6 Steps to Creating a Cyber Security Training Program for Your Organization
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As hacks, breaches, and online security threats continue to rise, there has never been a more important time for cyber security training. It is estimated that 64% of companies worldwide are likely to experience cyber breaches, yet 61% of employees aren’t equipped with the knowledge to pass a basic cyber security test.
To effectively tackle the issue at hand, you need a comprehensive approach to cyber security for your entire organization. But, this isn’t a case of simply training your IT department. Your company needs a complete cyber resilience training program for every employee, all the way up to the CEO.
In this blog, we’ll explore how you can create a cyber security training program for your organization and look at some of the benefits this can have in the short and long term.
6 Steps to Creating Airtight Cyber Security Training
So, you’ve decided to take the first step in your cyber security training journey. But where do you start?
1. Assess the Current State of Cyber Security
What does cyber security currently look like at your organization? Look for possible weaknesses such as remote workers, guest users, and overly manual processes—these areas are easily exploited by hackers. Make note of any issues that are occurring due to human error—these can be a focus for your training sessions.
2. Set Goals for Your Training
Decide what you want your employees to get out of the training. It could be training your IT department on complex security breaches or simply showing the sales team how to spot phishing scams—perhaps you’re introducing a contingency plan and you want everyone to be aware of what steps to take in the event of a cyber-attack. It’s important to have a specific goal so that your training program can be as focused as possible.
3. Create Your Training Program
With a specific goal in mind, it’s time to create a cyber security training program. This can be done in a number of ways:
- Hands-on training in a cyber range or virtual environment
- Instructor-led training over video call with a designated trainer
- Combining the two approaches
The hands-on approach is great for training on new cyber security software or practicing contingency plan drills, while an instructor-led session allows for more conversation and engagement. Look to combine these elements over the course of your training program to ensure that your employees get to experience the best of both worlds.
CloudShare combines hands-on virtual environments with instructor-led lesson capabilities for the ultimate training experience. Find out more
1. Make it Realistic
Realism is important in training. It’s the reason Formula One drivers and pilots use sophisticated simulators to hone their skills. By providing a realistic virtual training environment for your employees, you’ll give them practical skills that are directly applicable to their everyday work. This can be done with customizable virtual lab environments that mimic your company’s real-world digital landscape.
2. Assess and Adapt
Continually assess and update your training program to ensure it is effective by measuring the outcomes against your goals. Are fewer employees getting caught out in phishing scams? Is your organization’s contingency response quicker than before you started training? If you’re not hitting your goals, look for ways to amend your training program. Some virtual training software features advanced analytics, so you can look at the stats and see how trainees are reacting to your session, as well as where they might need more support.
3. Create a Cyber Security Culture
Cyber threats aren’t going away any time soon. The only way to secure your organization is to ensure that the entire company is doing everything they can to stay safe and secure. Consider creating a broader cyber security policy, that goes beyond your training, to generate a cybersecurity culture where everyone knows how to stay safe.
The Benefits of Cyber Security Training
The benefits of a robust cyber security training program are far-reaching. From cost-saving to trust-building, the pros of cyber security aren’t confined to darkened server rooms and IT departments. Better security will benefit your entire organization.
1. Save Money
Cyber attacks and data breaches cost US companies around $400 billion per year. While creating a cyber security training program isn’t free, it’s certainly going to be more cost-efficient in the long run than numerous attacks on untrained employees. A company that is more secure is less likely to spend money on:
- Paying for ransomware attacks
- Clean-up after a security breach
- Personnel and resources needed for fixing affected networks, accounts, files, etc.
As the likelihood of cyber attacks continues to rise, the risk of forking out huge sums of money for cyber breach clean-up increases. Just as you would reduce costs in other areas of your business, cyber security training should be treated as one of these cost reduction practices.
2. Empower Your Workers
Training your workers in cyber security best practices gives them more confidence to act in times of crisis, and the knowledge to avoid costly mistakes, such as the phishing scams mentioned earlier. It also lessens the load on your IT department who may have shouldered most of the burden when you had a relatively untrained workforce. From an individual perspective, the feeling of being responsible for accidentally causing huge damage to your company isn’t a good one. Equipping your employees with the knowledge to prevent this is good for both your company and your workers.
3. Create Greater Customer Trust
Data breaches can take a bite out of customers’ trust in your business. Avoiding data breaches will build your reputation as a trustworthy brand. Showing that you go to great lengths to stay on top of attacks is also a great way to showcase your trustworthiness to investors and customers.
Delivering High-Quality Cyber Resilience Training
We’ve already covered how important it is to build your cyber resilience, and how you can do it by providing quality training for your employees. But what’s the best way to deliver this training? Video calls? In-office training?
The way in which training is delivered is just as important as the training content itself. You need to engage your employees from the off. Long, meandering video training sessions tend to see a dip in engagement after just 6 minutes, so, unless you can speak REALLY quickly, this might not be the best option.
Hands-on training is generally more engaging, but without an instructor to help out with questions and difficulties, it can sometimes be a little isolating for trainees. Demo accounts that exist in a vacuum can also feel hollow and directionless. What is needed is a comprehensive virtual training platform that does it all.
CloudShare combines the best of both worlds. Instructor-led, hands-on training sessions based on a real digital environment that your company works within. It features ‘over the shoulder’ mode, which allows instructors to take remote control of employees’ demo environments if they are having difficulties. It also features advanced analytics that keep you up to date with how your employees are doing and where they need help.
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