Security Awareness Training

What is Security Awareness Training For Employees & Why Do You Need It?

Why You Need Employee Security Awareness Training

Cyber threats are constantly changing and evolving as phishing attacks become more sophisticated. Attackers can spoof addresses and websites by creating fake URLs that mimic actual addresses, as well as use social engineering to craft an email that will fool most readers into thinking it’s from a trusted source.

You need more than just software tools to fight against these phishing attacks. Even up-to-date anti-phishing software can’t always keep up, leaving some threats to slip through into your users’ inboxes. To protect your network, you must add security awareness training for employees to your toolbox.

What is Security Awareness Training?

Security awareness is when your employees can recognize and report phishing attacks that slip through the anti-phishing technology such as the Secure Email Gateways (SEGs) installed on your network. With security awareness training, your employees learn to recognize the myriad of online threats and have a deeper understanding of why certain company policies surrounding these threats should be taken very seriously.

Employees who’ve been trained have more focused security behavior to  recognize threats, and take appropriate action to help protect the organization and sensitive data on the network.

Why is Security Awareness Training Important?

Threats are continually changing and evolving, and technology alone won’t protect you from phishing. Despite the most current technology, threats will evade your perimeter and slip into user inboxes.

Today, security is everyone’s responsibility. Employees must be empowered with the knowledge of what these threats are and how to combat them. Security awareness training creates a security mindset and culture that prioritizes protecting your company’s data.

Thousands of email threats slip through SEGs each and every day. See some of the potential threats in our real phishing examples and threats database.

Is Now the Time for Your Organization to Develop a Security Awareness Training Program?

Cyberattacks are on the rise, and phishing is up 600% since February 2020. There’s a cyberattack every 39 seconds, and 75% of cyberattacks start with an email. In 2017, the average phishing attack cost a mid-size company $1.6 million. In 2019, that’s estimated to be $8.19 million according to Forbes.

The increase in remote and off-site work has blurred the boundaries between work and personal life. Employees are more likely to intersperse personal activities throughout their workday.

On top of that, people today use their devices for everything, from work to shopping to reading the news. They’re used to clicking on links and entering login credentials on their computers, mobile devices, or in emails. With this kind of everyday activity, it’s easy for employees to let their guard down. 

Not only is it time to develop a security awareness training program, but your program should be regularly updated.

Security Awareness Training Topics

Online security awareness training should encompass topics that we continue to see in modern phishing attacks, as well as topics relevant to the increase in offsite and remote work, such as:

  • Cybersecurity Awareness – Cover how to identify and avoid online threats, understanding risk factors, and minimizing the risk of an attack.
  • Cloud Computing – Identify risks and detail the best practices for safely using the cloud.
  • Spear Phishing – Spear phishing continues to be the most common type of email attack. Learn about the threats from malicious links, file attachments, and login forms, how to spot warning signs, and the actions to take in the event of an attack.
  • Business Email Compromise – A particularly costly threat that often involves wire transfers directly to the attacker.
  • Ransomware – What it is, how it’s delivered, and how to minimize the threat and report it.
  • Surfing the Web – Cover safe internet browsing habits.
  • Data Protection – How to handle confidential information safely and the laws and policies outlining employee responsibility.
  • Insider Threats – Three main types of threats, what motivates inside attackers, and how to minimize the risk of an attack.
  • Malicious Links – Learn to spot the warning signs of malicious links on the web so you can avoid clicking on them.
  • Malware – How to avoid susceptibility to malware attacks that can spy on your activity and allow remote users control of your device.
  • Mobile Devices – These devices are incredibly versatile and vulnerable. Learn how to safely browse on your mobile device.
  • Security Outside of the Office – Learn about threats in public places and how to protect your information, especially with today’s remote workforce.
  • Passwords – What makes a strong password, the best password security tools, and how to keep your account secure.
  • Physical Security – What’s been done in your organization to secure devices, and what steps to take to protect your equipment when you’re not at the office.
  • Social Engineering – Learn the techniques phishers use to try to deceive users into releasing confidential or personal information and how to spot them.
  • Social Networking – Cover the basics of responsible social networking, including app permissions, privacy settings, and more.

Free Resources from Cofense

To supplement your existing training program, Cofense offers a series of free SCORM-compliant security awareness training modules. They are free to download and use whether you’re a Cofense customer or not. Choose between a sample module, the online security awareness training modules, the compliance modules, or security awareness games.

Additionally, we offer a variety of awareness resources to help keep you company engaged and informed about the latest phishing threats. Start leveraging everything from presentations and wallpapers to infographics, banners, and more – all designed to keep employees engaged in the fight against phishing attacks!

Enterprise Security Awareness Training Solutions

Cofense’s security awareness solutions not only provide the compliance training you need, but will help your employees understand the policies, procedures, and reporting standards necessary to protect personal information. 

Learn more about the growing email related threats and how to fight them by downloading our whitepaper, The Annual Phishing Report.