If breaking down the basics of network security for your company’s employees doesn’t seem like a necessity, consider this: the most common cause of a successful data breach is employee error.
While thorough and regular network security training is ideal, not all small IT departments are equipped to implement a large-scale education program within their company.
But employees must be trained for you to remain secure. If you’re worried about how to piece together a comprehensive security training plan, never fear – these tips can help make this daunting task easier.
1. Train new employees on network security
Schedule ample time with new hires during their employee orientation for network security training. This will lay a solid foundation of understanding for the new employee and gives you something to build off of in the future.
Points to cover in this initial meeting are common attacks, how to avoid/report them, and the network security policy your company has in place. Expect and prepare for plenty of questions, and have resources ready.
2. See what current employees already know
Seeing what your employees already know about network security can help you figure out which topics you need to spend the most time covering in training sessions and which ones only need to be briefly reviewed. Set up a survey through a website such as SurveyMonkey and have employees fill it out.
Questions on the following topics are a must for truly beneficial statistics:
- Password security
- Network connections
- Non-employee access
- Software Installation
- Mobile device use
- Company security policy and reporting procedures
3. Create quick reference guides on common types of attacks
Tired of having to answer the same questions over and over again? Save your time (and your breath) by making reference guides about common types of cyber attacks, how to avoid them, and what an employee should do if he/she falls for one.
You can start with tips from our new report, Email Phishing for IT Providers. It has tips you can give to employees and clients to help them spot and avoid phishing attacks. Download the Email Phishing report for free.
Make sure the guides are easily accessible to employees by either uploading them to the company’s intranet site or sharing via cloud service or file share.
Remember to keep employees in the loop when you update or create a new report with a simple email.
4. Send out regular emails about the latest threats and news
Since face to face meetings aren’t always convenient, sending out a weekly or monthly email reminding employees about their network security training is a simple way to reiterate the topics you’ve covered.
Some great sections to include in the email are current hacker trends, warnings for threats targeting your company, recent security news (bonus points if the article focuses on your company’s industry), and quiz questions on security so employees can test themselves on what they know.
5. Fake a cyber attack
Sometimes the best way to train someone is to show them. Launch a company-wide fake attack such as a phishing email campaign, and see how many people open the message and click the embedded link or file.
When clicked, the link or attachment should display a message from your team explaining how the user has fallen for a fake attack. Outline red flags that were built into the email, and how users can prepare for future attacks.
If you’re looking for other points of reference, the world wide web is crawling with resources. Some examples include PhishMe, a company dedicated to teaching employees about the dangers of phishing, and Wombat Security Technologies, a company that provides network security training programs for businesses.
Cyber security training is far from the easiest thing an IT team can do, but it is essential to keeping your company’s information out of the wrong hands. Using these tips in your daily routine can easily help boost employee knowledge and ultimately combat successful hacker attacks.