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Employees represent the most significant vulnerability within any organization when it comes to cybersecurity. We’re all too familiar with the ransomware headlines of 2015 which have reached a fever pitch in 2016.
In fact, the increasing ransomware threat has caused a disturbing trend; many organizations have started stockpiling bitcoins, in the event they are hit, expecting that they will inevitably have to pay a hacker’s ransom.
Whether we’re dealing with ransomware or other types of malware, the most common vector for infection within an organization is the unsuspecting employee who clicks on a malicious link. This provides us with a solid starting point to tackle the problem.
If you’re a numbers person, I’ll graciously quench your thirst with the following: when we looked at data compiled from hundreds of phishing campaigns that we’ve conducted across thousands of users, almost 19% either clicked or opened an attachment contained in a phishing attempt. If 19% doesn’t seem like an overwhelming number, consider that nearly one in five people in your organization are likely to open a phishing attachment, and that one person could cost your company $3.8M in damages, according to industry estimates.
So the logical solution to address the increasing rate of attacks targeting employees (and one that regulatory bodies like the SEC outline as a mandatory compliance requirement) is to look at arming employees with the right cyber-knowledge to help them avoid becoming a victim.
So let’s train our employees, right? Not so fast! eSentire has been providing clients with face-2-face security awareness training for years which in the right circumstances is an effective option. But it isn’t always the right fit and moreover, awareness training runs into a common set of problems when delivered to the modern worker via traditional online or Computer Based Training (CBT).
There’s also a significant mindset shift that needs to occur from both vendors offering Security Awareness Training (SAT) and businesses looking to address the “weakest link” because employee vulnerability has been approached from an old way of thinking.
Here are three reasons why we need a different approach to SAT for the modern employee in the context of the rapidly evolving threat landscape:
One of the most important advances in employee knowledge approaches is something called microlearning—a technique that will totally change the face of cybersecurity awareness training because it moves the needle beyond reach to focus on improving knowledge, sustaining it and enabling employees to apply it in the real-world. Microlearning is a technique of delivering learning content in short, bite-sized bursts (from three to five minutes), several times per week, or even daily.
When microlearning is delivered in a consistent, ongoing way, you have the ability to drive continuous learning, build up knowledge over time, and produce real behavior change that’s capable of creating an embedded human layer of security protection across every part of the business. Microlearning addresses the problems associated with traditional SAT and is evolving the industry to think well beyond compliance. It’s being used at some of the world’s largest companies like Toyota, Walmart and Toys R Us to solve the numerous challenges when knowledge-building in a corporate setting..
eSentire’s new Training DayTM security awareness training solution leverages microlearning to meet the needs of the modern worker to help organizations move beyond a pass in compliance to an A+ in overall security.
Shabbir Lasani is a savvy product marketing professional who helps bridge market needs with great products.