Cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated and selective, creating an effective cybersecurity awareness program has become a key priority for many organizations. According to the latest studies, the average cost of the security breach in large organizations is € 4 million. In SMEs it represents an average of € 40,000 with the aggravating factor that 60% of those who suffer the cyberattack close 6 months later.
We are all targets of cybercriminals.
Attackers are shifting the focus of technology to people, exploiting employee vulnerabilities and exploiting them with Social Engineering techniques.
Small errors produced by negligence or directly by falling into social engineering frauds, in general due to lack of awareness, can cause serious damage to the organization, lost profits due to production stoppage, affect the reputation and sanctions of regulators. In fact, a large part of the companies consulted admit that employees are their greatest weakness in terms of computer security, since their possible oversights put at risk the company’s computer security strategy. Consequently, it has never been more important to make cybersecurity awareness a priority.
Traditional programs of e-learning are not attractive and have proven ineffective in raising employee alertness and awareness.
However, creating an efficient and engaging security awareness campaign for participants can be challenging. Training can often prove boring and outdated, meaning it fails quickly rather than being considered a long-term commitment. Without a clear plan and defined objectives, awareness programs also fail to create a change in the culture of cybersecurity.
Tips for an efficient cybersecurity awareness program
- Tailor-made training. Hyperpersonlization
It is common to hear and read that employees are the weakest link, they can also be a great asset to any security team if they are given the right tools and trained correctly. Therefore, it is important not only to focus on the seemingly most critical threats, but also to train for all possibilities, so that our staff is informed and knows the best practices.
The most successful programs in information security awareness will take into account the needs of the audience when delivering security content adapting to each employee dynamically. This means providing training tailored to each person according to their needs.
When organizations launch this type of awareness and training program , they get people to act as human firewalls:
Chief Information Officer de GAM Soluciones
“The number of phishing alerts from the physical firewall is being equated with those reported by employees, our human firewalls.”
2. Frequency of training
For security awareness to take root within an organization, it is important to keep security as a priority. Cybersecurity awareness initiatives require more than just brief bursts of activity. To be truly effective, a training program with a minimum duration of twelve months is necessary, including policies, phishing simulations and e-learning throughout the year.
In this case, a monthly interaction periodicity is desirable, to avoid the effect of “forgetting” an annual course whose validity and above all its ability to keep the employee alert decreases every week.
3. Simulated phishing attacks
Phishing drills allow organizations to find out to what extent their company is susceptible to receiving fraudulent phishing emails and help identify staff in need of additional training. Controlled simulation testing will help employees recognize, avoid, and report potential threats that may jeopardize the security of their organization.
David Rodriguez, Smartick Technology Department:
“We have managed to reduce the number of human errors in simulated attacks from 67% to 14%. “
- Compelling content
According to Gartner reports, around 70% of business transformation efforts fail due to a lack of commitment. Telling users to be more vigilant when opening messages from unknown sources is not enough to protect them from today’s sophisticated threats. Instead, cybersecurity awareness should be engaging and informative to ensure that staff understand what is required of them and the importance of their role in protecting the organization’s sensitive data. Information pills in video and text format adapted to avoid an excessive investment of time, simulations of phishing attacks and confront employees with situations that allow them to self-evaluate their responses are the most effective resources to increase user awareness and compliance in an attractive way.
- Educate employees
Today there are many employees who are directly unaware of the devastating consequences that a data breach could have on their organization, including reputational damage, fines, and loss of customers. Educating staff about the risks is key to creating a shared sense of responsibility for the sensitive data they work with.
6. Mitigate the risk of exposed credentials
On many occasions, the services provided by third parties suffer security breaches that compromise the accounts and passwords of users. It is essential to know if the organization’s accounts have been part of a security breach as soon as possible and thus be able to take the appropriate measures to mitigate the risk.
Working individually with each employee this risk has multiple benefits. The immediate one is the mitigation of the exposure of the information (Email and password) that may be available online for cybercriminals to attack or impersonate them. Secondly, the impact on employee awareness activity of having a real, nominal case, i.e. with real accounts, significantly enhances the permeability to the message: we are all the object of cybercriminals..
7. Compliance. How to cover the requirements of the regulations
The compliance requirements of the different industry and government standards can demand a high degree of effort on the part of organizations and in many cases is a great challenge. The complexity involved means that we limit ourselves to meeting the requirement without taking into account the real background.
Virtually all safety-related regulations emphasize the importance of including people in managing risk. So it is essential to have solutions focused on the human element.
It is key to offer a cybersecurity awareness program focused on people and fully automated, which provides insights and risk reports on the human element, clearly indicates the evolution of the level of awareness and alertness of human teams, based on real data of the organization to comply with the global regulatory requirements of information security.
Kymatio specializes in creating the most comprehensive employee cyber risk management platform on the market, with regular alertness assessment, individualized cybersecurity awareness program, phishing simulations, and online credential search. Our services address directly, and with a new school approach, the specific challenges that arise from cyber threats to the human factor.