With all the recent news about high-profile data breaches, phishing and ransomware attacks, it's never been more important to make sure that each and every employee at your small business is well-schooled on how to avoid cybersecurity threats and adhere to digital hygiene best practices.
And if your small business is subject to regulatory compliance mandates like Sarbanes-Oxley or HIPAA, you may be required to get employees trained on cybersecurity awareness issues as soon as possible.
Whatever the reason, it's always a good idea to make sure your employees are doing everything they can to protect sensitive company information. Depending on your budget, online or in-house security training sessions may be the way to go. But you can also raise awareness by getting creative – maybe by hanging some posters and setting aside some time for people to get together and discuss cybersecurity issues.
“Security awareness training is almost always one of the most important things that any organization of any size can do to improve its security," says Chris Doggett, Senior Vice President of Global Sales at Carbonite and former Chief Executive of the North American Division of Kaspersky Lab, a prestigious IT security company. "More often than not, people fall for the oldest hacking tool in the book: the confidence trick. But you can easily close this vulnerability by training people on how to avoid becoming victims."
Here's a quick look at a few organizations that offer security training and awareness resources for your small business:
Wombat Security Technologies
I'm particularly familiar with Wombat because I recently competed their training course here at Carbonite. Wombat's web-based security education platform teaches users about security best practices and then tests them on what they've learned. During the tests, the user is presented with a fictional situation and then quizzed on the correct security precautions to take. If the user fails – or thinks they could have performed better – they can always go back to the beginning and start again.
Wombat training is broken down into several modules that cover specific topics including Safer Web Browsing, Social Engineering, Security Essentials, Safe Social Networks, Mobile Device Security, Email Security and more. Companies can customize the training by choosing the security modules that are most relevant to their business. Here's one example of what your employees might see when they first login to Wombat security training:
In addition to online training courses on a variety of security topics, Native Intelligence offers on-site training presentations with colorful titles like "Tales from the CryptoLocker," "Seven Secrets of Security Awareness" and "Constructive Rudeness: Defense Against the Dark Art of Social Engineering."
The company also offers email newsletters, daily tips and security awareness posters, which are a great way to promote security awareness on a limited budget. Native Intelligence regularly updates its materials and all items can be customized and branded with your company's logo.
Native Intelligence also has a selection of free security resources, including posters. Here are a few examples:
U.S. Small Business Administration
Another great choice for companies with limited training budgets is a The U.S. Small Business Administration, which offers a free cybersecurity course for small businesses.
The 30-minute, self-paced training course is sure to get your employees thinking about the importance of guarding against cybersecurity threats. Topics covered include general cybersecurity best practices, risk management, identifying types of information that should be secured and identifying different types of cyberthreats.
Want to learn more? Check out this list of 18 online security resources for small businesses.
Ready to start protecting your business data from ransomware and other malicious computer viruses? Start your free trial of Carbonite Office today!