Cybersecurity Training for Employees

Topics: Cyber Liability

Summary: How do you train for cybersecurity? Cybersecurity training for employees should be robust and ongoing to help ensure small businesses avoid a data breach. In this article, we explain how to educate employees on cybersecurity awareness.

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time; however, when it comes to preventing a data breach at a small or mid-sized business, employers and employees should strive to be error-free and as knowledgeable as possible about cybersecurity. Whil cyber liability insurance can help companies safeguard themselves against loss and damage from cyber attacks, it's vital that businesses implement a cybersecurity training program to ensure best practices for security are firmly in place - and keep everyone in the compnay updated on security policies at all times. 

The Importance of Cybersecurity Training and Awareness

Early detection of a data breach is critical for saving a company’s credibility, reputation and thousands of dollars in damages. One of the first steps in data breach prevention is recognizing some of the early warning signs so it can be caught before the real damage is done.

Cybersecurity training for employees is not a once-and-done situation. However, many companies may educate new employees on cybersecurity policies, then perhaps roll out an annual training program and leave it at that. Businesses should consider doing more to ensure all employees are consistently updated about any potential security vulnerabilities, as well as how to recognize them and avoid them. A robust cybersecurity training program's investment is a small price to pay when compared to what a data breach could cost the organization.

Additionally, many businesses have adjusted to a remote workforce throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to an increased risk for cyber attacks. Remote workers often lack proper cybersecurity training and may be unaware of the potential threats they face daily. Some employees may use unsecured Wi-Fi networks and personal laptops, two risky behaviors that could leave them vulnerable to a cybersecurity attack. It's critical that all employees, even though working remotely, go through proper and regular cybersecurity training.

How Do You Train for Cybersecurity?

According to a report from Infosecurity Magazine, 40% of data breaches are attributed to hackers with malicious intent. The other 60%? Human error or system failure. A cyber attack occurs every 39 seconds.

Here are five cybersecurity tips for employees to help ensure they clearly understand not only the security policies of the organization, but also the potential risks associated with a data breach:
  1. Get the C-suite involved. It’s important that upper-level employees also understand the importance of a strong cybersecurity training program, as they typically are responsible for designating the budget of such programs. All employees should understand the implications a data breach could cause the organization.
  2. Require strong passwords. All employees should understand how to create strong passwords for the systems they access daily. In fact, secure passwords are often the first step in safeguarding sensitive data. Some of the best practices for passwords include using a mix of characters, numbers and letters, never sharing passwords among employees and avoiding keeping passwords out where others may see them.
  3. Implement cybersecurity drills. A cybersecurity “drill” or “live fire” training exercise allows employers to fully understand how educated their employees are when it comes to avoiding a data breach. For example, some companies utilize simulated phishing scams by sending out emails to see how many individuals open or click on attachments.
  4. Consistently evaluate vulnerabilities. Companies should understand exactly how vulnerable the organization may be to a cybersecurity attack. This means evaluating both the systems and the employees who utilize them regularly to monitor any potential weaknesses.
  5. Keep the lines of communication open. The organization should communicate their cybersecurity policies throughout the organization, and there should be regular training procedures to keep all employees aligned on best practices. Additionally, all employees should understand the company’s data breach response plan to ensure the proper steps are implemented immediately should they suffer a cybersecurity attack.

Ensure Your Clients Are Covered with Cyber Insurance

Cyber insurance policies from AmTrustCyber can help protect small businesses from some of the costs associated with a variety of cybersecurity attacks. Appointed agents can customize policies and coverage options to meet clients' individual needs, helping policyholders avoid the real costs of a data breach.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.

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