Cyber Security Awareness Training for Employees

cyber security awareness training for employees

Setting up cyber security awareness training for employees is the best way to prevent attacks. You can stop security breaches before they start.

Cyber attackers are highly motivated to get or corrupt your company’s data. It doesn’t matter their motivation is to steal your funds outright or hold your data for ransom. It doesn’t matter whether these hackers are practicing espionage or simply trying to disrupt your business. The majority of hackers cannot access your network without an “in.”

In other words, they require a login, personal access codes, or network access. Unfortunately, a recent report released by Verizon has concluded that 93% of the time, a cyber attacker’s “in” comes to them in the form of a social engineering attack on your employees.

Cyber Security Tips for Employees

The only way to prevent these breaches is with cyber security awareness training for your employees.

Social engineering attacks

Social engineering attacks are less high-tech than traditional cyber attacks by highly knowledgeable tech criminals. In other words, they don’t require the extensive knowledge and tools needed to directly hack a highly protected computer system out of nowhere.

Social engineering attacks are more like street scams — only these attacks are usually done online or sometimes, over the phone. These scams use human psychology to fool individuals into willingly giving up sensitive information. In the case of your business, the targets are your employees.

There are several types of attacks, including “phishing” and “pretexting,” which are quite similar and often go hand-in-hand. Phishing emails, however, remain the most common type of social engineering scam.

What are phishing attacks?

In short, a phishing scam is typically an email sent to the employees of your company that looks legitimate. It may appear to be from the employee’s bank, for example. It might request that your employee “click here” and login to (what looks like) the bank website so that the bank can “update your information” or “confirm your identity.”

A phishing email might also promise something to the recipient: “Here’s your free 50% off coupon! Click here!” or use a so-called emergency to illicit fear: “Someone has hacked your account. Click here to get it back.”

If your employee does indeed click on the malicious link of a phishing email, they will usually end up on a blank or uninteresting page. In the meantime, however, the link click will have initiated the installation of malware onto the employee’s computer. This malware then enables the hacker to obtain sensitive information or disrupt or damage your company’s data.

How to prevent phishing and spoofing

The implications of any type of security breach on your reputation can be enormous— even if it doesn’t actually corrupt or steal your data or funds. Of course, the financial implications will be equally devastating.

As we’ve learned from the Verizon report, most security breaches happen because of phishing. Therefore, cybersecurity training for your employees can be the best measure in preventing security breaches long before they occur.

Cyber Security Awareness Training Cost

Cyber security awareness training is not expensive. It’s also easy to budget for and highly effective. Your employees should learn the following throughout their ongoing training:

  • How to identify a range of phishing and pretexting scams
  • How to proceed should they find an email, phone call, or social request suspicious
  • Your company’s strict policies and procedures for communication (for example, “We would never send emails requesting personal information from our employees as this would only be done in person.”)
  • Notice of increased risks for phishing scams around the holidays
  • Notice of the most recent and common scams currently trending

Cyber security awareness training for employees should be frequent. It also needs to come at regular intervals throughout the year. Attack strategies often come randomly in spurts and habitually change tactics.

While cybersecurity training is your best line of defense when it comes to phishing and security breaches, it’s also important to hire a reputable IT managed service provider (MSP) to handle your network and security. Your MSP should have experience and broad skill in protecting their clients from network breaches. Contact MSP IT Partners today to learn more about protecting your business from cyber attacks.