Cyber Security Awareness

Cyber Security Awareness

One of the biggest weaknesses in any cybersecurity system is the human factor. It doesn’t matter whether your organization is using sophisticated passwords, multiple firewalls, anti-malware programs and more. At the end of the day, your employees are the ones who are going to use these tools. If they have not been effectively trained on cyber security awareness, they may compromise them through mistakes, neglect or sheer carelessness.

Cybercriminals know this. This is why they use tools to target humans at an organization. Tools like phishing emails exploit human vulnerabilities. When successfully used, something as simple as a phishing email can compromise an entire organization and its network.

Cybersecurity awareness aims to resolve this by directly focusing on this human factor. Cybercrimes against organizations are on the rise.  By implementing our HookMail training and awareness programs, your organization can prevent large losses down the line.

Contact Hook Security today for your free demo and learn how our program will help keep your customers safe from phishing and other cyber attacks.

Why Should You Implement Cyber Security Awareness?

In 2018, the FBI received more than 350,000 cybersecurity complaints from businesses and organizations. In 2018 alone, cyber crimes cost organizations nearly $2.7 billion. This is another reason why cybersecurity awareness is important. This shows how vulnerable organizations are to cybersecurity threats. More than 20,000 of these complaints were related to business email compromise. In all, social engineering methods caused a loss of around $1.2 billion.

Social engineering involves exploiting human weaknesses and vulnerabilities. In a social engineering attack, a hacker plays to basic human psychology. By exploiting human psychology, the attacker may induce a victim to reveal personal details, financial information, and other sensitive data.

Phishing is a popular form of social engineering. In this type of attack, the cybercriminal uses a fake email or website link. The victim is convinced that the said email or link is genuine, and tricked into revealing his or her relevant credentials. Once the hacker has the credentials, they can be used to log in to online accounts, steal sensitive information or seek extortion money.

Phishing attacks are one of the most common types of cyberattacks. This is simply because they cost little and are highly effective in targeting victims. This is why it is essential for businesses to train their employees in identifying and countering phishing attempts. Phishing testing allows the training to be fully implemented and brought to life for the employees.

Another serious cybersecurity threat is malware. Malware is particularly relevant in an organizational environment. Your employees may access various websites, apps, and other online resources. These may be accessed from private phones, office smartphones, and tablets, over the local network or the office Wi-Fi. All these are points where malware can enter an employee’s system or device, and penetrate an organization through the opening.

An IT professional evaluates the company cyber security awareness.
The best cyber security measures can be foiled by an untrained employee opening the wrong email.

It is critically important to train your employees on how to identify safe websites. The employees must also know how to differentiate real websites from fake websites. Effective cybersecurity awareness also focuses on training employees on how to identify a cyber attack in time and take measures to counter it.

Cyber security awareness training must be offered to employees in a structured way. You should emphasize how and why it is so important for the employees and for the organization. The training must be conducted by a competent resource person. It should also be interesting, informative and relevant for those present. It is vitally important to highlight for employees how each of them is equally important in the cybersecurity of an organization. After all, the cyber security of your organization is only as good as its weakest link.

In general, the training should educate employees on what comprises sensitive data in different situations. They should then learn how sensitive data must be handled internally and externally. Protocols or procedures can be defined to make sure all employees adhere to certain best practices. A very effective technique is to discuss case studies related to phishing and other social engineering methods. The training should also serve to lay down core foundations of security compliance to training recommendations.

How to Structure Cyber Security Training?

A well-executed cyber security awareness training should cover the following areas:

  • Existing and known threats: These are the threats and security risks which are known and being used by the attackers. The training should inform the employees about the threats and educate them about their details.
  • Identifying attacks: This section should cover how employees can use various red flags to identify different types of attacks.
  • Defensive measures: This is where the employees may be trained in taking various measures and following best practices to mitigate cyber risks.
  • Threat Response: When an attack is identified and underway, how should the employees respond? A timely response can serve as a crucial lifeline for your cyber assets. This is why it is important to train employees in this area as well.

An important part of the training should be attack simulations and scenarios. You can launch various mock attacks on the computers, tablets and smartphones used by employees. The employees can practice identifying and catching these attacks. A handy practice like this can significantly improve the odds of the success of the training.

Who Needs Cyber Security Awareness Training?

Virtually all employees at your organization can benefit from cyber security awareness training. Anyone who uses a work-related PC, smartphone or tablet is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. If such a machine or device is compromised, it can give an attacker immediate access to sensitive data.

Similarly, anyone who can access your organizational network or data is vulnerable. Even when using a private phone, an employee’s login credentials can be phished and stolen by an attacker. The attacker can then use these credentials to access business data and launch further attacks.

It is precisely for this reason that all employees at your organization should receive cyber security awareness training. The training will help employees handle vulnerabilities and avoid social engineering attacks in the first place. If a cyber attack still takes place, it will help them identify and catch it in time to minimize any losses to your organization. Contact Hook Security today to learn more about how our HookMail program can help your customers’ businesses defend against the ever-evolving world of cyber attacks.

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