Security Awareness Training (SAT) is an important way to protect your organization against cyber-attacks. It involves training users to recognize and report suspicious emails and to encourage security-conscious behaviors.
Phishing scams, weak passwords and compromised accounts are all common causes of data breaches and financial loss against the enterprise today. Security awareness training platforms provide online portals for end users to access training materials about cybersecurity issues such as these.
Security awareness training platforms also allow admins to create training campaigns, with interactive quizzes and tests to ensure that users are learning and engaging with materials. Many security awareness training platforms also provide simulated phishing campaigns, which test how well users are able to detect phishing attacks. Some vendors also offer Outlook plugins, which allow users to report suspected phishing attacks to IT teams directly from their email inbox.
Crucially, a good security awareness training platform should offer IT teams data and analytics which show which users within an organization are at most risk of causing a data breach, and provide the tools for admins to help the users that need it most.
Security awareness training should be a crucial component of a strong cybersecurity strategy for businesses of all sizes. To help you identify the right solution for your organization, here’s our list of the top security awareness training solutions. We’ll discuss the quality of their training materials, how customizable the solution is, the data provided and what customers are saying about them.
What Is Security Awareness Training?
Security awareness training is an educational program given to a company’s users in order to educate them about current and topical cybersecurity issues, security hygiene, and the dangers one can encounter when traversing the web. It strives to educate users on the steps they can take to protect themselves and the company network when faced with a range of real life cybersecurity challenges, training them to think independently and critically.
3 Key Questions To Ask SAT Vendors
- How Is The Training Given?
Let’s face it, no one likes having reams of information to read on a PowerPoint slide. It inspires people to switch off rather than engage, rendering your expensive SAT program ineffective against threat actors. More successful and impactful SAT programs model themselves on the principle of kinesthetic learning–or, learning by doing.
The best SAT programs will blend interactive videos, presentations, and quizzes that allow users to learn in a fun, creative, and memorable way at a pace that suits them. This interactive approach to learning helps your users to think critically–an important skill to have when they are inevitably faced with a real phishing email in their inbox and it’s down to them to respond accordingly.
- How Frequently Is The Platform Updated?
The threat landscape is one that is ever changing. It’s a universal fact of (cybersecurity) life. The threats and attacks we see today have come a long way from fifteen, ten, and even five years ago. They’re getting more nuanced and more sophisticated, as well as finding more avenues to capitalize on. With threat actors constantly devising new schemes, your users need to stay ahead of the curve. As such, it’s important your users stay ahead of the curve with up-to-date training modules. When inquiring about SAT programs, be sure to ask how frequently the product is updated with new and current training modules.
- Does The Platform Include Phishing Simulations?
Phishing simulations, considered an important part of SAT, is simulated phishing emails sent out to users in order to continue to train and test the knowledge of a company’s users to see how they respond to “real” phishing emails in their inboxes. A lot of people tend to respond well to reinforced and repetitive learning, so after SAT programs have ended, phishing simulations can be configured to be deployed immediately after to help reinforce what users have learned and continue to help them think critically. These simulations are also important in flagging with admins who need further training. While most SAT vendors include phishing simulations as part of the package, not all of them do, so it’s worth inquiring while shopping around.
Why Do I Need SAT Training For My Users?
While a lot of the technology that has been developed to tackle cybersecurity threats, there are still attacks that evade these defenses. There are plenty of phishing scams that slip past these security parameters and tools, as well as more direct attacks that can occur within your company building that your users might not notice.
Essentially, there will be plenty of times when the last line of defense between your company and a devastating breach and data loss is your users–so having them trained for these eventualities is absolutely critical.
Security awareness training teaches your users to think critically about their information and data hygiene, how they communicate, what they get in their inbox, and how to act and store information in their physical offices.