Internet Security Awareness Training in South Florida
Cyberthreats to your business are usually blamed on outsiders—nefarious programmers writing malicious code designed to steal your corporate intelligence, siphon your confidential customer information or raid your financial data. But in most cases, the threat actually originates from within, when employees’ ignorance or negligence opens the door for cybercriminals. Human error is the leading cause of data breaches, accounting for over 90% of all successful cyberattacks and costing businesses an average of $4.65 million in phishing attacks alone.
Internet security awareness training is one of the most effective ways organizations can protect themselves against cyberattacks. Even if your cyber security defenses in place stop 99.9% of all attempted data breaches, all it takes is just a single click on a malicious link by a distracted employee, such as through phishing emails, to lock up your entire system, or to introduce malware into your network.
By participating in security awareness training, employees learn to avoid phishing and other types of social engineering cyberattacks, spot potential malware behaviors, report possible security threats, follow company IT policies and best practices and adhere to any applicable data privacy and compliance regulations such as GDPR, PCI DSS, and HIPAA.
What’s Internet Security Awareness Training?
Internet security awareness training is a type of cyber security education that gives an organization’s end users the knowledge they need to protect confidential information from cybercriminals. In this case, the term “end users” can encompass both full- and part-time employees, freelance contractors, and any other individuals who share, store, edit, or access organizational data.
It helps your workforce understand the value of the information they interact with daily and ensure they can recognize cyber threats and tactics used by cybercriminals such as phishing, spear phishing, ransomware, malware, social engineering, and more. With this knowledge, your employees can make the right decision when it comes to protecting your organization’s sensitive corporate information and assets.
Why Do You Need Internet Security Awareness Training?
Meet Compliance Requirements
Many organizations also require security awareness training to comply with industry or regional regulations, including (but not limited to) the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Payment Card Initiative (PCI). While training on these and other regulations isn’t required for small-to-medium-sized enterprises, it can boost revenue and public image through a public commitment to information security.
Develop a Security-First Culture
Internet security awareness training cultivates a strong security-aware mindset and culture that prioritizes protecting sensitive information. It’s one thing to know how to defend against cyberattacks, but another to actively put this knowledge into action. The way your employees understand security is rooted in your organizational culture, and fostering a security-aware workplace culture will place cybersecurity at the forefront of your employees’ minds and change their attitudes on security.
Additionally, by implementing mandatory, organization-wide internet security training, you can set the standard for what’s expected of your employees. This helps establish behavioral guidelines and supports disciplinary processes when these behaviors aren’t adhered to. A good security awareness training program aims to educate users and change their behavior, ensuring that good security hygiene becomes second nature. This ensures that when the time comes when a phishing email isn’t a simulation, your employees will instinctively know what to do and won’t fall victim to a phishing attack.
Reinforce Your Existing Cybersecurity Defenses
The goal of any corporate security infrastructure is to protect corporate data. The conventional method of accomplishing the objective of securing these assets has been the deployment of various types of security hardware, software, and cloud services, including firewalls, endpoint detection and response solutions, anti-virus software, secure email gateways, web application firewalls, and a host of other solutions. However, cybersecurity technology can go only so far in protecting an organization.
Internet security awareness training shouldn’t be seen as separate from security software and technology but instead complementary. Arming your employees with knowledge of how to prevent potential breaches when they spot them will provide an additional layer of defense alongside any solutions you may have in place. So, why settle for one layer of defense when you could have two?
Internet Security Awareness Training Basics
Not all internet security awareness training programs are created equal. The elements of any given program will depend heavily on an organization’s internet security needs and goals and which user behaviors they’re looking to change over time. Internet security awareness training must be tailored to those variables to be effective. Generally, an internet security awareness training program should cover the following:
- Phishing: Phishing attacks are now, by far, one of the most frequent attack vectors in an organization. According to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), phishing is the top “action variety” seen in breaches last year, and 43% of breaches involved phishing. Teaching employees to recognize phishing emails and social engineering attacks is fundamental to any security awareness training program. Employees need to understand how to identify a phishing attack and defend against not clicking suspicious links, and phishing simulations based on real-world attacks can help with this.
- Password security: Passwords are integral to our online accounts and aren’t going away anytime soon. Employees should understand how to create strong passwords and learn why passwords are important in protecting their online accounts. They should also understand the risk of password reuse between personal and corporate accounts.
- Secure browsing tactics: Employees should be aware of identifying a suspicious website and how it can be a major risk for the organization. They should also understand the importance of keeping browsers up to date and secure.
- Secure remote working: As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of workers worldwide are now working remotely. This brings a host of new challenges, not to mention the increased risk of cyberattacks. The transition to remote working has meant that employees log into work through home networks or personal devices that might not be as secure as office environments. Hackers have been quick to exploit these lapses in security to gain access to corporate networks. Employees need to be trained to understand the additional security risks they will face when working remotely and what steps need to be taken to protect company networks and systems.
- Data protection and privacy: Every company has its own policies on data protection, but don’t assume that all employees are aware of these policies or understand them. Internet security awareness training for employees should explain the regulatory and legal obligations of data protection and their roles in protecting sensitive data. Then, offer regular refresher courses so that all employees are up to date on the rules and policies around data protection, even when they change.
Internet Security Awareness Training Best Practices
- Break learning into chunks: Avoid overloading your staff with too much new information by breaking the training into sections of similar, easily learnable elements. This way, the training will be more effective.
- Make the training engaging and entertaining: Company meetings and seminars are often dull affairs that everyone does their best to avoid. You can keep people engaged by gamifying your training, using a humorous (yet topical) video, or sharing odd and quirky security-related anecdotes.
- Training should be ongoing: People often make the mistake of thinking that if they do something once, they don’t have to do it again. Cyber security is an ongoing thing and should include occasional tests and checks scheduled at regular intervals throughout the year.
- Everyone, even executives, should be involved: It’s all or nothing. Anyone not participating in the internet security awareness training constitutes a possible weak link. If everyone isn’t fully engaged, it’s all for nothing. Promote constant vigilance and learning by creating a security culture that runs through every organizational level, down the entire chain of command.
Need Internet Security Awareness Training in South Florida? ECW Can Help!
ECW Networks & IT Solutions is the go-to Cybersecurity company in South Florida and can help secure your organization against cyberattacks through internet security awareness training and other cybersecurity services. Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation security review of your company’s overall security strategy.
ECW Computers is an information technology company. Headquartered in Deerfield Beach, FL, we specialize in providing unique, specially-tailored Managed IT solutions to businesses in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Miami and across South Florida.