Program
In today’s business environment, a cybersecurity awareness training program is essential to handle ever-changing cybersecurity threats successfully. A robust training program offers many benefits to both employees and businesses. However, creating and updating such a program can be expensive and time-consuming.
Hour One’s AI video generator allows you to create cybersecurity awareness training videos fast, affordably, and at scale. Its fully customizable platform includes over 100 virtual presenters, 60+ languages, and a wide variety of templates that make it ideal for any training program.
Try Hour One for free and create your first video today.
Cybersecurity has become a significant issue, making cybersecurity awareness training programs crucial. This training gives your employees knowledge and mindfulness of cybersecurity threats, along with many additional benefits. Building a training program for cybersecurity awareness can be complicated and resource-demanding. In this post, we’ve gathered ten actionable tips to help you create a great program. Try Reals by Hour One, an AI video generator that allows you to create cybersecurity awareness training videos fast, affordably, and at scale.