6 Effective ways to boost cybersecurity awareness in your company

6 Effective ways to boost cybersecurity awareness in your company

Your company could suffer a cyberattack simply because your employees do not follow cybersecurity best practices. In fact, data from Verizon shows that over 80% of data breaches can be attributed to users and not technical issues.

Unfortunately, your employees cannot practice what they don't understand. Your staff may lack cybersecurity knowledge because they believe the topic to be overly technical or confusing. Here are simple ways to improve your employees' cybersecurity awareness and turn them into better data stewards for your company:

1. Simplify concepts by comparing them to everyday things

As with other fields of IT, cybersecurity uses a lot of jargon and unusual terminologies that non-tech-savvy individuals may not understand. For example, terms like "supply chain attacks," "black hat hackers," and "fileless malware" may be unfamiliar to many of your employees.

You can make cybersecurity concepts easier to understand by comparing them to everyday or non-tech-related objects or events. Ransomware, for example, is similar to a kidnapper who takes your data hostage and demands money for this hostage's release. A firewall is like a doorman who stands at your building's entrance and only lets authorized people in.

2. Show your staff how cyberthreats can affect their lives

Organization-wide cyberattacks can be too abstract for some employees to grasp. To emphasize the dangers of cyberthreats, you can provide examples of how these can affect our employees' lives outside of work. For instance, a cybercriminal could hack into your staff's bank account and steal their money.

This tactic encourages your employees to learn and apply cybersecurity best practices to protect themselves better. And when they know how to protect themselves, they will also know how to protect your company's data.

3. Provide role-specific cybersecurity training

Bombarding your staff with cybersecurity-related information — especially if that information has little to do with their day-to-day lives — will likely only bore them. Catch their interest by limiting cybersecurity training to topics related to their jobs. This way, they can learn cybersecurity concepts and procedures that are immediately relevant and useful to them.

Bombarding your staff with cybersecurity-related information — especially if that information has little to do with their day-to-day lives — will likely only bore them.

4. Create an archive of standardized references

Google searches can yield multiple different — sometimes conflicting — results, so googling cybersecurity terms can sometimes end up being confusing and unhelpful for your employees. As an alternative, you can build an archive of cybersecurity references that your employees can access anytime they need clarification on certain concepts. It will keep everyone in your company on the same page when it comes to cybersecurity concepts, making it easier to implement and follow cybersecurity policies.

5. Run cyberattack simulations

Many say experience is the best teacher, so you can try running cybersecurity simulations to give your employees a taste of what a real-life attack looks and feels like. You could simulate a phishing attack by sending out emails that look like they come from a legitimate source but actually contain malicious links.

Simulations have several benefits. For one, they enable your staff to learn how to identify and respond to common cyberthreats in a controlled environment. They also help you gauge how much your team actually knows about cyber incidents and proper response. Finally, a simulation feels like a game, so using it as a training tactic can make cybersecurity education more engaging and memorable.

6. Have your staff teach refresher cybersecurity awareness courses

Do you want to assess how much your employees have mastered cybersecurity concepts? Then have them teach cybersecurity refresher courses to their colleagues.

Trainees may be more open to learning if the training is handled by someone they're familiar with and who understands the cybersecurity issues they usually encounter in their jobs. And because the instructor knows their audience well, they will be able to adjust the training difficulty according to their audience's level of understanding.

Having employees who follow cybersecurity best practices might just be your company's strongest defense against cyberthreats. Therefore, you need to develop and implement strategies to help your team absorb, retain, and apply cybersecurity knowledge.

Quicktech's IT specialists stay abreast of the latest cybersecurity trends and can help you develop the right cybersecurity awareness programs for your company. We can also act as consultants if you want to do the training yourself, so you can be sure that your employees learn only the most accurate and up-to-date cybersecurity concepts. Learn about the other benefits of partnering with us from this free eBook — download it today.

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