To increase their data security capabilities, international enterprises must be careful to choose the right security awareness training programs.

As cyberattacks have become more prevalent and damaging, business leaders in every sector have come to develop a more sophisticated, well-rounded understanding of the nature and importance of cybersecurity. Arguably one of the most important considerations to gain traction in this space is the recognition that cybersecurity isn’t just an IT issue – it concerns the entire company, and the organization as a whole needs to contribute to keep its sensitive data safe.

That makes security awareness training for all employees a critical need for companies. However, there are a lot of options in this space. To become and remain as safe as possible, decision-makers need to choose the right security awareness training services provider. Specifically, firms should look for providers that can act as actual partners, rather than hands-off vendors.

A customized approach

At first glance, it may seem like security awareness training is a relatively simple, straightforward matter. In many people’s minds, these programs take the form of a slideshow, perhaps accompanied by videos, and a final quiz to verify the participant has completed the program.

There are several problems with such an approach to information security awareness. For one thing, these solutions tend to be bland and fairly ineffective, as they will not truly engage their users’ attention and interest. Just as importantly, though, many of these offerings are essentially cookie-cutter, in that they are not modified in any way to meet the specific needs and goals of companies.

Customized security awareness training programs can go much further. For example, a more dedicated solution provider can develop training that incorporates a wider range of IT security areas and issues and, more importantly, is modified to better represent the organization. This can include everything from logos to color schemes to in-house terminology.

Strategy development

Even more significantly, a security awareness training partner will work closely with the client company to develop projects that best meet the organization’s security requirements and goals, both short- and long-term. Such a partner should have the experience and expertise necessary to actively guide this process, providing support that a hands-off vendor cannot match.

A big aspect of the partner relationship in this capacity is analysis. Partners will be able and willing to deliver analysis regarding a company’s security awareness. This should include an examination of how well or poorly personnel understand and abide by cybersecurity best practices, as well as potential vulnerabilities within the firm’s data security efforts that need to be addressed.

For example, the security awareness campaign provider may offer phishing simulations to clients, in which employees receive mock phishing emails in an effort to determine whether staff members are able to detect and fend off such attacks. By analyzing the results of this test, the partner firm can then create unique phishing-specific training programs that address not just the individuals who came up short in the simulation, but also overarching weak points throughout the company’s workforce.

“For consistency and reliability, training must be engaging and ongoing.”

Long term 

Last but hardly least, firms should look for security awareness training providers that can serve as long-term partners. A one-time awareness campaign will not keep a company’s employees safe from cyberthreats on any sort of timeline. For one thing, the threat landscape is always changing and evolving, which makes updated cybersecurity training essential for any firm eager to keep pace. Second, employees tend to lapse and forget best practices over time. For consistency and reliability, training must be not only engaging, but also provided at regular intervals.

By choosing a solutions provider that can act as a genuine partner to the organization, companies can ensure their employees are a strong link in their overall cybersecurity defenses.