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Find and Assess Your "why" for Security Awareness

January 6, 2023

As we enter 2023, it is a good time to take stock of activities, assess what is working and what is not working, and prioritize for the year and beyond. This is a common practice to categorize current initiatives and activities as either things to stop or continue. In some cases, this evaluation results in starting new activities. If you run a security awareness program, this is a process you should run on a regular, at least annual, basis.

Reasons to do Security Awareness Training

Security awareness training is an important aspect of any company's security strategy. It’s required by almost every privacy and compliance framework or regulation. Last year, we discussed why companies do security awareness training. We listed three primary reasons why a company would have a security awareness program.

  1. The macro goal of security awareness is to help to educate employees about security best practices and the various threats that they may encounter in their day-to-day work. This training can be in the form of online modules, seminars, or even just regular reminders about security protocols.
  2. Security awareness also meets audit requirements for SOC2, HIPAA, PCI, and pretty much every compliance and audit framework in existence today.
  3. Lastly, security awareness is important to do because employees need help defending themselves against the constant onslaught of attacks.

Or, you could be more granular about the reasons to do security awareness. Below are several common reasons companies cite for why they invest in security awareness training for their employees:

  1. To protect company data and assets: A company's data and assets are valuable and oftentimes, confidential. Security awareness training helps employees understand how to protect this information and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.
  2. To prevent security breaches: Security breaches can have serious consequences for a company, including financial loss, damage to reputation, and legal liabilities. Security awareness training helps employees understand how to recognize and prevent potential security breaches.
  3. To comply with industry regulations: Many industries have specific regulations in place that require companies to implement certain security measures. Security awareness training helps ensure that employees are aware of and adhere to these regulations.
  4. To reduce the risk of insider threats: Insider threats, or threats that come from within the company, can be difficult to detect and prevent. Security awareness training helps employees understand the importance of protecting company information and the role they play in preventing insider threats.
  5. To improve overall security culture: Security awareness training helps to build a culture of security within a company. When employees are educated about security best practices and the importance of protecting company data, they are more likely to follow security protocols and report potential threats.

Find Your Why

Security awareness training is an important investment for any company. Why are you doing it? Which of the above reasons aligns with your goals for security awareness training?

Though we believe at Haekka that the goal of security awareness should be to help employees defend against attackers and to level the playing field against attackers, each company needs its own why. You then use your why to decide if the security awareness activities they are undertaking are achieving that why.

If you do security awareness training because you simply have to check the box for audits and to close deals, then it makes sense to ensure the necessary training is getting done annually and that you have the evidence you need to pass your audits and satisfy your customers. We suggest using free security awareness training for this; if you have 1,000 employees or less, Haekka offers a 100% free plan that includes our Slack app and the security awareness training you need to pass almost any audit.

If you do security awareness to reduce your risk, choose a more feature-rich human risk platform. These platforms help target training to the areas, and people, in your company that are at the highest risk.

If you do security awareness training to empower your users to defend against attacks, then connect with them. Treat them as partners and work together to protect them, and by extension your company, against attackers. This connection between security and employees requires more than security awareness training and phishing simulations.

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No matter your reason for doing security awareness, stepping back to evaluate if your current approach and spending address your why is worthwhile regular exercise.

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