The Importance of a Cybersecurity Training Plan

NetgainCybersecurity & Compliance, Financial IT, Healthcare IT

Your employees are your greatest vulnerability when it comes to protecting your sensitive data. You can put all the technical safeguards and protocols in place to protect the back-end of your infrastructure, but it only takes one employee to make one mistake on one email to unravel the entire system.

That’s why regular cybersecurity training is so incredibly, incredibly important.

We frequently talk to organizations that tell us that they don’t have any formal cybersecurity training plans in place, or if they do, their cybersecurity training only happens as part of the employee onboarding process when they’re first hired. This is risky because at the rate at which the cybersecurity landscape evolves, a one-time cybersecurity training quickly becomes obsolete.

If you’re not regularly training employees on the latest attack methods, you’re equally responsible for any missteps that your employees take that jeopardize the organization. It’s your job to make sure that they’re equipped with the resources and knowledge to recognize and react to a cyberattack.

Cybersecurity training during employee onboarding? Mandatory.

Annual cybersecurity refreshers? Necessary.

Semi-annual security updates and reminders? Even better.

Quarterly briefings? Not required, but can prove valuable.

These trainings can come in many forms. They might be lunch-and-learns that your Security Officer hosts in which they walk employees through the latest updates (what better way to hype ransomware training than free lunch?). Or, you might opt for video training that is integrated into your organization’s electronic learning management system. Alternatively, you might require employees attend trainings and webinars conducted by your cybersecurity partner or other trusted industry resources. Since many webinars occur during lunchtime, you might think about having webinar “viewing parties” in a conference room where you bring lunch for the attendees.

Pro tip: make the trainings mandatory and require attendees to complete a quiz at the end of the training to ensure comprehension of the subject matter.

Find a cybersecurity training plan that works for your organization and map it out on the calendar so you don’t forget to keep up with the trainings. Your employees are your most valuable resource, but they’re also your greatest cybersecurity vulnerability, so don’t let cybersecurity training fall victim to busy workloads and higher priority initiatives.