Why Your Business’ Cybersecurity Training Strategy Isn’t Working

February 2, 2022

There are several reasons why companies don’t successfully capitalize or invest in the right cybersecurity training strategy for their organization. 

For starters, most companies often overlook their employees—their greatest cybersecurity risk—when structuring their cybersecurity plan. Secondly, a lot of companies don’t take a prevention-first approach to counter ongoing threats. 

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the majority of companies, especially small- to medium-sized businesses, treated cybersecurity as an afterthought. Take a look at some of the most common reasons your company might be failing at its cybersecurity plan and how you can foster a culture of cyber threat prevention among your employees. 

1. You provide one-time cybersecurity training 

Cybercriminals are only getting smarter each year, so there’s always a new tactic to learn about protecting your organization from. Chief Information Security Officers (CISO), IT professionals, and their counterparts need to stay abreast of trending cyber crimes, so they can formulate actionable cybersecurity training on par with new threats

When companies don’t constantly refresh their cybersecurity training based on current trends or offer routine cybersecurity training, they’ll never sufficiently train their employees against new or ongoing cyber risks. 

It’s important to keep in mind that cybersecurity requires life-long learning and that, because of that, you need to teach all of your employees how to protect themselves from cyber attacks — no matter the employee’s role. 

2. You invest in only one-size-fits-all training 

Your security team is not the only team that needs security training. All employees require some level of cybersecurity skills training, and companies that don’t provide robust training for every employee regardless of their role won’t ever fully cover all of their bases.  

Although some employees will inherently require more advanced training than others, you should always tailor cybersecurity training based on job functions. Cybersecurity training should always consist of reputation-based e-learning that trains employees based on their required skills. The best cybersecurity training allows for the creation of customizable, individualized cybersecurity training. 

3. Your cybersecurity training doesn’t use different forms of media 

No two people learn the same way, so companies should invest in cybersecurity training that utilizes a myriad of learning methods. Video, audio, games, interactive modules, and other forms of media are more engaging than static courses. Video learning, for example, is more likely to yield greater course retention and increased memory recall

The best cybersecurity training allows businesses to configure trainings, videos, and other means of learning based on individual or departmental needs, trending cybersecurity news, and other factors that might influence a company’s need to educate employees on a specific topic.

4. You underallocate your talent development budget 

No employee wants to be responsible for leaking sensitive company information or being the reason a cybercriminal hacks your company. But many businesses face difficulty when allocating resources within their budget or determining an effective schedule on how often to deploy trainings. 

In general, companies take varying approaches when it comes to budgeting for training initiatives. Be mindful that most standard one-time training budgets don’t sufficiently fund technical security training needs. 

Although it may seem appealing to invest only a small amount of money or energy into cybersecurity, upfront investment in robust, reputable, continual cybersecurity training pays off. According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021, data breach costs topped 4.24 million in 2021—the highest average cost in seventeen years.  

5. You value certifications over real-world experience

Companies commonly mistake completed certifications as proof of employees’ cybersecurity skills. But there’s a critical distinction between what a person knows and how well they’ve grasped a concept, which is why you should instead focus on proof of knowledge. 

Generally speaking, any IT professional’s (or any employee’s) cybersecurity knowledge and training won’t ever be up to par to your organization’s cybersecurity training, since, in theory, that training should be specific to your company and industry. Companies that miss the mark don’t test IT professionals on their cybersecurity assessment and capabilities before they hire them. 

Establishing a culture of cybersecurity starts from the top down 

The best way companies can instill hypervigilance in their employees is by investing heavily in routine, customizable cybersecurity training specific to each employees’ skill level. Your company’s CISO and team of IT professionals also need to communicate and educate your organization on the importance of ongoing, increasingly evolving cyber threats. 

 

To that end, cybersecurity training for CISOs should be far more advanced than most employees’ training, so that they can be responsible for making sure every stakeholder in the organization is up to speed on how to most effectively identify misinformation, threats, and more. 

CISOs and their security counterparts also need to maintain constant collaboration with executives and department leaders in order to best develop strategies that stave off and prevent cyber threats.

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