• Posted on Feb 10, 2023

Best Practices in Employee Cybersecurity Training

Employee cybersecurity training has become an essential component of owning or operating a business in the 21st century. Business owners and managers contend with more cybersecurity threats than ever before, even as the networks they depend on become more complex and interconnected. Still, it is unreasonable to imagine that every employee in a large organization will have extensive cybersecurity knowledge or be able to integrate existing cybersecurity processes without a steep learning curve.

Unfortunately, the security of your organization is only as strong as the weakest link in your workforce. However, it is less than helpful if your organization tolerates an antagonistic relationship between management and employees with respect to cybersecurity. Treating employees as potential security risks and taking a punitive approach to violations of security policy will inevitably harm morale and threaten security, but what’s the alternative?

Why not take a constructive approach to cybersecurity training? Below, our experts discuss some solutions that incentivize and encourage active participation in security measures to improve security compliance without hurting employee morale.

The Importance of Employee Cybersecurity Training

Cybersecurity training is a vital part of onboarding, employee professional development, and risk management. Businesses can never predict the next threat or security risk with certainty. So, an engaged workforce that proactively maintains readiness and employs the latest tools and policies is a powerful line of defense against cybersecurity challenges.

Your organization’s cybersecurity training program should ensure that every employee that has or could have access to secure networks does the following:

  • Understands the purpose of cybersecurity measures
  • Knows how to use the security tools available within your organization
  • Feels motivated to diligently comply with cybersecurity best practices
  • Actively updates their knowledge of cybersecurity

As you introduce training practices at every point in the employment process, evaluate how they accomplish specific, measurable outcomes. Have you tailored your cybersecurity training program to your workforce and business needs? The best approach incorporates technology, not for its own sake but because it improves training outcomes.

If your choice of technology strengthens the security of your computer networks and connections by equipping your workforce, it adds value.

Types of Cybersecurity Training for Employees

Malicious actors online are creative at evading security countermeasures, so any training program should be comprehensive. Cybersecurity should not be an adjunct to your business operations but an integral part of those operations.

For example, the training modules and assessments could address the following elements:

Email Security

Phishing, email scams, links to malware, and other nefarious emails expose businesses to malware, ransomware, data breaches, and other security threats. Scammers use sophisticated tactics to mimic the appearance of legitimate emails. For instance, email attacks often use subject lines and topics (such as software updates or account deletions) that provoke hasty action.

Are your employees aware of deceptive email tactics and empowered to report suspected email threats? Email security training could work in concert with robust antivirus tools and a dedicated office for handling suspected phishing attempts.

Network Access

Granting employees access to your network entails a trade-off. Authorized employees should be able to access the system when they need to for the sake of productivity. However, ease of access should not water down your security practices.

Employees should understand the proper access procedures and implement them without shortcuts. For example, avoid the following:

  • Passwords that are too simple
  • Sharing passwords or credentials
  • Handwritten passwords
  • 2FA dongles left in place at an unattended workstation

Security of Computers and Mobile Devices

Your employees also need to know how to physically and electronically secure business devices. That way, your organization can avoid data breaches and unauthorized network access.

What’s the Role of Technology in Employee Cybersecurity Training?

Security training inherently involves the use of technology, including software apps and devices. The training process could also involve technology such as:

  • Multimedia presentations
  • Quizzes
  • Online documentation
  • Simulations

Integrating Cybersecurity Training With Organizational Operations

Are your new employees aware of the security policies and committed to implementing them? The onboarding training is only the first step. From Day One, employees must encounter frequent, positive reminders of the proper procedure as part of their workplace routines for cybersecurity practices to become automatic.

Periodic retraining is also effective, keeping employees vigilant and up to date.

Creating a Culture That Values Cybersecurity

Throughout the onboarding process and throughout the term of employment, employees should feel part of a shared mission to protect the company against cyber threats. Buy-in is foundational to the success of these methods. If employees lack a clear sense of purpose about your cybersecurity countermeasures or harbor a strained relationship with the organization’s management, challenges are sure to follow.

So, employee cybersecurity training can foster a culture of compliance in the following ways:

  • Outline an incentive structure to reward employees for consistent compliance
  • Help employees understand the rationale behind each security countermeasure
  • Highlight warning signs
  • Provide constructive ways for employees to embrace a culture of proactive security

Preparedness and Awareness in Cybersecurity Training

Thankfully, some security threats, such as computer virus infections and phishing attempts, are infrequent in the workplace. Still, simulations can reduce the risk of human error even further by giving employees experience in handling these cybersecurity threats.

For example, a phishing simulator could send phishing emails to your employees and then provide customized feedback. It helps with additional training based on individual responses.

Ongoing Professional Development and Cybersecurity Training

Is employee training part of a larger security awareness training program? Effective training needs to continue throughout an employee’s time at the company, featuring as part of a broader toolkit to prepare employees for leadership positions and greater mobility within the company. This approach not only incentivizes strict cybersecurity but effectively creates a pool of tech-savvy candidates for management and C-suite positions.

Achieve the Highest Standards in Effective Cybersecurity Training With eNetwork Supply

Don’t leave your business’s cybersecurity to chance! Call eNetwork Supply at 312.283.5983 today for a variety of technological and practical solutions that will cater to your employee cybersecurity training needs and more!