Data breaches and cyber attacks are becoming more common than ever before. As a result, businesses of all sizes must take the necessary steps to protect themselves against the increasing number of sophisticated threats.
Organizations can protect themselves by using specialized tools and services that promise greater data protection. But these tools don’t give organizations a so-called “hands-on” approach to protection. Instead, they leave protection down to the services that create them.
Therefore, one of the most efficient ways to do this is by providing security awareness training to employees. But what is security awareness training, and what does it hope to achieve? This article will answer that and explore eight security awareness training topics for your employees to master.
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What is Security Awareness Training?
Security awareness training is an educational program. The program educates employees on recognizing and responding to potential security threats. Through cyber security awareness training, organizations help employees understand the risks associated with the cyber world and how to mitigate them. This knowledge is essential for reducing the likelihood of a data breach or cyber-attack.
That begs the question, what topics should you introduce in your security awareness program? Let’s find out.
8 Security Awareness Training Topics
Password security is one of the most fundamental aspects of security awareness training. It’s no secret that most data breaches are human error related. Therefore, employees must learn how to stop making costly mistakes. As it turns out, weak passwords enable hackers to breach systems and compromise networks, as compromised accounts can be the gateway for future security breaches.
Through proper password security education, employees will learn how to create strong passwords and manage them properly. The security awareness training program must educate employees on password best practices, such as using unique passwords for each account and changing them regularly.
Phishing is a form of social engineering hack that is very common and highly dangerous. Phishing attacks aim to bypass security measures by tricking employees into willingly handling sensitive data and downloading malicious software.
Employees who communicate through email must be taught to identify phishing emails and take the necessary security measures once they uncover one. Your organization’s security training program should include this important topic, as it can distinguish between successful and failed phishing attack prevention.
While on the subject of social engineering, it would be a mistake to focus only on phishing attacks. Instead, your employee security awareness training should cover social engineering as a whole.
Social engineering is a manipulative and harmful practice. It aims to trick and deceive people into divulging sensitive information or performing actions they shouldn’t. The number of social engineering attacks is truly astonishing. Apart from phishing attacks, other social engineering attacks include whaling, diversion theft, baiting, pretexting, SMS phishing, and more.
Like phishing, employees must be taught how to recognize these attacks as it will help them successfully protect sensitive data.
Mobile Device Security
Mobile devices are intended for professional use as much as they are intended for personal use. In the modern workplace, mobile devices allow employees to access their email on the go, view reports, and perform other work-related activities. That makes mobile devices highly important and susceptible to all cyber-related activities.
An essential security awareness topic to include in your program is mobile device security. Mobile device security aims to educate employees on securing their mobile devices. It will explain the importance of using multi-factor authentication for application access, using passcodes, encryption, and remote wipe features.
Cybersecurity is a digital concept, and physical security is often overlooked when discussing cybersecurity protection. Why? Because insider threats, such as workplace theft, compromise physical security. For example, physical security will educate employees on the devastating impact of workplace theft. In addition, it will explain the necessity of securing physical workspaces, such as locking computers when employees are not around and reporting suspicious activity.
Data Backup and Recovery
Data backup and recovery are essential components for business continuity. Simply said, losing your data can mean a whole host of issues. Therefore, it becomes essential to protect your data. One way to do that is through data backup and recovery.
Security training programs can include data backup and recovery topics for your employees to master how to back up their data regularly and how to recover it in the event of a data loss or cyber-attack.
Software Updates and Patching
Outdated software can be a gateway for potential threats. That’s why developers recommend always updating software to the most recent patch, as many software updates are specifically intended to prevent security loopholes. Chances are, your company uses at least some software for day-to-day business operations. Therefore, you must educate your employees on how to keep the software up to date and how to apply patches promptly.
Incident response is the process of responding to a cybersecurity incident. Employees must be taught how to recognize and report cybersecurity incidents and respond appropriately promptly.
That concludes this short guide on the eight security awareness topics for employees to protect data security and sensitive and confidential information from getting into the hands of the wrong people. These topics are so important because educating employees makes them more aware of the dangers of the cyber world.
When your employees understand the dangers that threaten your business, they become better at protecting your digital infrastructure. As a result, you become less susceptible to potential security risks and data breaches.