Importance of Security Education, Training and Awareness
As more and more people start working from home, your company boundaries now expand beyond your corporate walls and into people’s home. It is now more important than ever to ensure that your employees undergo proper security awareness training and education. What is Security Awareness, ...
As more and more people start working from home, your company boundaries now expand beyond your corporate walls and into people’s home. It is now more important than ever to ensure that your employees undergo proper security awareness training and education.
What is Security Awareness, Training and Awareness as commonly abbreviated as SETA?
Security Awareness, Training and Awareness is the process of providing information to employees about information security best practices, basic measures on upholding network security and common ways hackers may try to steal their data or compromise systems.
Awareness may be done in terms of campaigns where informational emails or brochures are distributed about different security topics. The main aim of this is to introduce the topics and keep security fresh in the minds of employees.
Training is a more involved activity where your employees get hands-on experience and interact with different scenarios related to cybersecurity. This mainly varies depending on the employees’ capacity in the organization, for example, network engineers may undergo a training session on different techniques hackers may use to try and infiltrate the network.
Education now encompasses what awareness and training have achieved and tries to measure how well employees have understood security practices by taking them through tests and simulations. The outcome of this determines the skill and knowledge obtained and how much more training awareness needs to be done.
Now that we understand the whole process, why is it important?
- Improve response to cybersecurity incidents
- Reduce breaches or reduce chances of occurrence of a breach
- Improve the effectiveness of currently deployed security tools
- Improve the expertise of your employees
- Understand emerging cyber threats
- Nurture the next cyber defenders
- Social and personal responsibility
Improve response to cybersecurity incidents
Implementing a security education training and awareness program in your organization may greatly improve how security incidents are handled.
When your internal staff have gone through training and are able to identify and raise alarms in the situation of a cyber incident; handling and triaging of these incidents is accelerated and saves valuable time when isolating the affected systems.
Reduce chances of a breach
Employees who are aware of basic security practices are more likely to make better decisions as they conduct their day to day tasks.
Practices that are encouraged such as creating complex passwords, being suspicious of emails that originate from unexpected sources and keeping your software update can help reduce chances of getting breached if most of your employees have been taken through the education program.
Improve the effectiveness of currently deployed security tools
Most security tools that are meant to improve the cybersecurity resilience of an organization are very underutilized as the personnel meant to operate them do not have sufficient expertise. Providing security training for employees equips them with the knowledge to efficiently use the tools and become better defenders of the organization.
These training may also assist them to better manage other tools that are not meant for security in a more secure way as they will have security in mind. This is due to the nature of tools not having built-in security controls and focusing on usability.
Improve the education of your employees
Information security training and education greatly involve the use of technology. To better secure environments, a basic understanding of some technology concepts is needed. This training provides some of these concepts and provides an in-depth understanding.
A system administrator for example who is taken through such training grows their understanding of the systems they manage. This not only improves security but also efficiency in how they handle their day to day tasks of system administration.
Understand emerging cyber threats
Hackers are always coming up with new tactics, techniques and procedures. Equipping employees with this knowledge assist them quickly identify when any of these appear in your environment.
Nurture the next cyber defenders
Roles in cybersecurity are always emerging, it is therefore important to have people who are qualified and passionate about filling these roles.
Conducting a security awareness and training program may spark an interest in some of your employees to get into cybersecurity and introduce them to what it entails. This is very important for organizations with no security teams as this serves as a very easy way to get started as the scouting and recruitment process is skipped. In the long term, this ends up costing less than having a new hire.
Social and Personal Responsibility
Keeping your people educated about the risk that attackers pose on the cyberspace and ways they can secure themselves has a trickle effect in the society as this knowledge may be transferred to family members and friends.
Looking at the significant damage the WannaCry malware caused by propagating to neighbouring unpatched systems; if some of the information security best practices had been well taught and shared maybe the damage would have been minimised.
As part of several compliance standards, such as the ISO 27001, it is a requirement to have a security education training and awareness program.
Setting up these programs and actively training your employees set your organization ahead of the competition as achieving the certifications proves you care about information security. These may give customers confidence in you that their data may be safer due to practices carried out in your organization.