Security awareness training is fundamental to any business’s digital protection plan. Making sure that staff are aware of the risks and dangers – and can spot security threats such as phishing scams or data breaches – could save the business vast amounts of time and money.
However, even companies with a strong security awareness training program and who diligently train regular employees can overlook some aspects of their workforce. One of the main issues with digital security is that it only takes one malicious attachment to be opened or one link to be clicked to cause tremendous damage. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that all departments and areas of your business are covered by security awareness training.
Below is a rundown of some of the most commonly overlooked groups when it comes time to train employees
C-Suite and Board Members
By nature of their position in the business, C-suite and exec level employees have access to the most sensitive and financially appealing information for hackers and scammers. So, top-level staff must be well versed in security awareness as they are more likely to be targeted for attack. In addition, new Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) security breach guidelines require businesses to include the responsibility for cyber security, risk management, and strategy within the board of directors roles.
Independent contractors may either be working in the office or remotely. Still, either way, they can pose a security risk and should be aware of the policies and procedures covered in security awareness training. Remote workers are especially vulnerable to attack but are often easily overlooked. You need to ensure anyone who has access to the system only uses a secure connection and strong passwords, ideally with two-factor authentication. They should also be able to recognize phishing scams, spoofing, and other kinds of attacks.
Again, part-time staff are not always in the office and can easily be missed for training. But out of sight should not necessarily be out of mind when it comes to security awareness training, especially if they have the same access as full-time staff. Of course, this also applies to interns, work experience staff, and anyone who may be given temporary access to systems or applications.
The Importance of Security Awareness Training
It can be all too easy to overlook the importance of security awareness training for specific groups within your organization. It may even be tempting to assume that only those with high-level clearance or access to sensitive information receive training. But remember that scammers are always looking for weak spots in defenses or easy ways to access data. This does not always mean targeting high-value areas but could also mean using lower-level employees, remote connections, or human error (such as weak passwords or failing to log out of accounts) to get what they want.
That’s why it is essential to provide security awareness training to all staff as a matter of company policy, especially if you work in an industry where you routinely deal with sensitive data.