So, you've decided that you want to invest in a security awareness platform for your client. But what key elements should an ideal security awareness platform have?
How is poor security awareness affecting your client's businesses?
Any employees who are not aware of their security obligations are prone to ignore relevant policies and procedures in the work place. This could then lead to unintentional data breaches.
-Cyber threats are evolving
The reason for the cyber security threat landscape growing is due to the increase of new technology constantly being produced. Even though technology benefits us in many ways it also opens up the opportunity for cyber crime.
For businesses to minimise their risk of data security breaches, their employees need to be constantly vigilant of the differing types of cyber threats that they can face and how know how to defeat them.
-Security awareness is not seen as a priority
Companies have a bad habit of relying firewalls and anti virus programs to stop cyber security attacks. The problem is devices aren't the main target for cyber criminals... it's the employees.
Most companies are actually aware of security awareness but are reluctant to implementing the training because it can be difficult to measure the success of the training.
-Technology is evolving
In the past decade technology has changed the way businesses carry out their day to day work. The automation of of almost everything in the business world and digital connectivity has led to the increase of cyber security threats.
As well as technology, tools such as phishing kits have grown in demand sophistication. This makes it a lot easier for cyber criminals to conduct attacks as well as selling these kits to other criminals.
-Data breaches are becoming more common
Data is the core of any company, its their most valuable asset. In 2018 data breaches increased to 1,244 per year, unlike 2005 where it was just 157. Data breaches are not only common, they're also extremely expensive to recover from.
The problem with data breaches is they can occur in many forms. There are two ways data breaches can occur. External threats, refers to data breaches that are caused by cyber criminals or third parties. Then there are insider threats, which are caused by someone or something inside the organisation.
Here are some of the most common external and internal cyber threats:
Cyber criminals (using methods such as malware, phishing, social engineering and ransomware.)
Disgruntled former employees (stealing or leaking sensitive data)
Third party suppliers who do not follow cyber security best practices (In this situation breaches may occur by accident or deliberate actions)
Careless employees who disregard cyber security best practices
Employees who lack security awareness and are untrained
Device or software failures that might lead to data being corrupted or inaccessible
Disgruntled employees or malicious employees stealing, destroying or leaking data
Similar read: How to succeed after a data breach
-Relying upon a single classroom training exercise
Some companies will rely on once a year classroom training to protect themselves from cyber security attacks. The problem with classroom based training is the lack of personalisation to the individual.
With everyone taking part in the same training, it is difficult to gauge whether everyone is actually taking in the information and learning from it. Where as a security awareness platform can allow you as an MSP to check the progress of each individuals progress, as well as the company. As well as classroom training not being as effective as using a platform, it can be more costly.
There are many security awareness platforms out there, but choosing the best one to invest in can be difficult. We've put together a list of the 6 important features to look out for when deciding on the best security awareness platform for your clients.
1. A simple yet effective program
Cyber security is an increasingly big concern for companies all over the world. Cyber criminals have changed their tactics and are increasingly preferring to target employees as a way to gain access into company networks. Cyber security awareness is not the most interesting subject for employees. This is why you need to find your company a security awareness program that educates employees on cyber threats in an effective yet simple way; so they can utilise the knowledge they have gained from the training if an attack ever occurred.
A platform that is complicated and ineffective is a waste of time. The ideal platform should be easy to use and successful for you as an MSP but also for the employees who are taking the training.
2. User- Tailored Training
Human error accounts for 2/3 of data breaches.
With human error threats higher than ever, any business with employees has something to worry about. Employees need to be educated on cyber threats and the best practices of mitigating the threats. An ideal security awareness program should be tailored to end-users, after all, they are the main targets for cyber criminals.
The security awareness platform should not only be tailored to end users, but also individuals. The problem with 'one size fits all' training is that regardless of the different roles in the business, every employee receives the same training.
Did you know...
7 in 10 employees lack the awareness to prevent cyber security incidents from happening.
A one dimensional approach to security awareness training will prevent employees from having the knowledge to mitigate and detect potential cyber threats. Not every employee in a business deals with the same devices, data and people.
Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, a good security awareness program will use a gap analysis to locate each individuals strength and weaknesses, with this information the security awareness program will then filter the training to suit each employee. For example, an employee who lacks knowledge of phishing, but understands social engineering will receive training on phishing first to fill any knowledge gaps, then will later receive the social engineering module to maintain their knowledge of the topic.
3. Measures Effectiveness
It's all well and good having a platform that trains end-users on cyber threats, but seeing it work is the most important part.
A security awareness program should track the progress of employees for your benefit and theirs. This will allow a business to spot any potential trends and locate areas that need more work. Using soft reminders such as posters, newsletters and quiz's can enhance the retention of cyber security knowledge.
When you can show measurable improvements in the training you can better justify as an MSP that the training is working. An ideal security awareness program will have a custom dashboard to allow you to locate and track progress as well as being able to easily analyse each end users progression and track which courses employees have and haven't taken.
Did you know...
"By 2020 there will be roughly 200 billion connected devices".
4. Full support
When investing in a security awareness program, having support is essential to get the most out of the platform. A security awareness platform should off sales and technical support on how to use the platform as well as utilising it as much as possible.
For example, usecure offers free user guides of how to navigate around the platform, enrol users on the course and how to track progress and maximise your ROI.
If you would like to learn more about our security awareness platform we have a free product overview.
5. Uses a variety of tools
Rather than just enrolling end users onto security awareness training, using a variety of tools along side the training can enhance the intake of information and improve knowledge on various aspects of security awareness.
Phishing simulations are a great way to assess the maturity of your company regarding its security awareness. Simulations will provide you with data of which employees have been baited by the phishing email by clicking on the corresponding link or attachments.
With phishing being the "go to" method of gaining access to a business's data it is important for employees to understand how dangerous these threats are and what are the best practices to prevent them. Much like holding regular fire drills to prepare everyone for an emergency it's prudent to simulate phishing attempts on staff to keep them on their toes.
As mentioned previously, a security awareness program should allow you to analyse data through the means of a report. A custom report dashboard is great way of tracking progress and any potential areas that need work. As an MSP you want to see if the training you have invested in is actually working, a custom report dashboard will do this for you.
Another great tool is a gap analysis, this allows the training to be tailored to each individual in the business. Therefore, making the most of their training, and learning the best methods to prevent cyber attacks.
Having a security awareness program that uses these tools along side the training will help build a strong security culture. The cyber security landscape is evolving faster than ever, its now time for businesses to start taking security seriously and implementing the best methods to ensure your business is safe from cyber threats.
6. Relevant and bite-sized modules
The reality is not many people actually care about security, this is why the training employees take needs to be creative and engaging. As an MSP you want the end-users to enjoy the training but actually retain the information.
A good security awareness program highlights the importance of information security and introduces the information security policies and procedures in a simple and effective way. Training staff through the means of bite-sized modules offers a promising antidote to boredom, by increasing the end users engagement.
Bite-size modules are easier to digest, understand and remember. Bite size modules help MSP's and companies get the most out of their training through minimal input.
When looking for the best security awareness program to invest in, bare these 6 points in mind. Doing so will allow you to educate employees on the many dangers online and how they properly identify them before the unthinkable happens.
Another key element of a great security awareness platform will drive high value revenue with exceptional margins.