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Unfortunately, the human resource is the weakest link when it comes to information security. This overly stated and simple fact may sound like a buzzword to some, but if you look closely at the most talked-about events related to fraudulent scams and hacking – like the WannaCry attack or the famous Target case, it shows how even the industry giants are vulnerable to security threats despite the best technology in place. If we do not pay attention to the human factor, the levels of threats, exposure to risks, and the subsequent impact can be way higher and more difficult to deal with.
This is where information security awareness or data security training, such as Targeted Human Threats, and Certified Information Systems Security Officer play a major role. Two of the best ways to fortify the weakest links - the human factor - include training and conditioning. And these elements are targeted towards behavior modification, awareness, and education. Both training and conditioning require staying up to date, having the required knowledge, and staying more conscious of why certain information security rules exist. The idea is to instill a better understanding of the process instead of following rules blindly. The employees or workforce of a company should be aware of the security threats and the need to prevent them.
Information security is a crucial aspect of any business. The people involved in the daily operations of that business should understand the consequences of security breaches and incidents and why they are expected to play a role in securing sensitive information and access to the organization.
It is important for every member of the team to understand that eventually, the ultimate goal of security training is to offer a better level of protection. On the other hand, it is the job of the authorities to ensure employees are aware of the basic security control and internal policies, and know how to avoid, report, and respond to security incidents. The benefits associated with information security awareness and training can be both short and long-term. Here are the top ones you cannot miss out:
For an information security team to be really effective, the security policies outlined should be embraced at all hierarchical levels. The idea is to shift to a more secure corporate culture, where every member of the team puts in efforts to gain maximum benefits. This improves the security levels of an organization from head to toe. So instead of feeling annoyed or frustrated about the whole procedure and complexity of simply changing a password, the employee will be willingly convinced by understanding that the procedure is necessary to avoid security risk.
Having a more educated and aware team of employees naturally translates into fewer incidents. Moreover, it also means that once a security threat or incident is identified, the employee will be more efficient about reporting it. The time required for detecting it will be significantly lower, which means that the organization can reduce the number of security incidents as well. Similarly, training ensures that the employees have a better understanding of how to respond to such circumstances. This saves the organization from significant impact or loss.
Setting security standards like ISO 270001 or associating with legislation like Sarbanes-Oxley 404 increases a business worth and improves the position in the industry. However, to keep up with compliance like that, offering a relevant training program is essential. If your team is already aware of the security norms, policies, threats, risks, and expected behavior, additional security training will also provide them the extensive education required to keep up with the compliance standards. Naturally, it boosts the security level of the organization.
Technology may fail to detect or prevent all types of security incidents - especially since the cybercriminals are also becoming extremely active and up to date. The scams are also using the art of manipulating people to steal information and gain access to sensitive information. In some cases, there's no or very little technical control that technology can use to prevent this from happening automatically. The only viable option is to make sure your employees are aware of the risks and how to deal with the potential threats.
With the right training, employees are aware of their boundaries when it comes to discussing private or sensitive data. This is a major information security threat that most people are unaware of. Having discussion within the office perimeter or in public places can be overheard by an authorized party. This could pose a great threat to the organization. Every person who is a part of the organization – including authorities - should be very cautious about this factor. Restricted information should only be disclosed or discussed in secure places only to avoid the severe consequences the company may face.
It's great how so many organizations realize the importance of training the managers too. In fact, since more and more businesses are now relying on technology, many major decision-making tasks - involving managers - must also incorporate the security factor to prevent a cyber-attack. While managers can take input from the information security team, having enough know-how on the subject makes it all the more relevant for the organization. Just like employees, it is also important that managers are aware of the security threats and ways to report and respond it for a more secure and efficient system. Bottom Line
The human factor is crucial and is directly associated with various security incidents and data breaches. From unintentional mistakes to corrupt insiders willing to leak company information, an organization may suffer at the hands of the workforce it has hired to a great extent.
Thus, it's essential to implement a strong security program and provide security training to keep your teams aware and up to date. Also, keep in mind that deriving desired results will take time, but with the right training and effort, you can implement a secure culture to enhance your information security right away.
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