How to Build an Effective Security Awareness Training Program

Cybersecurity is an increasingly big concern for companies all across the world. For companies in Silicon Valley and the surrounding areas, it’s an especially urgent consideration—and as such, there are a number of companies that focus on cybersecurity in California, providing the best tools and technologies to keep hackers and cyber attacks at bay.

But it’s not enough just to have the right equipment; it’s also important to know how to use that equipment properly. After all, studies reveal that the overwhelming majority of cyber attacks are made possible through simple user error—for example, employees opening emails that they shouldn’t, or connecting foreign devices to the network. The best way to protect your company is to put a robust security awareness program into place, and to train your people in the fundamentals of cyber security.

Does your organization need a cyber security program?

You may wonder if this is really a necessary step for your company; if cyber security training is really something you need to invest in. In our estimation, most companies will benefit from some level of employee cyber awareness training. We especially recommend it if your company falls into one of these categories:

  1. You need cyber awareness programming to ensure regulatory compliance, as with HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley.
  2. You have employees who regularly bring their own personal devices to work and connect them to your workplace network.
  3. You’ve ever had an incident involving a phishing scam or another type of cyber-attack within your workplace.

What are the key components for a successful security awareness training program?

As you consider the specifics of your employee training campaign, there are a few specific program components to think about—among them:

  • The timing of your cyber security programming. Should you be having sessions annually? Monthly? Quarterly? We recommend getting into a regular rhythm, perhaps once or twice a year, just to ensure that cyber awareness remains fresh in your employees’ minds. Periodic sessions to address new or pressing issues may also be needed. (You can also use cybersecurity awareness month as an excuse to broach the topic!)
  • Your training sessions should include everyone in your company; cyber security awareness isn’t just for the IT team, but for anyone who opens emails, connects their phone to the network, or checks in on social media. (In fact, your IT pros are probably the ones who need this training the least, just because they deal with communications equipment day in and day out.)
  • Ideally, your training sessions will include security simulations, showing your participants what cyber attacks actually look like and seeing how they respond.
  • Risk assessment is also a big part of this; working with your IT team, take stock of some of the biggest concerns or risks that face your company, and make sure your training program addresses them specifically.
  • Finally, guarantee that you’re putting actual, written policies into place that codify some of your cyber security “best practices.” Give employees easy access to these documented policies and procedures.

IT Solutions from Salient Networks

Across the country but especially in California, cybersecurity is a primary concern. It’s something every business should take seriously, and one of the best ways to do that is to train your employees. Make sure they are regularly reminded of some of the fundamentals of cyber security awareness.

For help putting the right equipment into place, and guidance on how to use it effectively, reach out to Salient Networks, a leading cybersecurity firm. Security is a big part of our focus, and we’d love to show you how our IT solutions can help your business steer clear of digital threats. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and the industries we serve.