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Threat Intelligence

4/17/2019
09:00 AM
Jai Vijayan
Jai Vijayan
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7 Tips for an Effective Employee Security Awareness Program

Breaches and compliance requirements have heightened the need for continuous and effective employee training, security experts say.
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Employee security awareness training programs have become a necessity for organizations in recent years because of the high percentage of data breaches caused by careless and negligent workers.

Phishing, in particular, continues to be a top attack vector because of the success threat actors have in tricking employees into downloading malware on their systems or following links to malicious sites. Many data breaches are also the result of poor employee password security habits and the failure to follow enterprise policies for data access, use, sharing, and storage.

In fact, negligent employees are one of the highest security risks for organizations in the US and elsewhere, according to a 2018 study by Shred-It. Eighty-four percent of C-suites and 51% of small-business owners described such employees as their biggest security problem. Ninety-six percent of Americans hold negligent employees as least partly to blame for data breaches at major US companies.

"While data breaches that grab headlines are often perpetrated by external threats, at least half of all security breaches are carried out by insiders," says Chris Olson, CEO of The Media Trust. This can include malicious insiders, negligent employees, and third parties with access to the enterprise network.

But breaches are not the only reason for employee training. Many regulations, including PCI and HIPAA, mandate regular employee security awareness training. While requirements for such training can vary, the goal is to ensure companies take measures to address risks posed by employees and other insiders with trusted access to enterprise networks and assets.

Here, experts share some of the key attributes that make up an effective employee security awareness training program.

 

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio

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REISEN1955
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REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
4/17/2019 | 10:36:38 AM
On training
It is amazing how many security breach issues are directly related to phishing.  Employees should know better by now but they still click on that invoice for something they never bought or an email from the chairman asking 5 min of their time.  Mis-spellings too.  All these are dead give-away signs that they ignore.  My rule: if you don't need it, don't read it, delete it.  Works fine.  Showing staff how complex and persistent threats are is great - stun and awe them.  And make learning fun - get pizza for a training session and jokes too.  You have to make it a smile event so they remember it.  And they HAVE TO REMEMBER it.  Office and home use too.    Humor - I toss in puzzle problems too.  Here are two great ones.

 5 US Presidents had last names that began with the letter H.  Name them.

 3 words ONLY begin with DW in the English language.  They are?

Users can be just curious.  I had one actuary (read that man with zero life) get the infamous Anna Kournikovia picture virus.  I confirmed that and then moron starts to move his mouse TO THE PICTURE.  If you click that i will terminate IT support for you for ever going foward!!!   And he said " then I shouldn't click it?"    EGAD they just want to see what it DOES!!!!    Curiosity killed the cat and data set. 
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