It’s up to organisations to ensure their information security networks are secure from malicious actors. One of the best ways to defend against a data breach is by implementing a comprehensive security awareness program that educates users on key cyber threats.
One of the most significant challenges in getting your workforce to take cyber security training is the perception that it will be boring and will not add value to their day-to-day work. Without properly incentivizing employees, they may feel too little motivation to complete the courses. Another problem is simply a lack of time in their schedules.
Planning Annual Cyber Security Awareness Training
Creating an effective security awareness program can be daunting for even the most experienced IT professionals, but with the right approach it need not be so intimidating. In this guide we will explore seven steps you can take when crafting your own security awareness program for maximum effectiveness and peace of mind.
An annual cyber security awareness program of bite-sized eLearning that educates employees on cyber security is a critical element of any organisation’s security strategy. This program should focus on teaching employees the basics of cyber security, such as how to recognise potential cyber attacks, the signs of social engineering, the dangers of malware and how to protect sensitive data from a data breach. It should also provide updated education about the ever-evolving cyber security landscape and the latest phishing attacks.
Seven Steps to Organising your Annual Cyber Training
Applying these seven steps, you can craft a cyber security awareness program that is tailored to the specific needs of your organisation and its workforce. With the right approach, cyber security need not be intimidating – it can be an effective tool to protect your information security.
Step 1: Set Clear Goals and Objectives
The first step to creating effective security training courses is to define your goals and objectives. What do you want the program to accomplish? Perhaps they should know the dangers of malware or how to spot a phishing email? Do you want them to be familiar with password security and how to protect their credentials? Knowing your goals for awareness training helps you create a program that meets your specific needs.
Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience
The next step is to identify who your target audience is. This can mean different things depending on the size of your organisation, but generally speaking it should include everyone who has access to sensitive data or information security.
Step 3: Choose a Delivery Method
Once you know who your target audience is, the next step is to decide how the content will be delivered. You can choose from a variety of methods, such as in-person training sessions, phishing simulation emails, posters or even gamified awareness training. Testing users with real-world phishing emails and social engineering scenarios will help them identify threats. Most importantly, the delivery method should be tailored to suit the needs of your users and the goals of your program.
Step 4: Deploy Quality Content
Creating quality content that resonates with users is perhaps the most important step in crafting a successful security awareness program. This content should be educational, entertaining, and keep up with current trends in cyber security. Consider developing “Own Brand” eLearning that is customised to reflect the cyber risks of your organisation.
Step 5: Establish a Monthly Schedule
Once you have developed your content, the next step is to establish a monthly schedule for your Security Awareness Training program. Consistency is key when it comes to reinforcing knowledge and reminding users of best practices. Consider having employees complete updated periodic refresher courses or quizzes over the course of the year.
Step 6: Track and Report on Performance
It is important to track the performance of your security awareness program in order to determine if it is effective. Use cyber security metrics such as Click Rates or Training Adoption Results to measure the success of your efforts. Additionally, reporting these results can be key for demonstrating progress and securing buy-in for future initiatives.
Step 7: Make Adjustments as Necessary
Finally, it is important to make adjustments as necessary to ensure that your program remains effective. As cyber threats evolve, so too must the content and delivery methods of your training. Make sure to regularly review metrics and user feedback in order to adjust your program as needed.
Benefits of an Annual Security Awareness Campaign:
- Employees will be better informed about cyber security threats and security breaches.
- Organisations can reduce their risk of a data breach or other malicious cyberattacks.
- Employees feel empowered to protect the organisation from cyber threats.
- Employees have peace of mind knowing they are taking proactive steps to stay secure online.
Annual cyber security education programs are a great way to ensure employees stay up-to-date with the latest cyber threats. However, cyber security eLearning should be tailored to individual roles and responsibilities to increase employee engagement.
By presenting cyber security concepts in a way that’s relevant to their roles, users are more likely to comprehend the materials. This allows them to recognise cyber threats and develop appropriate responses that reduce human-related cyber risk.
With an agile approach to training, cyber security can be made more accessible and engaging by tailoring content relevant to language, departments and individual job roles.
Download your free annual security awareness campaign planning template here.