Avoid These 7 Costly Mistakes in Cyber Security Training for Employees

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[Approx. 5 minutes reading time]

When you’re trying to protect your company from cybersecurity threats, it’s easy to focus on all the technology that you can deploy to cover your bases. 

But the weak links in this system are always going to be where people get involved. 

Every touchpoint where an employee interacts with your internal systems represents an opportunity for cyber criminals to infiltrate your organization.

As a result, its crucially important that you educate and train your employees effectively to guard against these risks and supplement the work that the technological tools are already doing.

In this vein, we thought we’d use this article to discuss 7 costly mistakes that you might be making when it comes to cybersecurity training for employees, so that your business can avoid these traps.

  1. Not Doing Any Cyber Security Training
  2. Making Cybersecurity Training Generic and Uninspiring
  3. Ignoring USB Risk Security
  4. Underestimating Email Phishing Risk
  5. Not Insisting on Strong Password Policies
  6. Not Making Cyber Security Training a Regular Occurrence
  7. Not Teaching a Zero-Trust Approach

1. Not Doing Any Cyber Security Training

The most obvious mistake that a lot of companies make is ignoring cybersecurity training altogether. 

We are all extremely busy, and it can sometimes feel that taking time out of everyone’s schedules to go through this sort of training gets in the way of other objectives. 

But, without investing time and resources in training your employees, you risk putting the company under tremendous strain and potentially existential risk if you do find yourself as a victim of a breach.

Educating your employees about the latest cybersecurity threats and your specific company policies is one of those tasks that should become a regular part of your operations, in order to make your entire system that much more robust.

2. Making Cyber Security Training Generic and Unspired

For your training to be effective, you need to do it in a way that resonates with your people and actually changes their behaviour. 

You should be building a customized curriculum that speaks directly to your organization and its unique circumstances, as this going to be much more effective than a generic, off-the-shelf program. 

In addition, you want the training to be compelling and interesting so that it engages your employees throughout.

3. Ignoring USB Risk Security

One of the most underappreciated security risks that employees bring into organizations is external devices like USB drives that might be compromised. 

Your people might not think much of the drive that they’re transferring from their home computer to their work computer, but that connection can circumvent all the network security you’ve set up as a company, if you’re not careful. 

Be sure to educate employees about USB risk and set up the necessary policies to guard against this.

woman-plugging-a-usb-flash-drive-into-her-laptop

4. Under-estimating Email Phishing Risk

Phishing is one of the most common and most devastating ways that hackers gain access to systems, and it is getting more and more advanced every day. 

For your employees who probably spend most of their day in their email inbox, this represents a high-risk area that should be taken very seriously. 

Ensure that your cybersecurity training for employees brings a lot of awareness to this fact and adequately prepares your team to deal with it.

* Check out THIS video on ‘How To Spot a Phishing Email’

5. Not Insisting on Strong Password Policies

We all theoretically know about the value of strong passwords, but we tend to default to simple ones because we want them to be easy to remember. 

As an organization, you must push against that tendency because passwords really are the gateway to everything else. 

Your cybersecurity training should spend a lot of time discussing password policy and educating your team about why it is so important. 

This is the lead domino that protects everything else and its imperative that you get it right.

* Check out our recent video on weak passwords HERE

6. Not Making Cyber Security Training a Regular Occurance

It can be tempting to offer a comprehensive cybersecurity training program for your company and then call it a day because you’ve ticked the box. 

This is a mistake though because the field is continually changing, and the threats are adapting along with it. 

As such, your employees need to receive regular updates to stay on the cutting edge and to be aware of the new schemes and scams to look out for. 

Cybersecurity training should become a regular routine within your organization to stay prepared.

7. Not Teaching a 'Zero-Trust' Approach

You should be taking this cybersecurity training very seriously and the best way to illustrate that for your employees is to teach a zero-trust approach. 

Yet so many companies don’t do this. 

A zero-trust approach basically says that every user and device that connects to the network should be considered as untrustworthy until proven otherwise.

Therefore, when an employee is engaging, they should always seek to verify the authenticity of that connection before proceeding with whatever they’re doing. 

Some companies see this as overly pedantic, only to have that complacency bite them later down the line.

Conclusion

These 7 mistakes can be incredibly costly, and you should avoid them as best you can. 

The best cyber security training for employees will take these principles and incorporate them into their programs so that they are robustly prepared for whatever the world throws at them.

If you’re looking for some help when it comes to this training, or you just want to speak to professionals who can set you on the right path, be sure to get in touch with us here at Continuous Networks

We’re very passionate about helping our clients get a grip on their cybersecurity and we’d love to see how we can help you and your organization!

 

For more information, be sure to check out our Managed Cybersecurity Solutions HERE.

 

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