What Should Cybersecurity Awareness Training Include

For many businesses, data is almost as important as profit. But protecting the company data isn’t the sole responsibility of its IT department. Every employee should be responsible for keeping all the confidential company information secure, which is why cybersecurity awareness training is essential.

So what topics should good cybersecurity awareness training include? When hosting a cybersecurity awareness training for the company, ensure to include topics including the best ways to keep sensitive information safe, bring your own device (BYOD), data breaches, phishing, online scams, and safe internet habits and use of social media.

Cybersecurity Training: What it is and Why it is Important

Cybersecurity awareness is especially important for businesses that  rely on data. The information exposed by an outsider leads to different problems, such as damage costs and a tarnished reputation. Even so, only around 45% of employees don’t receive cybersecurity training from their company despite its importance.

Criminals know that humans are the “weakest link” when it comes to cybersecurity, which is why they choose to exploit the employee’s access to a company network. The primary goal of cybersecurity awareness training is to equip the employees with the right knowledge to avoid and fight off these threats.

5 Important Topics to Include in Your Cybersecurity Awareness Training

When it comes to creating a good cybersecurity awareness program, everything should be concise, memorable, and feasible so that the employees reduce cybersecurity risks effectively. It’s also important to address some of the company’s greatest cybersecurity issues and other potential threats.

If you don’t know what kind of important information to include in a cybersecurity awareness training, here are a few topics that everyone should be aware of:

  1. Best Ways to Keep Sensitive Information Safe

Businesses store important data on clouds and networks. But without a secure way to log into these platforms, it becomes easy for hackers to enter the system and steal sensitive data.

Every employee is important when it comes to protecting the company’s servers, network, and other systems from malware and other threats. They should be informed about the best ways to secure their own login information, such as:

  • Generating secure passwords – Passwords are the first line of defense in any system online or offline. Strong passwords are typically composed of letters in different cases, numbers, and punctuations. If you find it hard to remember a strong password, use a password manager instead of writing it down.
  • Utilizing the 2FA – Two-factor authentication adds another layer of protection whenever users log in. Aside from the username and password, it also requires another way to verify your identity through biometrics, security questions, and codes sent through email or SMS.
  • Managing access restriction – Access control allows the admin to regulate who has access to different files in a system. Companies acquire a more secure network by limiting the number of people who have access to certain sensitive data.
  1. Bring Your Own Device

Since more and more companies support flexible schedules and work from home setups for their employees, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has become an efficient trend. This system allows employees to utilize their personal devices, such as tablets, smartphones, and personal computers when accessing confidential data in the company’s servers and networks.

But as much as it can increase employee productivity, BYOD solutions potentially damage the business networks if unregulated. They serve as another entry point for malware, viruses, and other cybersecurity threats. Hackers exploit vulnerable connections found in an employee’s personal device to enter the network and obtain sensitive company information.

It’s important to implement a secure BYOD policy in the company to prevent hackers from gaining network access. Here are some of the best security solutions to integrate into the company’s BYOD policy:

  • Provide a list of approved devices to everyone and ensure that they are secure.
  • Instead of granting full access, limit the employee’s authorization to data to those that are needed to work efficiently.
  • Integrate a two-factor authorization to personal devices utilized by the employees.
  • Provide a list of approved devices to everyone and ensure that they are secure.

Read more about different threats a company may encounter with their BYOD policy and how to minimize these risks here.

  1. Data Breaches

A data breach happens when a company’s confidential data is viewed without permission by an unauthorized person. The stolen information is typically utilized to gain leverage against the company, which is why big and small businesses that rely on data are at risk of encountering data breaches.

User behavior and vulnerable devices are two of the most notorious causes of a data breach. As it’s effortless to connect with other people through different gadgets, it’s also easier for criminals to slip through virtual entry points without being detected. But even with secure devices, there are still some users who have bad technology habits.

Fines, investigation fees, and liability costs are only short-term impacts that a data breach causes. After the unfortunate incident, customers also lose their trust even if the company already made amends. To protect the business, here are some of the best practices that lessen the risk of a data breach:

  • Regular software and app updates
  • High-quality data encryption
  • Secure BYOD policies
  • Restricted data access
  1. Phishing and Online Scams

Phishing is one of the most common forms of cyberattack that results in unwanted access. This method typically utilizes emails to trick an individual into clicking a link or downloading an attachment. This allows the hacker to acquire login information that they use to bypass the organization’s security systems.

Most phishing emails look legitimate, which is why many individuals click on them. To avoid falling for this scheme, here are a few indicators of a malicious email:

  • Complicated or misspelled URLs and email addresses
  • Improper formatting
  • Grammatical errors

Aside from phishing, other types of online scams are also a huge concern for companies everywhere. Since remote access technology allows a business to effectively operate despite physical distances, Remote Access Hacking has become another significant cybersecurity threat to watch out for.

Remote access hacking comes in different forms: phone calls, pop-up warnings, and online ads. Like phishing emails, most of these mediums seem legitimate if you don’t have a keen eye. To prevent falling for these schemes, here are a few ways to improve security:

  • Look out for suspicious messages or calls
  • Restrict access to the networks and devices
  • Update the security system in place
  • Install proper protection against different malware
  • Run vulnerability scans

From identifying malicious content to preventing a potential cyberattack, find everything you need to know about phishing emails and online scams on our website.

  1. Safe Internet Habits and Use of Social Media

Although the internet has become an essential part of life for millions of people, it is still a huge domain that exposes you to different cyber threats. Criminals utilize any vulnerable device connected to the internet through viruses, worms, scams, and more. It’s essential to remind the employees about habits to protect themselves while surfing the net.

In addition to discussing the use of social media in the workplace, it’s also important to remind employees to be careful about what they post online. Hackers easily obtain information from public profiles, which are useful for obtaining login credentials and confidential data.

IT Services and More with Abacus

Here at Abacus, we protect our client’s data using comprehensive cybersecurity solutions. You can count on us to support your employees and educate them about cybersecurity awareness for more effective preventive measures against cyberattacks.

For over 15 years, Abacus has provided clients with excellent IT solutions at fixed costs. Call us today to find out how we can help improve the cybersecurity system.

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The Abacus Blog Team
At Abacus IT, our blog is authored by a team of IT experts with a wealth of experience in various facets of technology. Our primary blog author is a seasoned IT professional with over 20 years of experience in the industry. With a deep understanding of cybersecurity, cloud solutions, network infrastructure, and IT management, our author provides valuable insights and actionable tips to help you optimize your IT operations.

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