What is the significance of having a robust security awareness framework?
A significant number of employers make the mistake of thinking that only the IT department personnel or security officers are in charge of information security. Do you know that carelessness of a single employee from any departmental unit of your company can open the door of opportunity for hackers to gain control of sensitive data, personal information or steal company’s fund? This is why it is essential that every employee should be aware of company security.
Implementing a security awareness policy will enable you to impose security responsibilities on every employee.
What is Security Awareness? Workplace Security Awareness is a proactive approach to ward off the dangers of online or offline threats. A policy or framework establishes the constituents of your vital information, its protection from internal and external threats, provides safety guides and stipulates steps to adopt during an emergency circumstance. You can enhance the security and safety of your business, workforce, and customers by implementing workplace security awareness.
To implement a workplace security awareness framework or policy, provision of adequate security awareness orientation and training policy for employees is non-negotiable. You will need to develop a template that each worker can adapt.
Constituents of a Security Awareness Training
A lot of employees find training a boring adventure. If you are not planning to overburden your staff with a set of rules, you can devise various ways to deliver information. Examples are through videos, e-mails, memos, posters, notices, computer-based training, etc. It is vital to repeat the information in various means of communication.
Implementation of Security Awareness Policy
Application of security awareness training should be made at various levels: General training for all employees, intermediate awareness for decision makers and leaders, and in-depth awareness for specialized employees and IT personnel such as procurement and accounting workers.
Security Awareness Template
The awareness training template should cover these issues:
- 1. How to use password and policy relating to password length and its validity
- 2. What are the constituents of sensitive data
- 3. How to maintain a workplace
- 4. How to deal with e-mails containing suspicious links.
- 5. The access policy for internet and email.
- 6. How to store and dispose of paper-based data.
- 7. Physical Security
- 8. How to avoid malicious software
- 9. Awareness of Social Engineering
- 10. You need to do in emergencies.
- 11. Threats of unauthorized access, etc.
Policy on security awareness training for managers assumes that managers are conversant with the effects of a data breach. This understanding will make them adopt the necessary steps to prevent risks and pass down security policy to those under them.
Policy on security awareness for specialists in the organization will be different. This depends on their roles in the organization. For instance, system administrators will pass through training on the best approach on system configuration safely and securely; application developers should be trained on their responsibility towards the security of the company. They need to ensure the safety of coding, be conversant with threats and countermeasures that are working.etc.
To implement the security awareness policy, it can be developed in collaboration with the department responsible for security information or adopt a template on security awareness suitable for your organization’s needs.
Security should be prioritized by every company these days. It must be enforced, and every employee should be made to understand the security principles. Protecting your business against possible threats can be a great benefit than not doing so.
Who Should Participate in Workplace Security Training?
A program will be advantageous to any organization no matter its size and operations. Real life scenarios indicate that small businesses are more prone to threats than established ones. The reason for this being the absence of infrastructure which the large companies ( like security specialists and budget allocated to take care of security issues and emergency, etc.) have.
A lot of small business owners often think that hackers target big companies, not knowing that most of the cyber attacks are aimed at small companies. A recent report shows that small-scale businesses are more prone to cyber attack and fraud than the established ones.
A 2016 State of SMB report on cybersecurity shows that 14 million attacks by hackers in the United States were aimed at small-scale businesses.
Workplace Security Awareness and Physical Security
The most common threat encountered by companies is unauthorized access and security. In most cases, an unguided visitor may be less harmful to an organization than a fraudulent employee in charge of sensitive information. Data loss or leakage can cause financial damage, identity theft or disclosure of sensitive data.
Thus, it is vital to establish a framework relating to access control as a component of a security awareness program.
Let’s consider these scenarios:
- 1. How do you identify a visitor?
- 2. What means are employed in controlling entrances and doors?
- 3. How many employees can access confidential data?
- 4. Is a sophisticated security framework relevant or general access cards are enough?
- 5. Should workers have access control of various level based on their job descriptions in the organization?
- 6. Do personnel understand how to respond during an emergency( like burglary, loitering, etc.?)
These questions ought to assist in improving physical security, establish a policy on access control that every worker be trained on during the workplace security training.
What are the Benefits Derivable after Implementing a Security Awareness Program?
By implementing a security awareness program, your company:
- 1. will be aware of both physical and cyber-risks
- 2. will be able to analyze possible threats
- 3. identify loopholes in your security system.
- 4. establish a culture of security in the work environment
- 5. select a proactive instead of a reactive method to security.
Top Security Awareness Hacks
1. Never sell yourself short
Forensic experts have established that many victims were naive to consider themselves as insignificant as a victim. Thus, they fail to take precautionary approaches to secure their devices. Everyone needs to know that we are all prone to hackers.
2. Prioritize password management
Prioritizing the management of your password cannot be considered expendable. Setting and generation of password, then maintaining, storing, updating of passwords should be religiously practiced at both individual and corporate levels.
3. Do not abandon your gadgets unattended or unlocked.
Whether it is a laptop or a mobile device, our electronic gadgets contain personal information that can be used to tarnish our image if got in the wrong hands. Never leave your device unattended or unlocked everywhere you go.
4. Apply caution while opening attachments and clicking links in emails.
Phishing has become a significant threat to a lot of people. Always be extra careful before opening links or attachments sent by a third party or from an untrusted source. If it does not look legitimate, there is a possibility it might not be.
5. Adopt VPN connections
VPN clients or proxy networks can be very helpful in safeguarding you from cyber threats.
6. Update your apps always.
A lot of us are lazy when it comes to some salient issues like updating applications to obtain a new patch.
Do not postpone a critical update, as they are released to remove bugs from previous versions of the application.
7. Avoid using the same password twice or on separate accounts.
Are you guilty of this? Convenience is cheap, but the consequences are always grievous. Don’t use a passcode you already applied on the previous account. For instance, if a hacker has gained access to your facebook having cracked its password, it can access all your social media accounts and your email.
8. Understanding what you are downloading and its source.
Ensure you are downloading contents from a credible source or official websites. Endeavor to verify the authenticity of a web page. Malware is usually designed to trick prospective victims, and you may be unaware when it hits you if you are not cautious.
9. Antivirus Software
You should install anti-virus on your devices and gadgets. Ensure you also update those apps. You are vulnerable to cyber-attack if you don’t install anti-virus apps on your devices.
10. Trust nobody
Trust no one on the internet. Anybody can send you a phishing link.
11. Maintain backups
Establish the creation of backups periodically. It could be daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly. Don’t you ever think you will not need a backup as accidents or catastrophes can occur at any time to anyone?
12. Don’t browse without being sensitive on a stranger’s device.
Sensitivity will require you don’t do shopping or financial transactions on devices not owned by you. These should be carried out on your own devices. Do not risk your sensitive data by carrying out an essential transaction on a public device or friend’s gadget.
13. Control your posts on social media.
An adage says,” whatever occurs online stays online.” Thus, mind what you upload on the internet. Even if you delete that post or you deactivate your account, those contents are irretrievable and can be employed to tarnish your reputation.
14. Don’t get victimized by social engineering
One of the sleekest means of hacking something or someone is social engineering. It is a way of manipulating someone psychologically to reveal sensitive information or implement a specific task. Before you publish your details to anyone, ensure you can verify their credibility.
15. Participate in security awareness programs
You can never be too aware of security. If you get wind of any pro-bono data security workshop or seminar near you or on online, try to attend.
– Always remember that security awareness is a progressive endeavor.
– Establish internal procedure, corporate security, and control policies and then adapt these based on specific situations as threats are also dynamic.
– Though threats cannot be predicted but implementing security awareness training will heighten the chances of safeguarding corporate assets and your entire workforce from a dangerous situation.
Why is security awareness training relevant to your organization? Security awareness training is important as it helps in teaching every member of the organizations the risks and threats that are incessantly evolving globally, and how they can develop countermeasures to protect the corporate assets against cyber-threats, and adopt security processes every time.
What is the meaning of security awareness? Security awareness is the knowledge, skills, and attitudes possessed by every member of a corporate entity in protecting the overall corporate asset.
What is the purpose of security awareness training? Security awareness is important in reducing security breaches and hack that happened as a result of the worker’s security negligence in the workplace.