- Security awareness training is an organization-wide initiative that helps employees and managers identify, avoid, and report security threats of all kinds.
- The main elements of security awareness training are cybersecurity, device and data security, and facility security.
- Organizations that need security awareness training the most are hospitals, government agencies, residential buildings, and commercial organizations.
In a rapidly evolving world, awareness of one’s surroundings is paramount, especially when it comes to commercial property security. Physical security assessments and cybersecurity training go hand in hand for the most well-rounded safety protocol, which is where security awareness training comes in.
Security awareness training can help your organization work more efficiently and safely as it brings everyone into focus as a team. Below, we cover what security awareness training is, what it includes, and who can benefit most from it!
In this post, we cover:
- What is security awareness training?
- What are the main elements of security awareness training?
- Who needs security awareness training?
- How do you conduct security awareness training?
- What topics should be covered in security awareness training?
What is security awareness training?
Security awareness training is an organization-wide initiative that helps employees and managers identify, avoid, and report security threats. Most of these security training initiatives are conducted in-house but can also include third-party materials and teachers.
When most people think about security training, their first impression is that it only includes cybersecurity training. However, to set your organization up for success, it’s important to include physical security awareness in the curriculum.
Why is security awareness important?
Security awareness is important because it helps your employees read the signs of a breach before it actually happens. Often, people don’t report what they see because they aren’t aware of the critical details to look for.
Information security, as well as physical security awareness, is a skill that needs to be taught.
What are the main elements of security awareness training?
The main elements of security awareness training include:
Cybersecurity awareness is a critical component of information security training and should be one of the main focuses of any training program.
As such, cybersecurity awareness training ultimately teaches your employees the types of threats they should be aware of. For instance, they’ll learn how to spot a phishing attempt and how to know which links are safe to open. In other words, ensure your employees follow cybersecurity best practices at all times to reduce the risk of digital threats.
2. Device and data security
While taking a device and data security awareness course, employees will learn how to protect both online and offline data. Sometimes, data loss is a human error, and they’ll need to know how to avoid this kind of mistake in their own day-to-day work.
On the other hand, there are data breaches that result in theft. In this case, awareness training can help employees identify and stop data theft attempts before the loss actually occurs.
3. Facility security
Facility security is the process of protecting a building and its various entrances and exits. This can come in the form of access control systems, video security cameras, or security personnel.
In this capacity, it’s going to resemble teaching property managers and owners how to safeguard property.
Facility security awareness training includes:
- Understanding how to secure their tenants’ information
- Choosing a security system that fits their building needs
- Informing staff on how to secure assets and data
Discover more about access control and how to use it:
Who needs security awareness training?
All types of organizations require awareness training. However, some need it more than others.
In fact, corporate companies aren’t the only ones that need a robust security awareness program. There are plenty of organizations that not only benefit from training their employees to understand the risks but must also rely on awareness to avoid disaster.
Organizations that should invest in safety awareness include:
- Hospitals. Medical and hospital buildings house sensitive patient information and benefit most from security awareness programs.
- Government agencies. Many agencies and government organizations deal with the security and safety of others. They also deal in a lot of sensitive information, which means everyone needs to be on the same page about information security.
- Residential buildings. Residential buildings such as apartments, condos, and senior living homes have many tenants they need to protect. This includes information security as well as physical security technology such as access control and smart locks.
- Commercial organizations. Retail and commercial buildings (such as office buildings) often have numerous physical assets to keep secure. Employees should always be aware of the newest industry standards for security.
How do you conduct security awareness training?
Security awareness training educates your staff through interactive methods and regular sessions to ensure participants stay informed.
You can conduct a security awareness education session by:
- Assessing the target audience. Determine who needs the training. This could include all employees, specific departments, or roles that handle sensitive information.
- Setting clear training objectives. Define clear goals for the training, such as reducing phishing susceptibility, promoting strong password practices, or understanding social engineering tactics.
- Providing metrics and evaluations to track progress. Use assessments or quizzes to measure participants’ understanding of the training content.
- Recognizing and rewarding active participation. Recognize and reward individuals who actively participate and excel in security awareness initiatives. This can encourage a culture of security consciousness.
What topics should be covered in security awareness training?
So, you know you need to implement security awareness training. But what topics do you need to cover for comprehensive results?
Phishing and Social Engineering
- How to recognize phishing emails, texts, and phone calls.
- The dangers of clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.
- Techniques used by attackers to manipulate individuals into revealing sensitive information.
- Creating strong, unique passwords.
- The importance of not sharing passwords.
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA) and its benefits.
- Keeping operating systems, applications, and devices up to date.
- The risks of using public Wi-Fi networks.
- How to secure mobile devices and laptops.