Security Awareness Training

Security Awareness Training: 8 Best Ways to Secure Your Office

May 03, 2021

The security awareness training gives individuals the knowledge of safeguarding their assets, sensitive data, and securing the organization. Security awareness training is a formal program to coach individuals on the potential threats and how to avoid cyberattacks or breaches that may jeopardize the entire organization.  Phishing simulations and other realistic activities are used in the best security awareness training programs to teach users how to protect themselves against cyber threats such as phishing, spear phishing, ransomware, malware, social engineering, and more.

Security awareness training includes topics based on security, IT, and business so that employees understand cyber threats and the damage they can cause to the organization and understand company’s regulations and compliance policies. Practical security training will help employees understand different cyberattacks, detect them, and take the necessary measures to mitigate them. Therefore, security awareness training is a program to strengthen the workforce's weakest link: the workforce.

Security awareness training should be an ongoing practice. The employees need to stay updated with the latest cyber threats and learn new methods to avoid cyberattacks and breaches. Continuous assessments ensure that the employees are on track with the training. Managers can determine which employee needs more training and how likely the workforce is to fall victim to any cyberattack. This blog offers tips and practices that organizations can follow to develop effective and efficient security awareness training.

8 Tips to Secure Your Organization

1. Mitigating Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are when a hacker sends a malicious message that appears to come from a legal source through an e-mail into the victim's computer; the aim is to hack sensitive information such as credit card login credentials. It may put a person or the whole organization at risk.

Phishing attacks are the typical reason behind cyber breaches. So, organizations should train their employees through phishing awareness training. They should be taught how to utilize phishing incident response tools, identify different phishing attacks, and report any suspicious e-mail that appears.

The practices to avoid phishing attacks are as follows:

  • Maintain up-to-date security updates in all systems
  • By educating and training an employee about the attacks.
  • All the devices in the organization should have an antivirus installed and monitored the status of the attacks.
  • Install a web filter to prevent the malicious website from being accessed.

2. Clean Desk Policy (CDP)

A Clean Desk Policy will ensure that the employees clean their desk at the end of each day by securely discarding the Post It notes, keeping written notes about essential data in a secured place. Also, removing media such as USBs and SD cards is not lying on their desk and is kept safe. The CDP provides confidentiality and security of assets and information from other office staff. It mitigates the risk of theft, fraud, and someone getting unauthorized access to information or system.

3. Strong Password Policy

It is essential to have strong passwords to secure your accounts as they are the first-line defense of any system. Using weak passwords can make it easy for hackers to crack them and get unauthorized access to user accounts and the sensitive organizational information they contain. This jeopardizes other accounts with the same password as well.  Employees should be trained on creating strong passwords and sending out reminders for changing the passwords at regular intervals. They must be advised not to share the passwords with anyone, even with other employees.

4. Securing Organization’s Wi-Fi

There is a lack of resources and cyber skills required for many small to medium businesses to secure a proper network. It is a significant problem because an unsecured network makes the company vulnerable to hacker attacks. The first web security precaution to be taken is to create and keep changing a durability password. At least 15 characters with a combination of letters, numbers, and specific characters can be used as best passwords. Check regularly to see whether your router is updated with firmware. To clarify if you are using the best available encryption protocol, check your network settings. If employees use public Wi-Fi networks, make sure that your company has a VPN solution that will allow users to transfer data securely through an encryption tunnel.

5. Risk of Removable Media

Removable media is a portable storage device often used to store important and confidential data; it can also transfer data and copy files from device to device. Removable media such as USBs, CDs, and mobile devices become an easy target for the attackers to insert malware into devices for accessing data. Organizations must train their employees about the damage caused by insecure removable media and never plug unauthorized removable media into a system.

  • Use only authorized removable media to transfer files.
  • It is good to secure the removable media with a password to protect important data from theft.
  • Encrypting the data in portable media is a must.

6. Detection and Prevention of Malware Attacks

Malware, also known as malicious software, can be injected into a network or device by the attacker to access personal information. Phishing e-mails are a standard medium for malware. By clicking the links or attachments, the user is often redirected to a website asking for a login password.  To avoid malware in the organization, regularly update your software, be aware of and utilize the proper security software, and ensure the absence of malware attacks on your business can all be done. Training your employees to detect possible malware attacks such as phishing scams and malicious links is a practical step to protect your business and its information.

Malware has many forms, such as ransomware, spyware, and viruses. Tips to avoid them:

  • Avoid installing unauthorized software. 
  • Be careful of files on websites and e-mails.
  • Maintain your antivirus software.

7. Ensuring Internet Safety

Organizations should incorporate internet safety measures for employees to avoid cyberattacks. This should include:

  • Avoid sharing login credentials to an untrusted website.
  • Installing applications or files after verifying it through an antivirus.
  • The risk of storing company files in the personal cloud.
  • The risk of clicking pop-ups and links present in websites.

8. Cautious Social Networking Practices

Social networking sites are the preferred platforms for organizations to advertise and promote their products and brands to attract customers. However, cyber attackers also use social networking as their primary target for hacking data. Educating employees on the safety measures and security strategies for social media tools is essential to stay safe from risks.

It is challenging to fix a misuse on social networks than just realizing that organizations do not control the data or access, unlike traditional business platforms like e-mail. Organizations have a different approach to take. They need to build employees' awareness of the risks of targeted attacks and Internet crime on social media and best practices on social media security. They need social media to expand their phish tests. To identify when a targeted attack occurs, they must implement external risk monitoring capacity in real-time. They must be mainly in a position to remedy risk.

Security awareness training helps guide employees with security-related issues and allows them to perform their work securely. As the world is advancing towards a more sophisticated technology, so are cyber attackers. A lot of day-to-day activities are carried out online, such as financial transactions, online shopping, transfer of data, booking tickets, etc., resulting in vast exposure of sensitive data to attackers.

Teaching all these concepts to employees can be a tough task, which is why many organizations opt to engage experts for their security awareness training. Aware by EC-Council will impart everything your employees need to know to keep themselves and your business safe, cyberattacks.