Assuming that your company has the appropriate baseline cyber security safeguards in place, the greatest threat to your data security is likely social engineering attacks—where fraudsters prey on the human instinct to trust in order to trick your employees into giving up access to information or funds. The most common social engineering attacks come in the form of phishing emails. And, unfortunately, these have a huge impact on business security; researchers estimate that around 91% of cyber attacks begin with a phishing email.
Why Cyber Security Training Is Essential
While tools like SPAM filters keep a majority of the phishing campaigns in the wild from reaching your employees, it’s inevitable that, even with the best tools, your employees will still see fraudulent emails from time to time. It’s critical, then, that in these cases, your employees have the awareness and the know-how to spot potential scams and avoid falling for them. That’s why we recommend that all companies train their employees regularly on the kinds of threats that exist, how to spot them, and what to do (and not do) when they encounter them.
Of course, this kind of training involves an investment—usually in terms of both time (it’s expensive to gather all of your employees together, pulling them away from their posts during the workday) and expertise (someone has to be qualified to do the training). While it is critical to have an IT professional train your employees in person from time to time, there are additional ways to boost your team’s awareness.
Tools to Boost Phishing Awareness and Protect Your Data
One option companies have is to use cyber security training software. While there are a number of options on the market, each of which with its own feature sets, there are two main features to look for:
Simulated phishing campaigns: The capability to send your team fake fraudulent emails, and keep track of how many opens, clicks, and data entries they make on them.
Virtual training modules: Videos and documents disseminated through email for employees to complete on their own time.
These two tools are best used in tandem. It’s an interesting exercise to send employees fake phishing messages, and then report back to them how they did on avoiding them—not to shame them, but to help boost their awareness. It’s always a wake-up call to know that you fell for what could have been a dangerous scam. Then, disseminating virtual training modules is much more effective; once they know they can be fooled, they’ll be all the more motivated to learn how to avoid being fooled the next time.
And, of course, these tools are even more effective when used as a supplement to in-person cyber security training, where employees can hear the information from a live person and, most importantly, where they can ask questions of a technology expert. Combining simulated phishing campaigns, virtual training modules, and in-person cyber security training can help make your team a cyber-savvy one, thus reducing the risk that they will fall for one of the most dangerous tools in a cyber-criminal’s toolbelt.
Interested in Cyber Security Training for Your Workforce?
Cyber Security has always been one of Affinity’s key concerns in providing a full-service outsourced IT department to clients across the Greater Nashville area. Cyber Security training tools are just one of the ways that our Complete Care partners enjoy peace of mind in knowing that their data is secure. Interested in learning more? Book a conversation with one of our technology consultants today.