Cybersecurity essentials: Prioritizing employee training

Cybersecurity · Apr 26, 2024

Cyber threats
are a significant concern for any type of business as it can harm productivity, affect your company’s reputation and bottom line. 
Cybercriminals only get more sophisticated, which means organizations need to prioritize their data and applications' safety. While investing in advanced cybersecurity measures is an important step to help protect your business, it is equally important to educate and train employees to identify and mitigate cyber threats as they arise. The 2022
TELUS Canadian Cloud Security Study
found that cybersecurity training for all employees could help reduce the top cause of cyberattacks – human error.
Your employees need to be aware of potential risks that can affect the company, such as malware, ransomware, social engineering and more. This way, they can be better equipped to identify and respond to threats effectively.

Cyber threats vs. human factor

Social engineering attacks use human psychology and behaviour to deceive individuals into taking actions that can compromise their cybersecurity and the security of their company. The most known and used type of social engineering attack is phishing.
Phishing attacks
involve sending fraudulent emails or messages that appear to be sent from a legitimate source, such as a bank or a known company, in order to trick users into providing sensitive data like passwords or credit card details. 
Cybercriminals use public sources of information to gather details about the user’s personal and work history, interests‌ and activities. Typically, these sets of information are collected through social media and can then be used to craft a realistic email. Phishing attacks can lead to other types of
, such as: Ransomware, Trojan Horses, Botnets and many more.
Read the guide,
Protecting against cyber threats
to learn how to help safeguard your customers, people and business. 

Making cybersecurity a priority: Measures to get started

There are some
measures that can be put in place
to help you prevent malware threats from getting to the end user, such as implementing multi-layer security strategy with a reputable antivirus software, firewalls and anti-spyware software, among others. One of the most important measures is to keep your employees well-informed and well-prepared for what can arise. According to a 2023 study reported in
Security Today
, 88% of data breaches against businesses are caused by employee mistakes, making it by far the leading cause.
Here are some cybersecurity measures to help raise awareness and prepare employees for sophisticated cybercrime tactics:
  • Cybersecurity awareness culture: Building a culture of cybersecurity within your company is essential for long-term prevention of cyber threats. This involves fostering a sense of responsibility and accountability among your employees by encouraging them to report any suspicious activities or potential security breaches promptly. Regularly communicate the importance of cybersecurity and the impact it can have on the organization.
  • Ongoing training: One-time training sessions are not enough to keep employees updated on the latest cyber threats, so it’s important that you perform regular training programs to help ensure that your employees stay informed about emerging threats and best practices online. These training sessions can cover topics such as password management, safe browsing practices, email security‌ and social media awareness. 
    Consider using interactive training methods such as simulations and quizzes to engage employees and reinforce their learning. Keep in mind that tailoring training programs to specific job functions can help employees understand the unique risks they may face and the corresponding preventive measures. For example, employees in the finance department may require additional training on financial fraud prevention, while IT staff may need more in-depth knowledge of network security.
  • Regular testing: Regularly testing and assessing employee knowledge is also an important step. This will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your existing training programs. Conducting simulated phishing attacks is a good example of how you can measure employees' ability to identify and report phishing attempts. Don’t forget to provide feedback and additional training to individuals who may need further support. Another strategy is called "tabletop exercises" where an organization brings together a group of employees to pretend an attack happened and talk through what steps need to be taken and how they might mitigate risk. These continuous assessments can help identify areas of improvement and increase the chances that employees are equipped to protect the organization from cyber threats.
Cybersecurity is a collective effort, and every employee has a role to play in keeping the organization safe from cyber threats. Employee training is just one important cybersecurity measure and having a
could also help you stay on top of all your company’s cybersecurity needs.
To help safeguard your business, it’s important that you
partner with a managed service provider
that offers a multilayered approach to secure and protect against data loss with tools, proactive monitoring and secure backups.