Organizations around the globe are storing more sensitive data than ever. It has become increasingly important for employees handling this data to be aware of modern cyber security best practices and threats. When dealing with large volumes of sensitive data, lack of awareness can lead to costly and damaging data breaches. Companies like Anthem Inc. and Sony Pictures Entertainment know this all too well.
Here are 5 ways you can train your employees to become more security-conscious:
1. Keep Training Simple and Personal
Employees will not be able to prevent threats if they cannot recognize them. Educating employees on how to recognize cyber security threats should be the first priority in any training program. From there, the key is to keep the content of the training program as simple as possible. Make sure to use personal terms when explaining these issues to your staff. Provide examples about how these threats could affect their personal and financial information. Connecting these issues to your employees’ personal circumstances will motivate them to learn and retain this knowledge.
2. Use an Automated Training System
An automated training program is the best way to ensure that employees are all on the same page. Another benefit of an automated system is that it ensures consistent material on the latest developments in cyber security. It also allows for the easy tracking of employees’ progress and provides metrics for measuring their understanding of the material.
3. Establish a No-shaming Policy
All employees should be aware of best practices and company data policies, especially those who are less familiar with the dangers of cyber security threats and the potential role they can play. With that in mind, it is critical to establish a no-shaming policy for your training program.
Shaming achieves nothing but making people feel worse about themselves. It can damage professional relationships and create a hostile learning environment. These factors decrease the effectiveness of training. In a culture of shaming, employees are less likely to be honest about their lack of knowledge and are unable to make accurate assessments about the success of their learning. Staff will remain a security liability to your business unless you take the time to build and reinforce an atmosphere of support. Employees should feel free to ask questions and clarify their understanding without ridicule or retribution.
4. Use Mobile Device Management to Prevent Jailbreaking
Many people view jailbreaking as an easy and convenient way to gain more control over their mobile devices. However, since this process removes some security restrictions, it can make mobile devices more vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Employees should be aware of the dangers of jailbreaking. Strict policies against this practice should be established and made clear to staff. A mobile device management program can ensure your employees do not jailbreak company-owned devices or engage in other practices that expose your company to security risks. If mobile devices are used to conduct business for your company, policies that apply to personal devices are important, too.
5. Discourage Over-sharing on Social Media and Sharing Devices With Friends
With the booming popularity of social media, sometimes hackers don’t even need to break into your system to obtain company information. Instead, they find confidential information that employees share on social media. Posting company information online is generally referred to as over-sharing. Educating your employees about this issue is crucial to your cyber security training program. Similarly, you should instruct your employees not to allow family or friends to use company-owned devices. In many cases, sharing the actual device can be worse than sharing information.