Security awareness is a collaborative effort between security officers, employees, management and executives. Everyone must work together to ensure the highest standards in protection against cyber threats. Security awareness provides companies with ways to reduce risk by educating every person from executives to employees. Education has been shown to help reduce the amount of breaches due to employee mistakes and even disgruntled employees who have left the company.
Below are 6 helpful tips on how you can make your security awareness training more effective:
Make Security Training More Personal
Many companies simply create a slideshow, set it up in PowerPoint, and then hold meetings that take hours. Security is not an exciting topic unless you’re in the field. This means that training should be more personal, so employees understand the implications and understand the impact they have on data protection. If you still need to hold classes because there are too many employees, hold small classes that keep them more personal.
Set Up Accountability and Privileges
Each data owner should be accountable for overseen information. The data owner assigns privileges. When you give the data owner the ability to assign privileges, you give them accountability for those privileges. These privileges should also be managed to avoid privilege creep. When an employee moves to a new position or leaves the company, they should have any current privileges revoked that are no longer needed to perform tasks in their new position.
Give Privileges Based on an As-Needed Basis
Users with too much access can be detrimental to corporate security. Users don’t always know the implications with any permission changes. For this reason, you should give the least amount of privileges that don’t interfere with employee performance. Never give a user administrative rights, or they could potentially do harm to the system. Access rights should be tiered to ensure that the system is maintained, but only authorized users should have elevated privileges.
Understand the Enemy
Before you can defend against cyber threats, you must understand attackers and how they work. Any security officer should continue to learn their trade, keep up-to-date with the latest threats and even take training classes when necessary. Most security officers were former hackers, so they have a good understanding of the entire process.
Never Stop Training
Training should be annual. You could put weeks into training one year, and some of the information is completely outdated the next year. New threats are introduced, systems are patched, the game changes, and security training should continue the following year. It’s recommended that each year employees should be introduced to a refresher course to catch up to the latest threats.
Understand What Data is a Target
Before you can protect your system, you must know what attackers want. This data varies by company, but any system that contains sensitive information is at risk. These systems should be audited for security, and each one should be monitored. This is probably the most tedious and time consuming, but it’s essential for security planning.
These few tips are just a few security steps in better employee awareness. Always keep your knowledge up-to-date and provide personal security awareness to your employees annually.