Cybersecurity is one of the biggest challenges for businesses across the UK. According to statistics, there is an attempted cyber-attack on a small business every 19 seconds in the UK. And of the 65,000 attempted attacks in a day, about 4,500 of them are successful.
Fortunately, the UK leads the way when it comes to security. According to data, a larger proportion of businesses within Germany, France and Italy have suffered from an attack in the past twelve months.
Employees can be the weak link in IT security
While a lot of the focus is on the environment of the IT system as the problem, the truth is that employees are the most likely cause for a security breach, which is often unintentional. In most cases, a security breach within the UK is a result of a phishing attempt. About half of the attacks within the UK involve phishing, which is 20% above the European average. According to statistics, about 1 in 3,722 emails received in the UK is a phishing email. This is actually not that high. The figure is about six times higher in Saudi Arabia and 1 in 3231 emails within the US.
However, more than half (55%) of emails sent in the UK are spam of some kind.
Phishing campaigns only work if the reader clicks on a link or takes action on the mail, and research has found that even when employees know there might be a harmful link within an email, they can still click on it. For this reason, good training is required to prevent your company from being successfully targeted by cybercriminals.
Training staff for cybersecurity in the 21st century
There are many successful methods that can be used with your employees to train them to spot and report potential phishing attacks and other cybersecurity threats. Here are some of the best options and some things to avoid when training:
Don’t attempt fake phishing examples
One tactic that was used for a while was fake phishing. This was when a company would send out fake phishing emails and see who would click on the links. Clicks and views can be reported and then training for those staff can be undertaken.
However, there are specific concerns. For one, fake phishing attacks are often sent in the name of an employee. Often, employees feel that they’re untrusted and that the company is unfairly testing them. This can cause strain on relationships between employees and the company, which can lower productivity, increase staff turnover and lessen the awareness to real attacks.
If you want to see how users are responding to phishing attacks, then you can speak to your IT support team about how they can monitor email usage.
Set up processes
It is important that for your cybersecurity that you have proper security processes in place. Consider who gets the reports. IT support staff are sometimes the best ones to speak to because they can identify and highlight potential attacks against your system. By having processes in place, staff can understand their responsibilities and follow steps to ensure that they’re not causing problems for your brand.
Regular training is a really important aspect of IT security. Threats to your system change all the time. Whether it is the type of phishing email that is being sent or the malware name/look that is being used. By conducting regular training with staff, you can build a stronger awareness of the threats to your brand and regularly remind employees what they’re looking out for.
Ensure that training doesn’t last too long on any particular session. Just a couple of hours is enough. The longer the training, the less impact it will have, as employees only have a certain attention span.
Report on breaches across the world
When there has been a major breach or a new threat has emerged, it is important that you share this information with your employees. This can be done in a weekly email or an important notice to all employees on the IT system. Reports can include what has happened, what to look out for and how to report potential attacks to IT support or others that might need to know.
Use trendsetters within your training
Within any organisation, there are going to be employees that are considered trendsetters. These are the employees that hold influence within their groups. This could be because they have the expertise or they have good interpersonal relationships. Getting these people on board with cybersecurity processes can be a great way to improve the training across all employees. If they start to promote new processes and tell their fellow employees about what they should do, you will see that many employees will follow the new cybersecurity rules.
Bring in experts
Don’t try to do the cybersecurity yourself. Bring in IT consultants and IT support to teach your staff about cybersecurity. They will have the latest information, statistics, training, and more, and will be able to effectively deliver better training to your staff. It also means that you don’t have to spend time developing a training course and deliver it, as we’re sure your time can be better spent elsewhere.
Experts can also be used to spot holes in your IT security processes and consult on how best to prevent an attack on your IT network.
Cybersecurity is a real threat for all UK businesses. While the UK fares better than many other countries, there are still attacks on small to medium UK businesses every 19 seconds with more than 15 businesses successfully hacked every day. Staff are often part of the breach, so training them is really important. Use the tips above to help you train your staff to better protect your business.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch for more information or guidance.