How to Overcome the Challenge of Cyber Security Awareness

October 8, 2019 6:38 am Natasha Deeney Challenge of Cyber Security Awareness

If there is one thing that we can be certain about when it comes to Cyber Security, it’s that the landscape will remain dynamic and turbulent. Cyber attacks and breaches continue to hit the headlines and organisations have become increasingly conscious of how vulnerable they are to threats. 

Cyber Security Awareness Month 

October marks the beginning of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), a month-long public awareness campaign launched by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which aims to raise awareness about Cyber Security and stress the collective effort needed to stop cyber intrusions and scams. 

National Cyber Security Awareness Month is more important than ever, with ransomware attacks taking place every 14 seconds and the stark rise in phishing attacks. Perhaps more worrying, is that 90% of all cyber attacks are caused by human error. Such statistics highlight the ongoing and relentless threats that organisations face and the need to ensure Cyber Security awareness at all levels.  

Awareness Is More Than Phishing 

Despite having multiple layers of security in place, Cyber Security awareness remains a key challenge for many organisations. Often an ad-hoc approach is adopted but it’s important to recognise that cyber awareness is more than just simulated phishing. It requires a hybrid approach of physical activities such as awareness days and poster campaigns along with relevant digital assets including policy management, assessments, and eLearning. 

Make Staff Cyber Aware 

Make staff cyber aware

Cyber Security is everyone’s responsibility.  It’s well documented that human error has been responsible for some of the worst data breaches, and this happens mostly when security training is an afterthought. By making staff cyber aware and communicating the devastating consequences that a data breach could have on their organisation, employees gain a better understanding of how to recognise and avoid potential Cyber Security threats 

Implement an Integrated Approach 

Integrated approach

Many organisations make the mistake of focusing on a single element of cyber awareness, such as phishing or eLearning. While these areas are a critical part of protecting a business, the most successful cyber awareness campaigns adopt a variety of engaging methods to educate employees on their role in keeping their organisation safe and secure.  

Training Should Be Continuous 

continuous cyber training

Developing a culture of Cyber Security takes time. In order to keep up with the developments of the cyber threat environment, it’s important that awareness training is viewed as a continuous process which should begin during the onboarding process and continue throughout employment.  

Awareness At All Levels 

Awareness at all levels

Every decision someone makes in the business, at any level, can have risk implications. As such, an organisation’s senior management team must take ownership of Cyber Security and put in place the correct procedures and training that addresses all the risks. The tone set from the top will ultimately be the driving force in creating a culture of enhanced Cyber Security awareness. 

Regularly Report And Review 

regular cyber awareness reports

Once an awareness campaign has been established, organisations should regularly review and report on the results. This is essential to uncovering near misses and areas where technology and processes can be improved. For example, phishing simulations enable organisations to review just how susceptible their company is to fraudulent phishing emails and helps identify staff that require additional training.  

Automate Cyber Awareness Campaigns 

MetaCompliance has created a cyber awareness campaign module to automate the life-cycle of your security awareness program. Speak to our Security Awareness Advisors about how we can help to reduce the time and resources required to plan an awareness campaign.