- Employee awareness
- 7 min read
As individuals and organisations fully embrace digital transformation in pursuit of efficiency and productivity, the looming threat of cyber-attacks necessitates a comprehensive approach to fortifying defences.
Have you pondered whether you should include security awareness in employee inductions?
New employees joining your organisation will have varying levels of experience with security as a concept. They may not be aware that behaving in a security conscious way is important in their new workplace. Therefore, as a first step in inducting new employees, it is essential to define exactly why security is important to your organisation.
The landscape of cyber security risks and threats is dynamic, continually evolving to outsmart traditional defence mechanisms. From sophisticated phishing attacks and ransomware to insidious data breaches, the breadth and impact of successful cyberattacks are staggering. Consider a scenario where a well-disguised phishing email infiltrates an employee's inbox, leading them to unknowingly compromise critical company data. Through meticulous security awareness training, employees gain the skills to identify and respond to such threats, forming a robust line of defence against the ever-evolving threat landscape.
Once your new joiners are bought into why security matters, it is important that they learn how their individual behaviours (both in and outside of their place of work) can influence the organisation’s security posture. If cyber security training and awareness is instilled into an employee during their first week of work, it forms a strong basis for their foundational security knowledge and behaviours.
The aftermath of a successful cyberattack extends far beyond immediate financial losses. Organisations face severe reputational damage, legal ramifications, and compromised stakeholder trust. Envision a scenario where an unsuspecting employee unwittingly downloads malware, triggering a breach that exposes confidential client information. By incorporating security awareness into employee inductions, organisations empower individuals to recognise potential threats and take pre-emptive measures, thereby mitigating the risk of such devastating incidents.
While technological safeguards are indispensable, the human element remains a pivotal aspect of cyber security. Employees, often the first line of defence, can unintentionally become the weakest link in the security chain without proper awareness and training.
Integrating cyber security awareness into employee inductions establishes a culture of vigilance and responsibility. This, in turn, cultivates a workforce that actively contributes to the organisation's overall cyber security posture.
The core objective of cyber security awareness training extends beyond imparting knowledge; it aims to induce behavioural change. Imagine a scenario where an employee, having completed comprehensive security training during induction, receives a suspicious email. Rather than succumbing to the potential threat, they promptly report it to the IT department. This fundamental shift in behaviour, fostered by effective security awareness training, plays a pivotal role in preventing security breaches and fortifying an organisation's security resilience.
Leveraging an employee’s induction week to not only highlight how important cyber security is to the organisation but also ensure the right behaviours are obtained, is the biggest advantage of including security awareness in an employee’s induction.
While integrating cyber security awareness into employee inductions is a crucial first step, the dynamic nature of cyber threats necessitates ongoing education. Implementing continuous learning programs ensures that employees stay abreast of the latest threats and best practices. Regular updates and simulated exercises can reinforce and expand upon the knowledge gained during the initial induction, fostering a culture of perpetual vigilance.
The boundaries between personal and professional lives are increasingly blurred. Individuals must be cognizant of cyber security risks not only in the workplace but also in their personal endeavours. By extending cyber security awareness initiatives to personal contexts, organisations contribute to the creation of a digitally aware and secure society, further fortifying the resilience of their workforce.
Individuals are also far more likely to engage with and retain information that is both useful to them in the corporate space but also the personal space.
Organisations often report that initial security inductions need to be general in nature to ensure that they are immediately applicable to as many employees as possible, due to the variety of roles within the organisations. Taking this one-size-fits-all approach can be beneficial; it reduces the burden on those delivering security messages and ensures that you reach the widest possible audience.
However, be mindful that the downside of the generic approach is that some security messages may not be relevant to the whole audience. For example, new joiners without a need for IoT (Internet of Things) security training may be frustrated to receive in-depth sessions on corporate IoT security policy. It also limits the extent to which you can adapt key messages to suit your audience and maximise their impact.
Where possible, look for opportunities to tailor and position training so that it is relevant to employees, departments and the specific risks and threats they will face. Try to design your security messages to appeal to your new employees’ sense of “what’s in it for me?” ... highlighting how a security behaviour will help to keep them and their family secure, as well as the organisation, is an effective way of engaging new starters.
Including security awareness in employee inductions is not just a matter of compliance but a strategic investment in the security and success of organisations and the individuals within them.
The multifaceted nature of cyber threats demands a proactive and informed workforce, and organisations that prioritise cyber security awareness from day one lay the foundation for resilience and vigilance.
As the digital landscape continues to advance, the value of a well-informed workforce cannot be overstated. The resounding answer to the question of whether to include security awareness in employee inductions is a resolute yes – it is a commitment to the long-term security and prosperity of both organisations and individuals alike.
At The Security Company, we specialise in boosting cyber awareness, targeted training, customised projects and role-based solutions. Through our tailored subscription services, targeted and customised eLearning and awareness materials and our behavioural assessments, we're committed to helping organisations like yours instil long-term, security-conscious behaviours.
Our method is distinct. We begin by diving deep into your team's current mindset, pinpointing lax behaviours, security gaps and departments in need of focus and attention. From there, we craft tailored solutions that encourage better cyber practices from your employees. With comprehensive training and seamless integration into your current systems, we're here to fortify your team against modern cyber threats and be your trusted cyber security and awareness partner.
Ready to take the next step?
We can help you to formulate an effective and comprehensive cyber security training and awareness induction for your organisation year-round and be your dedicated partner for employee behaviour change and, ultimately, security culture change.
Do not hesitate to contact us for further information.
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