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Seven Ways to Enable a Successful Security Awareness Program

A carefully designed and implemented security awareness program makes everyone in your organization a part of your security solution. It also reduces the probability of human error being exploited by an attacker. Here are seven ways to enable a successful security awareness program and why they work.

1. Understand the Threats

The first step is understanding the threats, which helps put everyone on the same page regarding your organization’s challenges. For example, a recent report named the number one threat as social engineering, 90% of which involved phishing attacks. Also, ransomware landed the number three spot when it comes to the most popular kinds of malware. However, your organization’s threats will vary based on your digital assets. A threat map can also help businesses understand risks and types of attacks as they happen in real-time.

2. Engage Leadership Early On

Getting leadership on board early in the process is extremely important, primarily because they often set both an example and the agenda regarding what departments are supposed to prioritize. In addition, because leadership is involved in performing employee reviews, the degree to which people comply with cybersecurity awareness initiatives can be discussed within the context of these conversations.

3. Make the Security Awareness Program Continuous

It’s not enough to have security training a couple of times a year. It needs to be an ongoing endeavor because the nature of threats changes constantly. Therefore, your organization’s mitigation protocols also must evolve. Moreover, if your security awareness program isn’t continuous, your employees are more likely to forgot what they learned. Keep security best practices top of mind for employees throughout the year.

4. Incorporate Engaging Training

Making sure the training is engaging keeps employees interested and motivated to attend each session. Ever hear of death by PowerPoint? We have all sat through long PowerPoint presentations overloaded with content. While a PowerPoint presentation can be helpful when done right, it’s often best to opt for more engaging training tactics. If you want employees to really retain what they are hearing, make it interactive with videos, thought provoking questions, and quizzes.

5. Enable Phishing Simulations

Because phishing is such a popular attack vector, any training program should include phishing simulations. This will give you the chance, in a non-judgmental setting, to observe how employees react to phishing attacks. You can use their reactions to fine-tune what you choose to teach them and how.

6. Make IDR Part of Your Program

An Inbox Detection and Response (IDR) solution allows employees to submit suspicious emails for review and validation. By empowering employees with an IDR solution, you give them a vehicle and the freedom to slow down, take a step back, and reconsider whether every email is safe.

7. Measure Your Results

There are several ways to measure your results, but every security awareness program should include quizzes, either at the end of the training session or some time after. This enables you to evaluate the effectiveness of the program, and if you administer the assessment later on, you can determine how well employees are retaining the information.

A security awareness program can both strengthen your business’s security posture and reinforce effective cyber hygiene for employees. TPx offers tested and proven security awareness training programs. Check out the best options for your business today

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