Start the year right by giving your staff cybersecurity training

Non-IT personnel tend to believe that leveraging antivirus software and having an IT department is enough to ward off cyberattacks. Such staff lack cybersecurity awareness and a sense of responsibility to protect the company, both of which are weaknesses that cybercriminals exploit. For instance, your staff might not know that merely opening a malicious email attachment could lead to a devastating ransomware attack that causes protracted downtime, lost sales and productivity, and damage to your company’s reputation.

Providing cybersecurity training for everyone — from the rank and file to the C-suite — is therefore crucial for the continued survival and success of your business. Here are two training options to consider.

Internal cybersecurity training programs

Your company’s IT department can develop and deliver in-house training programs that cover the basics of cybersecurity awareness, such as how to identify phishing emails, malicious websites, and other common attacks. Since this type of training is internally generated, your staff can tailor it specifically to your organization’s specific requirements. For instance, if you’re a healthcare provider, your cybersecurity training program can focus more on HIPAA compliance.

However, creating such programs internally can be time-consuming and expensive. Moreover, developing and implementing training modules are entirely different skills that your IT personnel may lack. To illustrate, they might attempt to create something comprehensive to cover as many cybersecurity topics as possible, but some topics may not be relevant to everyone in your organization. In addition, as technology changes so quickly, your IT team might end up constantly updating your training program to keep it relevant, which isn’t the best use of their time.

Third-party cybersecurity training programs

Alternatively, you can outsource your cybersecurity training needs to a third party. There are many reputable providers of cybersecurity training courses and programs, both online and in-person, which can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your business. These programs usually cover a wide range of topics, from cybersecurity basics to more advanced issues, such as encryption and malware, with a strong focus on practical tips that your employees can easily apply.

Some third-party programs are delivered via a web platform or an app for ease of access from anywhere at any time, whereas others use a combination of online lectures and face-to-face seminars. 

Cybersecurity training providers generally offer programs for two types of learners, namely general employees and cybersecurity personnel. These are the types of programs that are suited for non-IT employees:

  • Awareness-only programs – These programs are focused on increasing employees’ knowledge of cyberthreats they’re likely to face, such as phishing campaigns and business email compromise attacks. Awareness courses may span a few days and are usually updated as the cybersecurity landscape changes, so employees must continually take these throughout their tenure.
  • Intensive programs – Instead of spreading out the training over a period of time, companies may opt to dedicate an entire working day for in-person training. Generic programs are useful for onboarding employees or as refresher courses, while special courses better address the needs of particular employees. For instance, C-suite executives will benefit from programs that cover whale phishing. Unlike awareness-only programs, intensive training programs also include practical tests and simulations so that trainees can better apply their learnings.

Cybersecurity personnel, on the other hand, will naturally require much more in-depth training. 

  • Free training programs – For small businesses with fledgling IT teams, free training programs are a godsend. IT staff members who are interested in starting a career in cybersecurity can turn to places like Cybrary, an online cybersecurity professional development platform that offers role-based learning, hands-on training, and industry certification courses.
  • Paid certificate programs – A cybersecurity certificate program is designed to get IT employees up to speed on the latest cybersecurity threats and how to protect your business from these. Paid courses are for achieving higher levels of specialization that free courses don’t cover.

Whichever cybersecurity training program you choose, one thing is for sure: providing your employees with regular cybersecurity training is an investment that will pay in terms of sizable savings from avoiding adverse cybersecurity incidents. And to completely protect your business against cyberthreats, leverage NetWize’s IT security solutions. Reach out to us today to learn more.

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