If you ask a CIO about what keeps them awake at night, it’s likely they’ll raise a concern about cyber security.

Cyber criminals today are highly sophisticated, well-resourced and skilled in planning and executing targeted attacks. Motivated by lucrative profits, cyber criminals are relentless in their pursuit of high value targets – across all sectors, industries and organisation types. Unfortunately, relying on security products alone is no longer a viable strategy for defending your organisation’s systems and data from a potential attack.

As legitimate businesses have stepped up their fight against malicious entities, cyber criminals have increasingly focused on exploiting organisations’ greatest vulnerabilities – their users.

Hacking, phishing and scams are common examples of cyber threats that target users and the personal or sensitive information that they hold. The harsh reality is that these attacks are carried out on a daily basis, with consequences ranging from significant financial loss to the release of commercially sensitive information and reputational damage.

The good news is that organisations can take action to reduce their risk exposure by empowering their employees to identify, report and take action on potential attacks. Security awareness training is one of the most powerful and effective ways to reduce susceptibility to an attack. Organisations can build a strong first line of defence by educating employees at all levels on how to identify suspicious online activities and what to do if they see the signs of a potential cyber attack.

What is security awareness training?

Security awareness training is a proven way of protecting organisations against cyber crime. Rather than being limited to IT professionals and security specialists, security awareness training is designed to inform everyday users about cybersecurity risks and equip them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to take appropriate action if they encounter a threat. It is usually delivered online, with many providers offering tailored content that is relevant to your industry or setting. Most organisations that invest in security awareness training do so on a recurring basis so that their employees stay at the forefront of the latest developments in cybersecurity and cyber crime.

Choosing the right training provider

There is a wide array of players in the security awareness training market, which can make it difficult to choose the right training partner for your organisation. It’s important to do your research and ensure your chosen training provider is proven, reliable and delivers results that lead to sustained changes in user behaviour over time. Read on to find out more about five essential factors to consider when choosing a training partner.

5 traits of a reliable training provider

1. A training curriculum that covers a broad range of security topics

For everyday users, security awareness training should be targeted at helping people to build a broad understanding of what cyber crime is, the ways attacks occur and what to do when they see something suspicious. Most employees don’t need to be deep content experts in specific or niche topics, but they do need to understand the diverse potential threats that could affect your organisation. When assessing potential training partners, review the curriculum carefully to make sure it strikes a balance between a wide coverage of topics without getting bogged down in unnecessary technical detail.

2. The ability to engage people with differing levels of base knowledge

In every security awareness training session, participants will come with different levels of base knowledge about cyber security. Some will be learning about cyber threats and how to detect them for the first time, while others will be familiar with much of the content shared in session. To keep your employees engaged throughout the training, consider a training partner that caters for a diverse spectrum of learning needs.

3. Training content that is continuously enhanced and refreshed

When it comes to cyber security, the pace of change is extraordinarily rapid. Cyber criminals are constantly on the lookout for new ways to exploit individuals and organisations, and act in highly sophisticated ways in order to avoid detection. To ensure your employees are armed with current information about cybersecurity and alerted about contemporary threats, ask potential training partners about how frequently they refresh their content and how they ensure participants are kept up-to-date with new and emerging threats.

4. Flexible training delivery with a low time commitment

For many employees, training can be viewed as another item on their to-do list that they need to squeeze into a busy week. Organisations often find that training completion rates increase when training is delivered using flexible models, such as a series of online modules that can be completed in bite-sized chunks. When choosing a training provider, think about how their delivery options are likely to suit your organisational context and employee preferences.

5. Proven results over time

Security awareness training is not merely a compliance exercise – rather, it can be a powerful tool that adds an additional layer of protection over your organisation’s most valuable data, systems and information. This means it’s critical that your chosen training provider is able to effectively engage users and communicate information in a way they understand so that your employees walk away with more knowledge and know how to apply it in practice. When assessing training providers, ask for evidence of the results that other organisations have experienced over time as a result of training.

Questions to ask a potential security awareness training provider

So, how do you find out if your potential security awareness training provider fits the bill? Don’t be afraid to ask them the following questions before you agree to engage them:

  • What topics does your curriculum cover?

  • How often do you update your training materials for current and emerging threats?

  • Who is the target audience? How does training cater to different audiences?

  • How is your training delivered? Are there flexible options for users?

  • How frequently is training delivered?

  • How does your training help employees put their knowledge into practice?

  • How does your training cater to staff with different levels of phishing awareness and/or technical literacy?

  • What results have other organisations experienced from your training?

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Phriendly Phishing: The gold standard in security awareness training

Phriendly Phishing is an Australian-based company that provides security awareness and simulation training solutions.

Our solutions are created by certified security professionals with more than a decade of information security and risk remediation experience. Our training content is regularly updated to reflect the rapidly evolving threat landscape.

Phriendly Phishing training programs are measurable, scalable and designed to meet the needs of all employees in an organisation – irrespective of their technical expertise.

Empower users by taking them on a journey

Phriendly Phishing educates users about the different types of security threats and supports them to enhance their detection skills over time. With modules suitable for beginners through to advanced users, training caters for all levels of awareness and nurtures users’ skills over time. The training itself is fun, gamified and engaging, with memorable acronyms and simple strategies to help users apply their learnings and achieve behaviour change over time.

Track performance over time

Phriendly Phishing collects a baseline measure of your organisation’s overall security risk by conducting simulated campaigns. Your organisation then receives access to an easy-to-use dashboard that presents data on a range of measures over time, such as click-through rate and training completion rates.

A ‘set and forget’ solution

Phriendly Phishing offers a managed service training solution, which requires minimal ongoing effort from your IT team and allows them to stay focused on day-to-day priorities. IT administrators can access all the information they need about training completion and impact in one place with the Phriendly Phishing dashboard. Simulation campaigns can also be easily automated and suspended in line with organisational priorities.

Start fighting back against security threats today

Leading Australian organisations use Phriendly Phishing training to understand and reduce their overall risk, while keeping security top of mind. Discover the results Phriendly Phishing can achieve for your organisation.

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