How to enhance your cybersecurity training

You’ve heard the headlines.

The message is clear: one email can cost your company millions of dollars. One employee’s misjudgment of a phishing request can deliver some of the most valuable information directly to hackers. Mitigating the risk of phishing attacks will save your company from significant financial loss.

Phishing is the illegal practice of sending emails that induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as company secrets, passwords, financials, and credit card numbers. As employees become more immune to phishing attacks – quickly spotting a misspelled line, urgent request, or unfamiliar email address – attacks grow more and more sophisticated.

So, how are you training your employees to protect them, and your company, from phishing attacks? According to a recent report from the Computing Technology Industry Association, only 21 percent of businesses are completely satisfied with their current security strategy and status.

If we’ve learned anything from attack after attack, it’s that cybersecurity is one of the most valuable training topics of 2017. We’ve put together a few tips for training your team and protecting your assets.

Justify the expense

Yes, developing a comprehensive phishing training program is more expensive than doing nothing, but the training could pay for itself by preventing one attack. According to a study of more than 375 IT professionals, the average large organization spends $3.7 million a year on dealing with phishing attacks, a number that could be shaved down by $1.8 million with the right training.

Close the skills gap

According to Comp TIA, “The top skills gap mentions include data security, traditional security safeguards such as firewalls and antivirus software, and cloud security.” The scope of traditional phishing attacks will continue to change shape. Training your employees, particularly those who deal with sensitive information, will require consistent evaluation of your training topics.

Simulate attacks

Test your employees. Your IT department can create a fake phishing scam to test your employees, then collect data about who opened the email, clicked the fake link, and compromised your company information. Then, you can provide targeted training to employees who may need remedial courses.

Extend and reinforce training

Most cybersecurity training is built into onboard training during an employee’s first week on the job. With all the other information your new employees are learning, will they recall that single phishing warning? Extend your phishing training and simulations to your entire workforce and adapt it to encompass new phishing methods. Test your employees frequently and monitor their comprehension of the subject. Perform pre- and post- assessments to ensure that employees won’t fall prey to increasingly sophisticated phishing attempts.

Customize training

While off-the-shelf training can train learners about the importance of cybersecurity, customized training will help your employees understand how phishing directly affects your company and your environment.

Customized training can include specific phishing email attempts that have been sent to your employees in the past. By using your company’s brand and email format, employees will retain the lessons and recall them when they see similar phishing attempts in their inbox.

We’ve developed customized cybersecurity courses for large companies, which drastically reduce the chances of phishing success, malware, and financial loss. Call us, today, to see a sample course and learn how we can partner with you to protect your employees and your assets.