Why is Security Awareness Education and Training Important?

Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Even with the significance of security awareness training, most employees regularly find themselves detached from security practices. In fact, webinars or training sessions offer information, but your workers may still feel as if security embodies an intangible issue that only increases their workload. Sadly, the same employees end up putting not only your company, but also their families and homes at risk of data breaches.

Why Are Security Awareness Education and Training Important?

Security training provisions ought to be included in the information security program agreed upon by your security committee. Individuals make up an organization’s foundation. When it comes to information security, the adage “knowledge is power” holds water. Only when individuals learn security awareness can they better secure both your company and themselves.

What Standards and Regulations Need a Security Awareness Training Policy?

Some regulations include security awareness training needs. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), all workforce members have to complete training, primarily on the company’s procedures and policies pertaining to personal health information (PHI). Also, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) calls for training in a bid to make sure that workers can identify and respond to attempts of identity theft and fraud, like pretext calling. On the other hand, the Federal Information Security Management Act needs such training to ensure that contractors, employees and anyone else utilizing information systems to support the agency ought to comprehend the employee responsibilities and security risks.

Aside from that, some industry standards feature in security awareness training. Formal training programs are necessary for the Payment Card Industry Security Data Standard (PCI-DSS) to help the personnel to be aware of the value of cardholder data. ISO/IEC 27002 also offers guidance that comes with a condition pertaining to the training on employee data security awareness. Lastly, NIST Special Publication 800-53 is a security standard that is utilized by federal agencies and includes training on the basics for responding to incidents and maintaining security.

What are the Main Security Awareness Training Topics?

The key premises of Information-Availability-Confidentiality (IAC) bring about security awareness training. For starters, employees have to understand that information consists of records and data stored in both computer systems and databases. What’s more, information security translates to the protection of such information to prevent anyone else from making changes.

After your training has broken down the information definition, as well as the importance of safeguarding it, you must make sure that employees are aware of the significance of availability. In this case (security), availability translates to the provision of information, cloud access, and systems to people who require using the data and keeping the data systems operational.

What is Customer Data?

Customer data is broken down into two categories: public information and private information. The former includes details like a person’s names. These details ought to be safeguarded separately from the latter, which includes information such as a person’s health insurance number or social security number. Details such as address may fall into either private or public information, but the category depends on how such information is presented to other parties by the customer.

What is Social Engineering?

Security awareness training also has to concentrate on the human aspect. Social engineering takes advantage of human vulnerabilities. People want to help fellow humans. Social engineering scams like malware or eavesdropping exploit this natural desire.

Security awareness training entails the act of teaching employees to learn how to take a moment to pause, think, and assess an issue before acting in order to maintain the safety of your workplace.

Empowering Workers with Security Awareness Training

Employees Control their Email Security

Since not all emails can be encrypted, employees sometimes require being gently reminded about the risk of information (which is sent unencrypted) being intercepted. For this reason, security awareness training empowers workers in an attempt of helping them realize that they cannot only protect their own interests, but also those of their customers.

Employees Control their Passwords

The information security community is gradually embracing the importance of passphrases as opposed to passwords. Currently, security professionals recommend phrases, which individuals can recall, instead of a combination of symbols, numbers, and numbers. Furthermore, employees have to be reminded to leverage multi-factor authentication.

Employees Control Their Browsing Techniques

Although the Internet can be considered a haven for information, it poses various dangers, such as trolling. Although employees may be in a position to spot work-inappropriate things, they may be tricked by phishing scams, which makes websites appear genuine or official. Empowering your employees and teaching them how to protect themselves is an ideal way of keeping them aware of security matters.

Author Bio

Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity’s success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT.

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