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6 Reasons Why You Should Provide Cybersecurity Training for Employees

Risk Management / May 09 , 2024

How to Choose the Right Program for Your Business

No matter how many cybersecurity professionals your organization has on staff, guarding against data loss, breaches, and malware events is a shared responsibility across all departments. The best way to ensure employees understand this responsibility and take it seriously is by providing regular education. Effective cybersecurity training covers everything from regulatory expectations to protecting sensitive data to incident response planning. Here is what you need to know about choosing the right kind of training and simulations for your business.

Why is Cybersecurity Training Important for Businesses?

Cybersecurity training helps prepare employees for how to handle events that could lead to data loss, or worse, financial loss. Proper cybersecurity training is crucial for businesses for several reasons:

  1. Risk Reduction: Proper cybersecurity training helps employees recognize potential threats, such as phishing emails, malicious links, or suspicious attachments so they can take appropriate actions to mitigate them.
  2. Compliance and Regulations: Many industries have requirements related to data protection and cybersecurity. Proper training ensures that employees understand these regulations and can comply with them, avoiding potential legal repercussions and financial penalties.
  3. Protection of Confidential Information: Employees often have access to sensitive and confidential information. Cybersecurity training teaches them how to handle this information securely, reducing the risk of unauthorized access, data breaches, and leaks.
  4. Enhanced Security Posture: A well-trained workforce contributes to a stronger overall cybersecurity posture for the organization, and employees can act as an additional layer of defense against cyber threats, complementing technical security measures.
  5. Response Speed: Preparing employees for data loss incidents offers additional benefits by enabling quick response and mitigation, maintaining customer trust, ensuring compliance with reporting requirements, and driving continuous improvement in cybersecurity practices.
  6. Cost Savings: Effective cybersecurity training can result in cost savings for businesses by reducing the likelihood and impact of cyberattacks.

How to Choose the Right Cybersecurity Education and Training Programs for Your Business

Cybersecurity training programs come in many shapes and sizes. They can take place in-person to fully online, with varying degrees of flexibility and accessibility. If you’re struggling to determine what program is right for your organization, consider the following:

  • Define your training objectives and needs by identifying skill gaps.
  • Research available programs online. You can also look for recommendations, reviews, or referrals from colleagues.
  • Evaluate program content and curriculum for relevance, coverage, quality, and depth.
  • Consider training formats and delivery methods.
  • Check instructor qualifications and credentials.
  • Assess certification and accreditation. Some key recognized certifications include CISSP, CISM, CEH, CompTIA Security+, and others. Look for accreditation and endorsement by reputable industry organizations, associations, and institutions.
  • Evaluate cost and ROI. Conduct a cost-benefit analysis to ensure the program is a good value.

One potential training tool to explore is Cybersecurity Simulation Training.

Cybersecurity Simulation Training

Cybersecurity simulation training is a hands-on, interactive training approach designed to simulate real-world cyber attack scenarios in a controlled environment. The primary goal is to enhance the practical skills and readiness of cybersecurity professionals and employees to respond effectively to cyber threats and incidents. Some common types of training include:

  • Red Team vs. Blue Team: In these exercises, one team (Red Team) simulates cyber attackers attempting to infiltrate or compromise systems, while the other team (Blue Team) defends against the attacks.
  • Phishing Simulation: This involves simulating phishing attacks by sending fake phishing emails to employees to test their awareness and ability to recognize and avoid these scams.
  • Incident Response Simulation: Incident response focuses on simulating real-world cyber incidents, such as data breaches or malware infections, to test and improve the organization’s incident response.
  • Penetration Testing: While not strictly a training exercise, penetration testing involves simulating cyberattacks to identify vulnerabilities in the organization’s systems and infrastructure.

If you have cyber insurance, you can check to see if you already have access to resources like the ones detailed above. For example, the eRiskHub®, a cyber risk management platform powered by NetDiligence, is licensed by many major insurance carriers and allows cyber policyholders to work through simulated ransomware events, incident response tabletop exercises, and other realistic cyber incident scenarios to help prepare for a real cyber incident, should one occur.

Incident Response Training

Incident response training can and often should be included in general cybersecurity training programs. Incident response is a critical component of cybersecurity, focusing on the preparation for, detection of, and response to cybersecurity incidents. Integrating incident response training into general cybersecurity training ensures that individuals and teams are equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge, and procedures to effectively manage and mitigate cyber incidents and minimize their impact on the organization.

Using Incident Response Plans (IRP) to Support Employee Preparedness

An IRP plays a critical role in supporting employee preparedness for cybersecurity incidents by providing a structured framework for responding to security breaches and minimizing impact. It helps by establishing:

  • Clear roles and responsibilities for each employee involved in incident response. This ensures that everyone knows what they are expected to do during a cybersecurity incident, minimizing confusion and facilitating a coordinated response.
  • Training and awareness to educate employees about cybersecurity risks, common attack vectors, and how to recognize and respond to potential threats.
  • Incident identification and reporting procedures.
  • Response procedures for different types of cybersecurity incidents, such as data breaches, malware infections, or denial-of-service attacks.
  • Communication protocols to ensure that relevant stakeholders are informed promptly and accurately.
  • Containment and mitigation strategies, which may involve isolating affected systems, applying patches or updates, or implementing temporary security measures to prevent the spread of malware.
  • Evidence preservation, which is essential for forensic analysis and potential legal proceedings.
  • Post-incident review and improvement, with employee feedback and lessons learned from past incidents incorporated into the IRP to enhance preparedness for future cybersecurity events.

While it often goes overlooked, cybersecurity training is a critical piece of any well-rounded cyber risk management strategy. Moreover, it is an aspect that is typically within an organization’s control. Remember, a little preparation can go a long way, especially when preparing your staff to protect and defend against cybersecurity threats.

Does your organization have an actionable plan in place to quickly and efficiently respond to a cyber attack? If not, download a brochure to learn more about how Breach Plan Connect® from NetDiligence can help your organization develop a turnkey incident response plan in minutes, not months.


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