Cybercriminals use a variety of tactics at once and are constantly innovating. Organizations need to do the same and take a layered approach to cybersecurity, because biannual training videos aren’t enough to engage employees or protect your business.
Is your cybersecurity strategy disengaging employees?
A bad actor stole $540 million from an NFT gaming company in July, an attack that began with a fake job posting on LinkedIn. In such cases, social engineering is not like a fear-based phishing email demanding bank account information within 24 hours. Instead, these attacks prey on people’s ambitions as they seek out new opportunities.
Social engineering attacks can come in the form of emails from (what appears to be) friends, asking for credit card information, or they can be hyper-personal attacks in which fraudsters clone family members’ social media accounts and use personal photos and location information to convince. you, they are real.
Social engineering attacks can be financially and emotionally devastating. But your organization is not defenseless — the best defense against them is to create a culture of digital literacy that grows with your organization.
Unfortunately, many cybersecurity training strategies fail to prepare employees for such scenarios.
For example, cybersecurity training programs consisting of semi-annual training videos often promote uniform, limited-scope content. These videos tend to deliver the same message every six months, with the same rotation of quiz questions.
Although these programs are easy to implement, they are usually dry and the repetitive nature of the material demotivates employees, making it difficult for them to internalize or deploy the training.
Expand your cybersecurity training
Cybercrime is changing, and your organization’s cybersecurity training strategy must change too. It’s important to identify training opportunities that not only engage your employees, but better protect your business against social engineering and other attack strategies.
Here are five things to keep in mind as you develop your training strategy.
1. Getting started is the hardest part – don’t let it get in the way
The good news is that you don’t need to start with a full rollout of new policies and strategies – take it one step at a time and build on your progress.
For example, a starting point might involve distributing a security reminder on the first Friday of the month, asking employees to update their devices. As this process becomes routine, add another step: a backup reminder at the end of the month.
Continue to develop your cybersecurity strategy by adding new elements that address social engineering and other types of attacks. Before you know it, your organization’s digital literacy will improve as you establish a stronger and more comprehensive training cycle.
2. Create clear and specific cybersecurity policies
When organizations write their cybersecurity policies, they often apply a unique approach. But because your organization is made up of a variety of teams and roles, a monolithic approach to cybersecurity policies likely won’t cover the security issues associated with every role. For example, the cyber threats your finance department faces may differ from those faced by HR or the IT team – an HR employee is likely more likely to fall victim to a phishing scam than an IT employee. computing, he therefore needs different training.
Cybersecurity policies require a degree of customization for specific roles and departments. Start by asking questions such as: What are the security needs of each service? And how is each department most susceptible to cybersecurity attacks?
3. Recognize and treat fatigue (fear)
Cybersecurity works like insurance – you don’t see the reward because your actions are often proactive rather than reactive. Employees can get frustrated with a process that doesn’t demonstrate immediate payoff, so it’s important to emphasize the value of ongoing training to prevent attacks before they happen.
Be careful not to instill fear fatigue, which occurs when employees are constantly exposed to bad news or messages focused on negative results. Cybersecurity training that only plays on fear, like constant threat alerts, demotivates employees.
When providing training related to social engineering or other types of attacks, strike a balance between communicating the very real consequences of cyberattacks and more positive messages, such as cyberhygiene best practices and routines.
4. Gamify your training
Gamification presents a significant opportunity to improve digital literacy, as it improves engagement. Instead of watching a video and taking a routine quiz, cybersecurity training takes place on a competitive, points-generating platform where employees develop their skills alongside each other. Gamification ultimately makes learning fun and lessons are more likely to stick.
Just make sure that when you gamify cybersecurity training, you always strategize. And keep the context in mind – while it can be fun to create practice drills themed around celebrations like Halloween, an April Fool’s phishing scheme can seem cheesy or cruel.
5. Empower your employees
Your main goal is to empower your employees through training and resources. When it comes to cybersecurity, one of the resources your organization needs to make full use of is your IT team.
Your IT team is the most knowledgeable about cybersecurity and cyberattacks, and they are best equipped to communicate best practices to your staff. But communication is a two-way street – IT teams rely on employees to contact them in the event of unusual phishing attacks or cybersecurity issues.
Employees are your first line of defense. It is important to prioritize their role in cybersecurity and preventing breaches caused by social engineering or other types of attacks. The most effective cyber attackers and social engineers use the full arsenal of tools at their disposal – and so should you. Provide your staff with diverse and ongoing training opportunities and implement cybersecurity practices that make your teams your best defense.