Why Cybersecurity Awareness is Critical
Phishing is the most common cyberattack because it’s easy to perform and it works. If a cyber threat actor sends out enough emails or makes one look sufficiently realistic, then someone within the organization will likely fall for it. Whether clicking a link, opening a malicious attachment, or handing over sensitive information, this accomplishes the attacker’s goals with minimal effort.
Phishing and other human-focused attacks are going to continue to target employees within an organization. To protect itself against these threats, organizations need cybersecurity awareness training that educates its employees about these threats and how to respond to suspected attacks.
The Common Cyber Threats Employees Need to Know
Cyber threat actors can use various techniques to target an organization’s employees and achieve their goals. Some of the leading threats that employees may face include:
- Phishing: Phishing is the most common human-focused attack where cyber threat actors attempt to trick, coerce, or bribe the target into taking some action that benefits the attacker. As the targets of these attacks, employees need to know how to identify a phishing attack and how best to respond to it.
- Social Engineering: Social engineering attacks go beyond phishing, including shoulder surfing, tailgating, impersonation, and other attacks. Employees need to know why it’s considered bad security to be polite and hold the door open for someone they don’t know.
- Ransomware: Ransomware has emerged as a major cyber threat to organizations as cyber threat actors capitalize on the success of attack campaigns and the large profits that ransomware can bring. Ransomware and other malware may be distributed via phishing messages, compromised accounts, and other attacks targeting employees, and an employee’s ability to recognize an attack and respond properly is essential to minimizing its impact on the business.
- Account Takeover: With the rise of remote work, cyber threat actors are increasingly taking advantage of compromised accounts and remote access solutions to gain access to corporate networks. Often, these attacks are made possible by employees’ use of weak, reused, or breached passwords, making account security a vital topic for cybersecurity awareness training.
- Mobile Devices: Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies and remote work mean that devices with access to sensitive corporate data and resources may be used outside of the organization or not controlled by it at all. Employees should be trained on device security best practices to protect against malware infections and other endpoint security threats.
Why Implement Cybersecurity Awareness Training for Employees?
By implementing a cybersecurity awareness program, an organization informs and educates employees about the cyber threats that they will face. Companies may start cybersecurity awareness training for various reasons, including:
- Improved Security: If employees know how to identify and respond to a phishing email or other attack, this reduces the probability that an organization will fall victim to a damaging and expensive attack.
- Cyber Risk Visibility: Cybersecurity awareness training provides an organization with a means of measuring its vulnerability to cyberattacks based on how employees respond to training. This risk visibility can help to inform strategic planning and security investments.
- Regulatory Compliance: Companies are subject to a growing number of regulations, and security awareness training is a common requirement. Implementing a cybersecurity awareness training program may be essential for compliance with regulatory requirements.
Types of Cybersecurity Awareness Programs
Organizations can train their employees by implementing different types of cybersecurity awareness programs, including:
- Security Awareness Training: General security awareness training provides employees with information about the threats that they might face and how to address them. For example, awareness training may explain best practices for password and mobile device security or how to identify and respond to a suspected ransomware infection.
- Phishing Simulations: Hands-on experience is the best way for employees to learn how to identify and respond to certain threats, such as phishing attacks. Phishing simulations emulate the latest phishing threats, giving employees experience in identifying these attacks and providing organizations with the ability to perform more targeted training based on employees’ needs.
Cyber Security Awareness Training with Check Point
Check Point has deep visibility into the leading attacks and techniques that cyber threat actors use in their attack campaigns. Check Point SmartAwareness uses this insight to develop targeted, personalized anti-phishing and security awareness training that engages employees and delivers relevant training to the employees that need it the most. Learn more about making your security awareness timely, engaging, and relevant with a free SmartAwareness demo.