In the last article, we explained why cybersecurity professionals are talking about human firewalls and what kind of security awareness training you need to develop so that you can count on your employees as part of your defense work.
We have identified seven reasons why you should set the goal of building a strong human firewall as part of your information security training.
1. Employees are equally important in your defense work as technology
A lot of the time, security teams want to buy the best technology to help them to fight attackers. It’s not even a question that technology is vital as the first line of defense: you can’t get around that. Advanced endpoint protection, threat detection, SIEM solutions, and email filtering tools are must-haves for enterprises.
At the same time, employees are just as important a part of your defenses as technology. Even when you have thought of everything and have the best technology at your disposal, attacks like phishing emails or ransomware can slip through. At that point, you need to rely on your employees and be confident in their ability to identify a social engineering attempt and notify your team. For that, practical training is a must.
2. They understand why training, policies, and security are important
Training can sometimes feel like a burden to employees. When they already have a lot on their plates and are doing their best, they might question why would you are bothering them with repetitive training or boring policies.
With engaging training that focuses on exercises that simulate real life, you can help your employees to understand that cyber threats are real. At some point, whether at work or in their private lives, they will come across such threats.
When they understand that the consequences can be severe, it’s easier to get people aligned, committed to the training, and actively watching out for threats—like a human sensor network.
3. Users will understand that they have a personal responsibility
At Hoxhunt, we believe that positive reinforcement is the way to go when it comes to security awareness training. With a positive approach, you can also emphasize that people’s actions can really help you to avoid a serious breach. When you invest in engaging training, people will be more likely to stand in line and help by reporting suspicious, potentially dangerous emails.
4. You can reduce your cyber-risk
When people learn through practical exercises about phishing emails and social engineering techniques and how easily they can report threats to your team, you will have a better chance at catching attacks early in the kill chain.
Users should never try their luck by clicking on links, downloading attachments, or replying to criminals when they feel like something is off. It’s better if they report the email so that they can get a reply on whether it’s safe to interact with it. If it’s not, your team can take the right measures to contain or mitigate a possible attack that would have most likely reached more than one user in your company.
5. You will receive more insights on attacks
When employees start reporting emails that they find suspicious, you will have a lot of data in your hand. With automated solutions based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, you can filter out the ones that need your immediate attention.
All the insights you receive will help you to understand better where you could create an even safer environment.
6. Measure the performance
When people accept that the training is necessary and that their threat reports can help your security team, you will be able to collect KPIs that help you to measure the organization’s performance and see how you’ve been developing over time or even across different departments or countries.
7. Improve your defense strategy
With all the insights, you will be able to determine the risk profile of your organization and where you need to add more fuel to perform even better.
At the end of the day, your employees want to do the right thing, and they want the best for your company. With the right kind and amount of training, you can truly make them an important part of your security culture, and you will be able to count on their support in catching attacks early.