31 January 2023

What Are the 3 Main Steps to Implement Security Awareness?

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Implementing a security awareness strategy is imperative to any business or organisation dealing with sensitive information.

Aside from ticking checkboxes for cyber security policies and procedures, having a business-wide cyber awareness strategy will ensure employees are informed of the importance of protecting sensitive information, how to recognise exploitation attempts and how to comply with information handling regulations.

The importance of cyber security staff awareness

Cybercrime awareness is crucial when it comes to protecting your business’s private information and business network from cyber threats. As cyber-attacks continue to become increasingly sophisticated, it is essential that staff are aware of the latest threats and how to recognise and respond to them appropriately.

By implementing a cyber security awareness strategy, staff can help identify and report suspicious activity, which can prevent data breaches and minimise damage. This subsequently means staff are also better equipped to follow company security policies and procedures, which helps to prevent human error from leading to a security incident and ensures business-wide compliance with regulations.

3 key steps to ensure cybercrime awareness

According to the 2022 SANS Security Awareness Report, phishing, ransomware and business email compromise (BEC) remain the three top risks to business network security.

This places employee cyber security awareness at the forefront of successful business security. So where should you start?

We’ve put together a list of three steps to implement robust cyber security awareness in your business to ensure you’re on the right path.

Step 1: Assess current levels of cyber awareness

The purpose of any cyber security awareness strategy is to educate employees about best practices and ultimately prevent cybercrime. To do this successfully, businesses must first understand the current levels of cyber security awareness among staff. Whether this information is obtained through a company-wide survey, an assessment or a 1-2-1 chat, it is important to note your staff’s current position when it comes to cyber security awareness as this will indicate your starting point and highlight any areas that require more immediate improvement.

Step 2: Implement cyber security policies

This stage of your cyber security strategy should be influenced by the findings of step one. Putting together a business-wide cyber security policy should touch each point of vulnerability in your business network from password requirements and email security measures to sensitive data handling requirements and incident preparation.

The development of your cyber security policies should:

  1. Identify the key stakeholders within your organisation who will be involved in responding to a cyber incident, such as IT staff, legal team and senior management.
  2. Develop a detailed incident response plan that outlines the roles, responsibilities, and procedures for responding to different types of cyber incidents. This plan should include steps for incident identification, containment, eradication, recovery, and post-incident reporting.
  3. Establish clear communication protocols for internal and external communication during a cyber security breach including who should be notified, how they should be notified, and what information should be shared.
  4. Regularly review and update your incident response plan and conduct regular testing to ensure that all stakeholders are familiar with their roles and responsibilities.
  5. Provide regular training to employees on cyber security incident response procedures including how to identify and report incidents, as well as how to respond to an incident in progress. This will help ensure that all employees are aware of their role in incident response and know what to do in case of a cyber security breach.
  6. Coordinate with external parties, such as law enforcement agencies, incident response firms, or industry groups, to ensure that your organisation can quickly and effectively respond to a cyber incident.

Step 3: Ensure staff are trained in security awareness best practices

Outlining the objectives of your security awareness program and creating a plan for how the program will be delivered, implemented and evaluated is essential when it comes to successfully boosting cyber security awareness among employees in your business.

For example, a good cyber security strategy should be centred around a training program with several varied elements that provide a well-rounded and regularly updated defence against cybercrime, supported by well-educated staff. 

  1. Provide regular training sessions to your staff to keep them updated on the latest cyber threats and best practices to prevent them.
  2. Use simulated phishing attacks, social engineering scenarios and other interactive methods to train your staff on how to identify and respond to potential cyber threats.
  3. Make cyber security awareness training mandatory for all employees to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to cyber security best practices.
  4. Ensure that senior management and leaders within the company are also trained in cyber security best practices and lead by example in terms of cyber security awareness.
  5. Use metrics and KPIs to track and evaluate the efficiency of your training program and make adjustments as needed.

Finally, ensure you are utilising external resources, such as e-learning training modules, webinars, and courses to provide ongoing and up-to-date training for your employees. It’s quick and easy to get started – you can get in touch with our cyber consultants today.

Cyber security awareness training for employees

Cyber security awareness training for employees is an essential step in protecting your business from cyber threats. Some key elements of effective cyber security awareness training include:

  1. Cover the basics: Employees should be trained on the basics of cyber security, including common threats such as phishing and malware, as well as best practices for protecting personal and company information.
  2. Make it relevant: Training should be relevant to your employees’ roles and responsibilities within the organisation. This will help ensure that they understand the importance of cyber security and how it relates to their day-to-day work.
  3. Keep it interactive: Interactive training methods, such as simulations and scenarios, can help employees better understand and retain the information they are learning.
  4. Provide ongoing training: Cyber threats are constantly evolving, so it is important to provide ongoing training to ensure that your employees stay up-to-date on the latest threats and best practices.
  5. Test and evaluate: Regular testing and evaluation of employee understanding of cyber security best practices can help to identify areas where additional training is needed.
  6. Communicate policies and procedures: Employees should be aware of the organisation’s cyber security policies and procedures and how to report a cyber security incident.

Phishing awareness training

Phishing emails are one of the most common attack vectors for cyber criminals to gain access and exploit business networks, making it essential that your employees are educated about the signs to look for when receiving emails from unknown senders.

Phishing awareness training typically includes information on common phishing tactics, how to identify suspicious emails or websites and best practices for protecting personal and company information online.

With our fully managed phishing prevention course, complete with awareness training and carefully curated cyber security phishing tools, you’ll have everything you need to ensure your business has a robust line of defence when it comes to email cyber security. 

GDPR training and data security awareness

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) training teaches individuals and organisations about their obligations and responsibilities under the GDPR. It sets rules for the collection, storage, and processing of personal data and requires the implementation of appropriate technical and business-wide measures to ensure the security of personal data.

However, data security awareness training is a type of training that teaches individuals and organisations about best practices for protecting sensitive information and data from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction. This type of training typically includes information on topics such as password security, encryption, firewalls, and incident response procedures.

Both GDPR and data security awareness training are hugely important for businesses to implement to ensure staff are well-educated in compliance with relevant regulations and ultimately to protect sensitive information from cybercrime.

Find out more about how you can protect your business against cybercrime with Cyber Security Awareness.

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