5 Components of a successful cybersecurity awareness program

Cybercrime in Australia has become big business, especially in the light of COVID-19. A recent Australian CIO polls state that a larger portion of the enterprise IT budget will now be dedicated to cybersecurity measures.

Working from home has caused a bridge between company networks and largely unmanaged home networks. Consequently employees are now the first line of defence line of most attacks, either by exposing or sharing confidential data or falling prey to a sophisticated social engineering technique – phishing, email scams and Business Email Compromise (BEC).

In our upcoming webinar, we will be discussing in depth how to build a strong cybersecurity awareness program across your internal and remote working teams. Additionally, our expert team have outlined the following components of a successful program:

  1. Identify Risks

The first step in an effective cybersecurity awareness program is to have an up-to-date view of your threat landscape, infrastructure and data ecosystem and an identification of your top risks. Knowing these risks and dependencies allows your awareness campaign to target the adequate awareness and training programs that need to go to your team, whether they are end-users, finance functions or technical system administrators.

  1. Change Behaviour

Within the last decade, digital usage has increased in the workplace together with complex regulations and expectations from customers and business partners. So-called “tick-a-box” courses, delivered in hard copy or in computer based training packages are no longer robust enough to cover the wide scope of cybersecurity vulnerabilities and the various ways some individuals assimilate knowledge. Training these days needs to be role-relevant and tailored to the relevant user, and must be delivered in a format that is timely and flexible. The key to transforming behaviour is to ensure that cybersecurity education and awareness is delivered in a personalised, targeted and succinct manner that is aimed to improve productivity and simplicity – not just create a complicated process along the way.

The best way to achieve this is through a comprehensive security program that leverages a variety of different tools and techniques. Engaging videos, realistic scenarios, quizzes, policies and real-world phishing simulation tests will ensure that staff are fully trained to recognise and identify the most up to date threats, and again, keeping these solutions as simple as possible will ensure behavioural change.

Organisations can also utilise communications and marketing tools such as blogs, awareness posters and real-life case studies to reinforce key messaging.

  1. Schedule Training throughout the Year

As the threat landscape evolves, and new applications or technologies come online, security awareness programs and training should be conducted at regular intervals throughout the year. Ongoing awareness messages reinforce the user’s training and focus on security among everyone’s busy and multi-tasking work life.

Cybercriminals typically launch end-user scams to coincide with seasonal, global or monthly events. The number of COVID-19 themed phishing cybersecurity scams is astronomical, as well as social engineering scams that target specific functions of the business such as Finance around the end-of-financial year.

Without adequate training or education on the seasonality and variability of cybersecurity scams, employees will be unable to identify or react in an adequate way.

Users also need to know how, to whom, they should report suspicious calls, emails and activity

  1. Test Effectiveness of Training

At Loop Secure, we engage every cybersecurity awareness program with an initial audit and baseline of the enterprise’s cybersecurity awareness risks. Once this baseline is established, regular penetration tests, phishing simulations and various offensive security tests will often run to establish how water-tight the cybersecurity program is.

Controlled simulation tests will help employees recognise, avoid and report potential threats that could threaten the security of the organisation, as well as offering the organisation the opportunity to pick up on vulnerabilities before a real-life scenario happens.

  1. Track Metrics

To determine if your Cyber Security awareness program is effective, your organisation will need to track the metrics and act accordingly. Before engaging in a program, we recommend establishing these success metrics first, including participation, engagement and testing attainment. These success metrics can be communicated with the wider business and provide a real-time view of what the cybersecurity awareness program is delivering.

This will also enable you to identify which areas employees are struggling with and determine which members of staff could handle more advanced training. This data can be used to shape future training by assessing what has been successful, what has not, and what teams need extra focus work.

Loop Secure specialises in creating cybersecurity awareness programs and training across Australian enterprises. Our services directly address the specific challenges that arise from cyber threats and corporate governance by making it easier for employees to understand cybersecurity awareness and compliance.

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