When it comes to cyber security, the biggest threat to most companies is a lack of understanding, usually stemming from a lack of enthusiasm for the subject matter. It’s understandable – many people have a mindset that computers are tools for improving their workplace efficiency and, as such, are not interested in investing their time into learning how to operate them properly. Thankfully, there are several ways to achieve high engagement surrounding cyber security, but however, you attempt to do it, content and delivery of your message is pivotal.
Strategy, Strategy, Strategy
Start by creating a plan of action. Before you open discussions of cyber awareness education to your employees, you need to decide on a number of things, such as:
- What level of understanding you want your employees to have in relation to cyber security.
- The steps that will need to be taken to carry out the required training by both management and learners.
- The processes and materials (physical and digital) that you’ll need to put in place and gather in order to put your employees through the steps you deem necessary.
- A clear and manageable goal that can be maintained efficiently alongside other training requirements. This may be that employees are required to sit training on an annual basis as part of their ongoing compliance needs.
Get Buy-in from the Top
In order for employees to take their cyber awareness training seriously, business leaders must portray the topic with great importance. Ultimately, without management efficiently communicating with the rest of the business in an approachable and empathic manner, employees will quickly dismiss the notion that the topic is of great relevance to them.
By having the message communicated by someone that your employees respect, such as a line manager, executive or board member, this will make employees more likely to appreciate the gravity of cybersecurity.
Changing Company Culture
New Rules is one thing but getting people to follow them is another thing altogether. So, if you’re truly serious about engaging your employees with cyber, you’ll need to change; the Unwritten Rules of the Office – i.e. the culture, create deadlines for completing cyber security training and don’t be afraid to utilise both the carrot and the stick in keeping people to these deadlines.
You need to have employees truly committed to your ideal. The reason for this is that maximum cyber security levels need to be attained, and this will happen if and only if employees internalise the company’s cyber security policies, so much so that “best practices” become instinctive, like muscle-memory, but for cyber etiquette. The way to do this is to show employees in their cyber security training, how the policies you want to implement are beneficial to them, not just to the company; the training needs to be personally applicable and it needs to be relatable.
Security Awareness Training
Choosing the right cyber security training is vital to ensure that it is successfully adopted throughout the company. It is important to select the right level of training that relates to all knowledge levels and roles within the business.
Engaging content that can be measured is essential if you were to hand an employee a 20-page word document it is highly unlikely that they will read or digest any of the information and there is no way to monitor their progress or understanding.
By using an online training portal with built-in reporting and managerial functionality – such as Mitigate – you will be able to see a full view of the business’s progress whilst the system automatically prompts users to complete their training. This will reduce the admin time of chasing employees and will act as a centralised location for all their compliance needs.
Moreover, it also allows managers etc to see which employees are the most or least compliant with cyber, therefore they can see those employees who pose as a threat to the company internally. Once the initial breaking of the mould takes place, employees will self-monitor their own cyber-activities, to a certain extent because they’ll appreciate its importance.
Initiate Cyber Awareness During the Onboarding Process
Introducing the best cyber practices at the start of someone’s time with your company will make it much more likely that they’ll be engaged as it will be introduced as a standard company requirement; taking cyber seriously will be the culture they adopt as they won’t have ever known anything else within your company.
Devising and implementing the right processes for successfully immersing current and future employees in cyber will go a long way to solving your cyber security issues, but you’ll need to make sure that your company has a suitable training platform that meets your company’s specific needs.
Rewarding your Employees
We all know that training is often seen as a chore enforced by higher management which is a major contribution to lack of engagement. Providing rewards for those who complete their training in the requested time or creating some healthy competition between departments battling for a half an hour early finish on a Friday is a way to get employees invested in cyber!
Furthermore, when an employee successfully thwarts a security attack or finds a completely new vulnerability in your system, reward them. Even sharing their success with the entire company will often encourage everyone else to do the same.
Relate Cyber Security Practices into Real-life Situations
Remember fire drills at school? Well, a live fire practice in the cyber world is much easier to simulate since there’s no running and jumping involved. Have your employees undergo a simulated attack related to their job and evaluate their performance. If someone performs perfectly, reward them while helping those who seem to lack awareness.
Changing the security culture of your business takes time; you can’t change it overnight. However, with the right mindset and engaging activities, you will eventually get there!
If you’re looking for a cyber security awareness training platform, get your free trial of Mitigate now and begin your journey with us!