What Is Security Awareness Training?
Security awareness training is the process of providing formal cybersecurity education to your workforce about a variety of information security threats and your company’s policies and procedures for addressing them. Topics covered in security awareness training often expand beyond the digital world and discuss physical security and how employees can keep themselves and loved ones secure. Such training can take a variety of forms but is most often presented in an online or computer-based format.
Rather than a one-time event, security awareness training is most useful when approached as a critical ongoing practice in the context of a bigger security awareness program. The training and the program are integral to building a culture of security in modern, digitally dependent organizations.
Why Is Security Awareness Training Needed?
Security awareness training is critical because cyber threats abound in our always-connected work environments. What’s more, threats are continually changing. The common thread for some of the most significant threats today is people; your employees. Hackers know people can provide soft attack surfaces to make their exploits successful.
The 2020 State of Privacy and Security Awareness Report found that 28% of employees lack confidence in identifying a phishing email, showing the need for security awareness training.
The point of security awareness training is to equip employees with the knowledge they need to combat these threats. Employees cannot be expected to know what threats exist or what to do about them on their own. They need to be taught what their employers consider risky or acceptable, what clues to look for that indicate threats, and how to respond when they see them.
Our 2020 State of Privacy and Security Awareness Report revealed that many employees are unaware of key risk factors relating to data security and privacy. Some employees are misinformed or confused about what risky behaviors are; many don’t understand that cybersecurity is their personal responsibility; and even fewer understand sensitive data privacy best practices.
These days, security is everyone’s responsibility. Even seemingly harmless behaviors or small mistakes can have big consequences. Security awareness training helps get everyone in an organization on the same page, reduces risks and incidents, and helps the entire workforce protect their organization and themselves.