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Cybersecurity Workforce Training FAQs


What is cybersecurity workforce training? 

Cybersecurity training educates employees on security risks, how to respond to security breaches, and security best practices. The number one organizational vulnerability is employee error. Increasingly, hackers are targeting employees with more sophisticated phishing emails and social engineering techniques, making it harder for employees to discern threats to company data. Training is an essential component of keeping your business safe from threat actors. 

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Why do I need cybersecurity workforce training? 

The likelihood of being hacked will decrease and the cost of a security breach will be lower. These days it’s not about whether or not you will be hacked, but when you will be hacked. Cyber criminals are targeting SMBs more and more and the cost of a breach is $150,000-$200,000, on average. Once you have experienced a security breach, the likelihood that it will happen again significantly increases. Over half of small businesses close within six months of a breach.  

Employee error is the biggest factor in being breached, so having regular workforce training, especially training that focuses on phishing emails and social engineering, is invaluable to good security. Having robust security training can save your company money, strengthen your reputation and avoid a lot of stress. 

Who should be trained? 

Everyone in your company should receive some level of training. Though it can be difficult to persuade C-suite executives to participate, they still need regular training as well. 

How do I train my employees for cybersecurity? 

In addition to purchasing industry-specific training to help your business to become compliant with any applicable compliance mandates, such as PCI DSS or HIPAA, you can also host training for your employees. We recommend doing frequent, short, engaging training sessions so that your employees do not feel overloaded or stressed. Make training an ongoing experience for your employees and don’t assume that one training is enough. Prioritize topics that are relevant to your employees such as good password hygiene, recognizing phishing emails, or what to do when you spot a phishing email. Other tips include: 

  • Set monthly training meetings: Focus each month on a different aspect of data security, such as passwords, social engineering, and email phishing.

  • Give frequent reminders: Security reminders can be sent out in an email, newsletter, during stand-up meetings, and/or HIPAA security webinars that include tips for employees.

  • Train employees on new policies ASAP: Newly hired employees should be trained on security and HIPAA policies as quickly as possible.

  • Make training materials easily available: Intranet sites are a great way to provide access to training and policy information.

  • Create incentives: Reward your employees for being proactive in HIPAA compliance.

  • Regularly test employees: Create an environment where employees aren’t afraid to report suspicious behavior.

  • Leverage technology: Whenever possible, technical security controls should be put in place to provide a safety net in case training fails.

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Is cybersecurity training legally required? 

There are not any current federal cybersecurity laws requiring training. However, countries, states, industries and sectors have different requirements and laws around cybersecurity training and compliance. You will have to look at your own state, city, industry and business requirements to know if training is required or recommended, which training you need and how often you need it. Using a compliance audit checklist can help you manage your training compliance requirements. 

How often should I do workforce training?

The minimum recommendation is to do training upon hire and annually. However, you may want to consider having quarterly or monthly training and security exercises, or including security hygiene tips in company communications such as a newsletter. Repetition is key to creating a culture of cyber safety in your workplace. 

How can I make security training part of my company culture? 

Awareness is one of the best ways to make security a part of your company culture. Consider inviting your employees to follow podcasts, blogs or other news feeds so that they are regularly reminded and informed about data security. Regular training and exercises on data security and breach responses can also be helpful. Have company policies for simple things such as password management (no default passwords), clean desk policy, multi-factor authentication, and verification. This blog offers an in-depth approach about how to implement security awareness at your company. 

What are the benefits of cybersecurity training?

You can feel more confident in your workplace security by guarding against data theft and offering greater privacy to users. You can also save a lot of money and stress by avoiding viruses, spyware, ransomware and being hacked. While it is likely that your company will be breached, through appropriate security measures you will decrease your attack surface, have an effective response team, and contain the damages of a breach. 

How much does cybersecurity training cost? 

The cost of training will vary depending on the size of your organization, what type of training you are doing, and how thorough your training is. Compliance training for PCIHIPAAHITRUSTGDPRCCPA have specific requirements and vary in price. SecurityMetrics offers workforce security and compliance training for $69/person with discount options in you buy in bulk. Shop here for SecurityMetrics training. 

SecurityMetrics also offers blogs, podcasts, webinars, and newsletters that you can follow for free. Having employees regularly engage with information about cybersecurity, breaches, hacks, best practices, and vulnerabilities can help overall education and awareness. 

What is the ROI of security training? 

The return on investment (ROI) is hard to calculate since there are so many contributing factors, including long-term effects such as a damaged brand or loss of customers. However, this article offers good insight into the cost of a security breach for SBMs. The Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model is another good resource for evaluating the effectiveness of your security training. Keep in mind that once your company is breached, the likelihood of being attacked again significantly increases. The cost of a breach could be much higher than a single instance since you will likely have subsequent breaches. 

Do I need to do training if my employees work remotely? 

Yes. While remote work offers many conveniences, security is not one of them. It’s important to educate employees on good security practices while working remotely because If you have employees working from home, you have inherited their home network. Try to ensure they have a secure network and that other residents of their home understand security basics. Once a personal device logs into your corporate network your employees’ vulnerabilities become your vulnerabilities.

Having a company culture of security can pay off in this situation because if your employees develop good security practices in the workplace, those practices will more easily transfer to remote locations. 

What training should I enroll in or have my employees enroll in?

What training you enroll your employees in will likely depend on their role in the company. However, there are some basic concepts that all employees should know. These include: phishing, social engineering, internet usage, social media usage, BYOD policies, work from home security, removable media, updating computers and mobile devices for patches, password management, two factor authentication, company data management, clean desk policies, and what to do in the case of a security breach. SecurityMetrics Academy offers a great general education of cybersecurity that is applicable to all employees. 

How do I train for PCI compliance? 

Compliance will look a little different at every organization and so will training requirements. First, you will need to identify which Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) you need to fill out. From there, you will need to focus on meeting each of the requirements required for your business. The process of PCI compliance often requires the assistance of a third party that can perform appropriate testing (like penetration testing or vulnerability scanning) to ensure that your business is meeting PCI DSS requirements. This blog has an in-depth checklist to get you started on becoming PCI compliant. 

How do I train for HIPAA compliance? 

The central goal of HIPAA compliance is to protect patient data and avoid employee actions that might lead to a data breach. Compliance will look a little different at every organization, but most entities will complete a risk analysis, create and complete a risk management plan, conduct regular employee training, and implement updated policies and procedures.

For an in-depth look at HIPAA compliance, visit our HIPAA FAQ blog

Where can I find training? 

You can find a selection of trainings from places like SecurityMetrics. These trainings include best practices and stay up-to-date on industry standards. SecurityMetrics also has products to help you maintain industry standards, such as our shopping cart monitor. You can access blogs, youtube channels and podcasts to facilitate your training as well. SecurityMetrics offers many free resources, such as our academy, that are great for basic, general training. 

Who is in charge of security training?

This is a tricky question since everyone is responsible for this at some level. Senior management is responsible for cybersecurity because they often distribute the budget and roles for the company. Because data is stored on computers, the IT department is also responsible for data security. While the actual person responsible for ensuring security training might change from company to company, the most important thing is to have a person who has been tasked with managing security training, whether that is the HR department, IT department, or upper management. The clearer you can define the role of cyber security education in your company, the better. 

More Resources for Cybersecurity Workforce Training FAQs

If you want in-depth guides about how to train your employees on phishing emails, social engineering, or best practices when working from home, we invite you to check out these blogs: 

How to Maintain Security When Employees Work Remotely

How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks

7 Ways to Recognize a Phishing Email: Email Phishing Examples

Employee Security Training Tips: Social Engineering

Additionally, our podcast offers thorough but approachable discussions on cybersecurity topics that pertain to employees, business owners, and even parents. If you are looking for ways to explore topics like phishing, ransomware, or how to teach kids about cybersecurity, we invite you to check it out

Finally, if you are passionate about all things security and enjoy staying up-to-date on the latest news, patches, security tips or tactics that hackers are using, we offer a free curated weekly newsletter with the latest information on cybersecurity that you can subscribe to here.  

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