What topics should your company’s security awareness training cover?

As the number of data breaches continues to increase by the year, it's becoming clearer that companies need to do more than implement the latest cybersecurity tools to protect their data. One of the best ways businesses can improve their cybersecurity posture is to have all employees undergo security awareness training.

But what topics should this training cover? Here are nine fundamental things your cybersecurity awareness course should include:

1. The basics of data security

The first thing that any security awareness training should cover is the basics of data security. This includes things like what data is and how it can be used, as well as the importance of keeping it secure. When your employees know the rationale behind data security and what’s at stake if they don’t do their part, they are more likely to follow the best practices in keeping data safe.

2. The different types of threats

At the very least, your employees should be able to protect against the following cybersecurity risks:

  • Phishing – One of the most common types of cyberattacks, phishing involves sending emails or other messages that appear to be from a trusted source to trick people into giving away personal information or clicking on malicious links.
  • Malware – Malware is any malicious software created to corrupt computer systems. It can come in the form of viruses, worms, Trojans, or bots, and it can cause devices to malfunction or give attackers access to the data stored on them.
  • Ransomware – This is a specific kind of malware that cuts user access to their own files by encrypting data. This attack often involves the perpetrator demanding a ransom in exchange for decrypting the victim’s files.

3. The importance of good password hygiene

Hackers can get into business systems because of compromised user passwords. Prevent this by training your employees on how to create robust passwords and how to use password managers to keep their credentials. Also, make sure that your employees never share their passwords with anyone.

4. The dangers of clicking on links and attachments

Another common way that data is compromised is through malicious links and attachments. Employees should be taught about the dangers of clicking on these, even if they seem to come from a trusted source.

5. Safe internet and social media habits

In today's interconnected world, it's also important to teach employees about safe internet and social media habits. This includes things like not sharing too much personal information online, such as one’s identification cards, as these might give hackers the data they need to get into your systems.

6. Mobile device security

With more and more people using their mobile devices for work, it's more critical than ever to make sure that these devices are secure. Because of this, employees should be taught how to secure their mobile devices, such as by enabling security features like multifactor authentication and by downloading apps only from trusted sources.

7. Physical security

Physical security is often overlooked, but it's just as important as digital security. Employees should be made aware of the importance of things like keeping their workstations clean and secure, as well as locking or safely putting their devices away when these are not in use.

8. Working remotely securely

Remote and hybrid work are quickly becoming the norm, so if you implement these arrangements in your organization, it’s essential to make sure that your employees are working remotely securely. As such, you should train your workforce on things like using a virtual private network and not connecting to public Wi-Fi networks.

9. Reporting suspicious activity

Finally, employees should know what to do if they suspect that something is wrong. This could involve anything from receiving a suspicious email to noticing that someone has access to their accounts when they shouldn't. Employees should be taught how to report these incidents so that the issues can be dealt with quickly and effectively.

By covering these topics, your company's security awareness training will give employees the knowledge they need to protect themselves and your data. And if you need assistance with implementing IT solutions, our team at Cutting Edge Technologies can help. We offer a trove of services, from managed IT services to network security to data backup and recovery. Contact us today to learn more.

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