What is Security Awareness Training (updated for 2023)
February 22, 2023
The following bullet points outline what we will cover in the post.
In today's digital age, especially with the emergence of AI for cyberattacks, cybersecurity is an imperative. With the rise of remote work and the increased reliance on technology, cyber threats have become a real and present existential threat to every business. Hackers and cybercriminals are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities that they can exploit to gain access to sensitive information or cause damage. This is why security awareness training has become an essential component of cybersecurity strategy, not just a checkbox for audits.
In simple terms, security awareness training is the process and tools used for educating individuals within an organization about the risks and threats associated with using technology and the internet. Today, that should include coverage of SaaS apps where so much work and digital data resides. The goal of security awareness training is to increase awareness of potential security risks and teach employees how to prevent, detect, and respond to security incidents.
Security awareness training can take many forms, including online training modules, classroom training, phishing simulations, newsletters, and posters. The method used will depend on the organization's size, budget, resources, and, we think most importantly, culture. However, the key, regardless of the approach used for security awareness training, is to ensure that the training is engaging and effective in communicating the message and in building a security mindset.
The need for security awareness training is not limited to large corporations or government agencies. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are also at risk of cyber-attacks, and their size does not make them immune to these threats. In fact, SMBs are often more vulnerable since they may not have the resources to invest in the latest cybersecurity technology or hire a dedicated IT team.
Security awareness training should cover the basics of cybersecurity, including password management, email security, and safe browsing practices. Employees should be taught to create strong passwords, avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, and use multi-factor authentication when available. They should also be educated on the importance of keeping their software and operating systems up to date to prevent vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit.
Phishing attacks are one of the most common methods that hackers use to gain access to sensitive information. Employees should be trained to recognize phishing emails and be aware of the tactics used by cybercriminals to trick them into clicking on malicious links or opening infected attachments. Phishing simulations can be a great tool to test employees' awareness and identify areas that need improvement.
Another important aspect of security awareness training is social engineering. This refers to the use of psychological manipulation to trick people into divulging confidential information or performing an action that could compromise security. Social engineering attacks are the most common form of attack and you must prepare employees against them.
Social engineering attacks can take many forms, including pretexting, baiting, and quid pro quo. Employees should be taught to be cautious when communicating with strangers online, especially those who ask for personal or sensitive information.
Physical security is also an essential part of security awareness training, even in 2023. Employees should be taught to secure their devices, lock their screens when they step away from their workstations and report any suspicious activity. It's also important to educate employees on the proper way to handle and dispose of confidential documents and hardware. This includes training for remote employees, not just in-office workers.
One of the benefits of security awareness training is that it can help create a culture of cybersecurity within an organization. When employees are trained and educated on the importance of security, they are more likely to take it seriously and follow best practices. This can help reduce the risk of security incidents and make the organization more resilient to cyber-attacks.
However, it's important to note that security awareness training is not a one-time event. Cyber threats are constantly evolving, and new vulnerabilities are discovered regularly. Therefore, security awareness training should be an ongoing process, with regular updates and refresher courses. As an example, Haekka Streams train employees on a new scam each week, ensuring they are up to date with new attacks and ensuring better security hygiene through spaced repetition.
Security awareness training is a critical component of any organization's cybersecurity strategy. It's essential to educate employees on the risks and threats associated with using technology and the internet and teach them how to prevent, detect, and respond to security incidents. By creating a culture of cybersecurity within an organization, employees are more likely to follow best practices and help protect against cyber-attacks. Remember, cybersecurity is a shared responsibility and everyone
Schedule a demo
Get started with a free trial by scheduling a demo today. One of our training experts will walk you through a live Haekka demo.