Email Security Awareness Training

By Ron Samson Jr

Why training email users is a necessity – Email Security Awareness Training

While there is a lot to be said on the subject, the simplest reason that you need to train your email users is that email is the number one entry point for cyber threats and humans are the weakest link in the system. All the encryption and technology in the world can’t protect your system if your people are clicking unsafe links in emails or answering phishing messages with protected data.

Email threats include

  • Ransomware
  • Phishing
  • CEO Fraud
  • Malware
  • Malicious Links
  • Keyloggers

 

The most effective way to protect your company’s information is to institute a company-wide security awareness training program that will get everyone up to speed on what to do and what not to do.

ContentCatcher Security Awareness Training is the ideal service to affordably train your users on a continuous basis.

This type of training can use all of the available resources:

  • Memoranda and policy publication
  • Classroom training
  • Webinars
  • Online training courses
  • Posters
  • Instructive emails
  • Awareness messages
  • Websites that promote awareness

One of the most important things to provide employees is “what to do when.” We’ll get into this more, but make sure that your staff knows whom to call and when if there is a concern about a security breach.

Unintentional versus Intentional

Most “attacks” come from inside the company. They are, most often, not angry employees seeking revenge on their bosses. Most of these “attacks” come from good employees who either don’t think about what they’re doing or haven’t been taught what to do and what not to.

The training programs will help reduce the number of unintentional mistakes and problems.

Some of the statistics about email security:

According to Schneier, in a study conducted by McAfee, one in five workers let family members use the work laptops to access the internet.

Over 50% of them connect their own devices and gadgets to their laptops, 10% of them knowingly downloaded content that they know that they shouldn’t have, and 62% admitted to having very little knowledge of IT.

Over half of them have no idea how to update their antivirus software and 5% of them admitted to accessing areas of the company’s IT system that they shouldn’t have.

The Elements of Security

There are several pieces of security that are essential

  • Physical security – This addresses the physical plant, the server itself and the various workstations around your workplace.
  • Desktop security – This will include passwords and the storage of those passwords to keep unauthorized people out of the server and data.
  • Wireless Networks and Security – Once someone is on your Wifi, they can access your entire network.
  • Password security – Ensuring that passwords are properly secure and difficult to hack is at the heart of your program.

Why is email security training necessary?

There are dozens and dozens of potential threats that can start through email. They come in many forms and almost all of them include some form of human interaction.

All of the most significant and common threats to your company’s files and your email security happen because of something that someone does. Here is a list of threat to watch for in 2018.

Phishing – This is as simple as someone sending out an email and hoping that they can get useful information back. For example, someone might send an email to a company in the hopes that the recipient will share a password or a confidential report. Using that information, they might be able to login and plant a virus or simply steal information.

Malware – There are many kinds of malware. Some are simply pieces of software that do damage. Others are will steal information. Malware comes in many forms. It needs to be found and removed before there’s a lot of damage to your files.

Ransomware – Over the last few years, this form of attack has become very popular. Recently, one piece of ransomware, called Wannacry, attacked computers all over the world. It cost millions of dollars and millions more hours of work to bring this ransomware under control.

Malicious Links – It’s very easy to build a website that has malicious software on it. An attacker will put link into an email that looks legitimate, but it will redirect to a malicious site. Often, the link is a simple misspelling of legitimate site or it will be a masked link. As soon as someone clicks the link and lands on the site, even before they have time to click off, malicious software is load onto their workstation and onto the company’s server.

Keyloggers – A keylogger is a simple piece of software that keeps track of every key that is pressed by the user. This allows an attacker to see websites, usernames, passwords, credit card number, and social security numbers. This is an easy way for someone to get everything that could ever want from a person at a company and therefore into the company’s files.

Zero Day Attacks – A zero day attack exploits a vulnerability that is built into a piece of software. Programmers try to catch every vulnerability in their software, but often, weaknesses remain. Once this weakness is discovered, attackers will use it to steal data and make a mess of things.

How do I train users to avoid email threats?

Training your staff requires a step-by-step effort  that will lead your staff from knowing very little to having a complete understanding of what cybersecurity does and what they need to do to heep the companies files and systems safe.

Here are some steps and tools that you should take and use to train your staff:

Start with a baseline test – Start by finding out where your people are at now so that you know how far they have to go. This will show you how likely it is that your staff can be scammed. Knowing how bad it is now will make it much easier to see your successes later.

Online lessons – Using the power of the very internet that you’re protecting your company from, you can train your staff even further with online courses. These courses will most effective if you make them relatively short and frequent.

Games – Nearly everything in the world can be gamified. You can easily turn cybercrime into a game. Things like comparing your results to see who in the company can fall for the least phishing test emails.

Random testing – Send out a phishing message periodically or one with a link that shouldn’t be opened. Track those who do well and those who don’t.

Certifications – A certification seems like a silly thing, but everyone likes to have a framed certificate on their wall that shows how good they are at what they do. You can create stages of certifications from basic to master of users’ cybersecurity.

Reporting and Follow-up – The key to his training is to help people understand the important role that they play in keeping the company’s serves and files secure. Reports will let you see where there is an overall lack of knowledge and which individuals need more training.

System of Discipline – We have a tendency to think of these incidents as purely accidents, but just as with any other safety protocol, adherence the rules and behaviors that one has been taught is the best way to prevent problems. Creating a gentle, but firm, system of disciplinary standards will make this adherence less of a wish and more of simply company policy, like any other.

Data Protection Supervisor – Depending on the size of your company, you should have a Data Protection Supervisor. If you have members of the European general public entering data on your system, you need this by law. For a smaller firm, this doesn’t need to be a a full-time position, but it should be a paid position with a set of defined responsibilities to maintain systems and trainings so that your firm’s data stays safe. One of the fastest and easiest ways to cover this position is to hire a third-party contract team to handle it. Rather than a single individual, you will have a team that will maintain your security.

Why do you need Security Awareness Training for your users?

The short answer is that you need to make certain than your staff is not your weakest link in maintain the security of your firm’s data and servers.

It’s a process that we can provide. Our team has already created the training materials and we can customize a training plan for your staff. After the initial training, we will help you maintain awareness and even help to protect your company from cyber attack.