Factors for Implementing Successful and Effective Security Awareness Training
Employee engagement is a vital aspect when setting up an organization’s security training, but it is also one of the hardest to lose. People need to know why the training they are getting is relevant, why they need to continue to do it, and why they should be concerned about all this. If you do not have your users on board, then all the rest is pointless. On the flip side, just going that far without having help from higher-ups can be almost impossible, so you need to have management firmly involved in this matter.
With that in mind, here are ten critical factors to remember when conducting your own safety training. We will split them into two categories: for the employee and for the management.
Critical Factors for the Employee
How Does This Affect Me?
Trying to break through an organization’s primary defenses is typically not the best way to compromise a specific location or network, but all bets are off if a user lets them in. It’s important for users to understand that they are the soft target, and they need to consider their responsibilities. Whether this means “Do not pick up a random USB drive in the parking lot” or “Do not let the random pizza guy wander around the building by himself,” it’s important for everyone in the company to realize they’re playing a critical security position.
What’s in It for Me?
This question is one of the tougher ones on the list because you are asking users to switch from strategies they may have been using for a significant amount of time to strategies that, from their point of view, can do nothing helpful but make their tasks longer and more challenging. More so, the data protection courses they need to take can be time-consuming.
It will be crucial to have the full enthusiasm and understanding of your staff in making these big security improvements to avoid major problems down the line. Employees who never get a satisfying answer to the above-mentioned question could drag their heels on the implementation process, and that keeps everyone back.
Why is This So Complicated?
If a user is not at all comfortable with protection, moving into a high-security environment can be a huge change in their way of doing things. In circumstances like this, prior to deployment, you’ll want to work with your preferred vendors on solutions that are either automated or have limited actual impact on users.
Admittedly, these strategies will end up costing more, but that will be a matter for management to determine, and the time-saved benefits and higher rates of positive plan execution will easily outweigh the higher price tag.
Critical Factors for the Managers
Getting Assistance from Other Departments
Every effort to conduct training without the assistance of other heads of department may be doomed to failure. We have data protection courses to take, as well as deadlines and standards to follow. In the long run, if issues are going to take time and make things slower, we will push back hard. Nonetheless, with their help and understanding, this can be turned around fully and require considerably easier time and resources to be obtained.
You need to hold it once you have the attention of users. It means listening to the issues, solutions, and suggestions for policies and preparation that they are running into. You can bet there’s a lot more behind the scenes running into a question for every single person who brings it up without saying something. Users should carry this information to their heads of department, who can then pass it on to security if it is a valid concern.
Having a Deliverable
But most critical of all is being able to show proof that the improvements being put in place are having an impact. To prove that the company hasn’t lost time and money, providing data to show where you were before and where you are after implementation is needed. Moreover, if you ever have to do something like this again (spoiler: you can), getting this report will make things much easier in the next step of the process.