Do Your Users Make the Grade? 

September 11th, 2019

It may be back-to-school season, but it’s far from back-to-business: you’ve been hard at work all summer working on your customers’ networks, managing their updates, and helping improve their cybersecurity posture.

While it’s important to pay attention to the programs, software, and hardware you have in place, the educated provider knows that there’s more to cybersecurity than just technology. Back-to-school season is a great reminder as to the importance of end-user education and training in cybersecurity.

Don’t Get Schooled

While you may be working hard to protect your customers’ businesses, systems, and data, if you’re not training their employees to protect the business as well, you’re missing a crucial course in effective cybersecurity.

Humans are often dubbed the “weakest link” when it comes to cybersecurity. Even with the most advanced technology, a small slip-up by an employee can cause big problems for your customers. The good news is that cybersecurity can be learned, and basic employee education can go a long way towards preventing an incident.

A cyberattack can target anyone, so that’s why all your customers’ employees should participate in training – from the CEO to the intern. Even employees who don’t regularly use computers should be trained on physical security and protection of sensitive data.

Statistics 101

The argument for education isn’t just theoretical. Here are a couple of eye-opening statistics showcasing the value of training:

  • To err is human. Nearly half (49%) of data breaches are caused by human error, and 90% of data breaches and cybersecurity incidents include a phishing component.
  • Bad habits die hard. 51% of people admit to reusing passwords across business and personal accounts, and 55% of people do not use two-factor authentication at work.
  • Education makes a difference. 90% of cyber experts state that increased employee training has reduced the number of disruptive cybersecurity incidents.

Think about that for a minute: how many breaches could be prevented with a little training?

Building Your Syllabus

While it’s tough to prepare for everything, a little awareness goes a long way in helping to strengthen your customers’ cybersecurity knowledge level and posture. Here are a few training steps to consider working through with your customers:

1. Start With the Basics

2. Practice Makes Progress

  • Cover how to recognize, handle, and share sensitive data
  • Work with management to deploy and train to the Technology and Data Use Policy
  • Teach employees and management to recognize and prevent the insider threat

3. Refresh and Test

  • Emphasize the importance of maintaining an ongoing, strong posture (i.e. like your health)
  • Train employees regularly to keep cybersecurity top-of-mind
  • Deploy and monitor phishing simulations to keep employees on their toes and measure learning

While it’s impossible to train for every situation, regular and relevant employee education is simple to employ and an important part of cybersecurity that reduces your customers’ risk. Help keep your customers ahead of the curve, and the attackers, with an A+ in awareness and attitude.

Stay Safe,

Your Friends @ Defendify

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