How to Improve your Cyber Security Awareness Program

September 24, 2019 9:38 am Natasha Deeney Cyber Security Awareness Program

With cyber attacks becoming increasingly sophisticated and targeted, cyber awareness continues to be a key priority for many organisations. According to a recent study, the total annual cost of cybercrime for a company has jumped from $11.7 million in 2017 to a record high of $13 million.  

Whilst external threats are constantly emerging, insider employees remain a common problem. It is vital to keep pace with the impact of cyber trends and the evolving digital landscape as small errors or a lack of awareness can lead to grave reputational damages. In fact, 52% of businesses admit that employees are their biggest weakness in IT security, with their careless actions putting business IT security strategy at risk. As a result, it’s never been more important to make Cyber Security awareness a priority.  

However, creating an engaging security awareness campaign can be a challenge. Training can often become boring and outdated which means it fails quickly rather than it being viewed as a long-term commitment. Without a clear plan and defined goals, awareness programs also fail to create a shift in Cyber Security culture. Instead, training is randomly developed then communicated in an ad-hoc manner.  

To help, there are a number of ways to help improve your Cyber Security awareness program.  

1. Tailored training

Although employees are often told they are the weakest link, they can also be a huge asset to any security team if they are given the right tools and trained properly. As such, it is important to focus not only on your greatest threats but also to train for all possibilities so that staff are informed on best practices. The most successful programs will consider the audience when creating security training content and tailor it appropriately. This means delivering training tailored to your company’s industry and your employees’ roles. 

 2. Training frequency  

To engrain security awareness within an organisation, it’s important to keep security top of mind. Cyber Security awareness initiatives require more than short bursts of activity. In order to be truly effective, a twelve month schedule of training, including policies, phishing simulation and eLearning is required throughout the year.  

3. Simulated phishing attacks

Phishing simulations enable organisations to find out just how susceptible their company is to fraudulent phishing emails and helps identify staff that require additional training. Controlled simulation tests will help employees recognise, avoid, and report potential threats that could threaten the security of your organisation. 

 4. Compelling content 

report from Gartner found 70% of business transformation efforts fail due to lack of engagement. Telling users to be more vigilant about opening messages from unknown sources is simply not enough to protect users from today’s sophisticated threats. Instead, Cyber Security awareness training should be engaging and informative to ensure that staff understand what is required of them and the importance of their role in safeguarding the organisation’s sensitive data.  Campaign posters, eLearning courses, gamification, simulated phishing attacks, quizzes and pocket guides are effective resources to increase user awareness and compliance in an engaging way. 

 5. Educate employees 

Many employees are simply unaware of the devastating consequences that a data breach could have on their organisation including reputational damage, fines and a loss of customers. Educating staff on the risks is key in creating a shared sense of responsibility for the sensitive data they work with. 

MetaCompliance specialises in creating the best Cyber Security awareness training available on the market. Our products directly address the specific challenges that arise from cyber threats and corporate governance by making it easier for users to engage in Cyber Security and compliance. Get in touch with our Security Awareness Specialists for further information on how we can help transform Cyber Security training within your organisation.