Below is a summary of how to start a security awareness program:
- The first step of security awareness is crucial in any cybersecurity strategy and involves understanding the risks that exist in an organization's technology and processes.
- Risks that employees need to be aware of include phishing and social engineering attacks, weak passwords, unsecured devices, and a lack of updates and patches.
- Understanding the risks can help employees recognize potential threats, take action to protect sensitive information, and prioritize their security awareness training efforts.
- Organizations can help employees understand the risks by conducting a risk assessment, communicating the risks through regular security awareness training sessions or email communications, and encouraging employees to report potential threats.
- By identifying potential vulnerabilities and threats, organizations can help prevent cyber attacks and protect sensitive information.
When it comes to cybersecurity, the first step of security awareness is often overlooked, but it's one of the most critical components of any cybersecurity strategy. In this blog post, we'll discuss what the first step of security awareness is and why it's so important.
The first step of security awareness is simply to understand the risks. Risks are the foundation of broader security programs and apply directly to human risk and security awareness. This means being aware of the potential threats and vulnerabilities that exist in your organization's technology and processes. Understanding the risks is the foundation of any effective security awareness program.
So, what are some of the risks that organizations need to be aware of? Here are a few examples:
- Phishing and social engineering attacks: These are tactics used by cybercriminals to trick employees into revealing sensitive information or downloading malware.
- Weak passwords: Passwords are one of the weakest links in any organization's security chain. Employees need to understand the importance of strong passwords and how to create them.
- Unsecured devices: Whether it's a laptop or a mobile device, unsecured devices can put sensitive information at risk. Employees need to be aware of the importance of securing their devices and how to do so.
- Lack of updates and patches: Cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software. Employees need to understand the importance of keeping their software up to date and how to install patches.
So, why is it important to understand the risks?
- It helps employees recognize potential threats: By understanding the risks, employees are better able to recognize potential threats and respond appropriately.
- It helps employees take action: When employees understand the risks, they're more likely to take action to protect sensitive information and prevent cyber-attacks.
- It helps prioritize security awareness training: Understanding the risks can help organizations prioritize the topics that are most relevant to their employees in their security awareness training.
So, what can organizations do to help employees understand the risks? Here are a few steps:
- Conduct a risk assessment: A risk assessment can help organizations identify potential vulnerabilities and threats. Focus time and effort on human risk and social engineering.
- Communicate the risks: Once the risks have been identified, it's important to communicate them to employees. This can be done through regular security awareness training sessions or through email communications.
- Encourage employees to report potential threats: Employees should be encouraged to report any potential security incidents, no matter how small. Bottoms-up security is rarely implemented but, when used, can ensure a continuous flow of high-value risk data.
Hopefully, this paints a picture of how and why to get started with security awareness. The first step of security awareness is to understand the risks. By identifying potential vulnerabilities and threats, organizations can help employees recognize potential threats, take action to protect sensitive information, and prioritize their security awareness training efforts. So, if you haven't already, take the time to understand the risks in your organization and communicate them to your employees.