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Secure Your Employees, Secure Your Network

Image of Cindy Farmer
Cindy Farmer

Considered a high attack vector, employee email inboxes can be your company's most vulnerable point of attack. Ensuring that employees have the know-how to defend your organization against threats is a critical part of a healthy security program. And to meet regulatory requirements to comply with government and industry regulations; such as, HIPPA and OSHA, companies must provide employee security awareness training.

According to Osterman Research, Inc., most companies report that they have experienced attacks from ransomware, malware or hackers because an employee clicked on a phishing link or attachment. Still, employee training remains inadequate at a typical maximum of once per year, and in some cases, is non-existent. Successful hackers know the end-user is the weakest link in an organizations' cybersecurity battle. And they know that phishing emails, weak passwords, fake tech support calls and ransomware are efficient ways to access confidential company data.

Security awareness training is key to helping organizations avoid cyber attacks.

To ensure that your organization is protected, conduct employee security awareness training so that they understand how important security is. By establishing clear rules about secure email usage, the risks of clicking on suspicious links and using unique passwords, the better prepared they will be in keeping your network safe.

Security awareness training can be conducted in a classroom setting or in a self-paced online webinar. Visual cues; such as, posters can serve as helpful reminders of the program. Additionally, conducting phishing tests will serve as a gauge as to how well your training program is working.

Companies must foster a culture in which everyone understands, respects and keeps security top of mind.

Lastly, security awareness training is not a one-and-done exercise. Conduct it yearly (if not more often) so that everyone, including new hires, gets the same information and learns to protect the company network.

What should be covered in a security awareness training?

  • Email phishing, suspicious phone calls requesting sensitive information and password usage
  • Physical security of data, guest badges and using drawer locks
  • Desktop security including computer/laptop shutdown requirements and unauthorized access
  • Wireless network access and malware

Security Awareness Training Tips:

  • Have a formal, documented plan for cybersecurity training. Review and update it often with the latest information on attack methods.
  • As part of your onboarding process, make cybersecurity training an important topic covered with all new employees.
  • Send dummy phishing attacks to employees, which allows you to see if employees are clicking on the bad stuff.
  • Reward employees who pass simulated tests and retrain those who need further reinforcement.

Because they store critical data and their ability to pay large ransom payments, businesses will remain the primary target for ransomware, malware and phishing attacks. Organizations that train their employees and have guidelines in place to deal with cyber threats actually do encounter less security attacks. By simply educating employees, your organization can dramatically reduce risk and improve security confidence.

In addition to the right tools, like the latest technologies and security solutions, it takes everyone on your entire team's help and cooperation to stay vigilant. Ready to create a plan to educate your employees on cyber security and how they can help fight cybercrime? At ProActive Information Management, we have the tools to help keep your network safe. Contact us at


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