Is your own level of engagement affecting the success of your Cybersecurity Awareness Program?
It’s that time of year again. Fall is upon us, change is coming. It’s also time to focus on cybersecurity. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CSAM 2022).
Every year the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) develops a theme to focus organizations’ training efforts for the month. Every year there are free resources available from multiple vendors to help organizations participate in the annual training. Yet every year, we continue to see organizations, school districts, infrastructure and financial institutions in the news falling victim to yet another cybersecurity attack. Why?
Statistics suggest that more and more organizations are beginning to implement security awareness training and related activities during cybersecurity awareness month, so why do we still see a myriad of ransomware threats, phishing attacks and social engineering? Furthermore, why are we seeing more and more folks fall victim? … Because focusing on a critical topic like cybersecurity awareness only 1 out of 12 months a year is not enough to bring about true behavior change.
Engagement is EVERYTHING
Ever been in love? Remember what it was like when you could picture nothing but forever with that special someone? Remember the lengths you would go to in order to spend time with that person, to interact with that person, to engage in conversation and activities with the person? They were at the forefront of your mind all of the time. Why? Because you were engaged with them constantly.
As cliche as this may sound, the more you engage with cybersecurity awarenes topics and activities, the more you remember, recognize and react appropriately to potential threats. Imagine if you only engaged with that special someone for one month out of the year? Chances are your relationship would fail, and you would have to start your journey to love all over again.
The principle is the same with cybersecurity awareness training – one month out of the year is not enough to engage your employees in an effort to truly change behavior. However, it is a great start in the right direction. CSAM 2022 can be that start!
The best training, whether an annual program or a one-off activity like CSAM, has the support of the leadership team. The CEO is vital in this support system. Leading by example, CEOs should be prepared to engage in activities, training and internal communications. CEOs should champion the importance of cybersecurity awareness training in their organization, leading the way in behavior change.
This can be as simple as signing a letter endorsing the program and/or adding an intro video to a course (GLS specializes in this type of custom-tailoring, just FYI) and greeting their organization with a welcoming kickoff to the program.
Having the buy-in of the CEO does two things. First, it sets the precedence that this is important for the organization. Second, it shows that the CEO is invested in the success of the company – and in protecting its employees.
Internal Marketing Is Key
When you release a new product or service, what do you do as an organization? You promote it! You tell everyone how great it is and what problems your new solution solves. If done correctly, your prospects will begin questoning how they can ever survive without your solution and then – poof! – a new customer is born. All the hype pays off because your goal of attracting new customers is achieved.
Now apply this marketing thinking to your CSAM program. You, as a CEO, lead the charge in excitement and support your team in running the program, and – poof! Only then do you have a more secure workplace than you did yesterday, and you are on your way to truly affecting behavior change.
Do You Really Need A Program Like CSAM 2022?
The short answer is – YES! All around the country people from all kinds of organizations zero in on cybersecurity awareness during October. CISA has done a lot of the heavy lifting for you. A theme is established with weekly message points, and vendors like Global Learning Systems have aligned free resources with the theme to make the weekly training short, impactful and engaging. Resources abound – all your organization needs is its leader to prioritize and endorse the program.
You might think, what can one month do? Here at GLS, we believe that continuous learning is the most effective way to bring about sustained behavior change. We also believe that CSAM is a great opportunity to kick off a program that will excite your employees (games, interactive videos, etc.). It is the first step – or building block – to building your human firewall.
The best solution is a kick-off program like CSAM 2022, followed by ongoing training that allows for multiple interactions over the next 12 months. A full-blown program will allow you to have the peace of mind that cybersecurity awareness is always top of mind for your employees and your organization. Remember, even though we shift the focus to cybersecurity awareness in October, cybercriminals are 100% focused on breaching data 24/7/365.
Build an ongoing security awareness and compliance training program starting with CSAM 2022 and GLS
Not sure how to provide cyber security awareness training for your employees? Global Learning Systems can help! Our approach goes well beyond the basic online security awareness course. We offer award-winning training solutions that can be customized to create a tailored security awareness training program specific to your organization’s (and users’) unique needs.
Our continuous learning strategy provides something for everyone in their cybersecurity journey. Gamification, short impactful videos, animations, best practices modules, role-based training and full-length courseware all work together to transfer critical knowledge to your employees. This training, coupled with phishing simulations and assessments, will provide your employees and new hires with an arsenal of weapons to use as they combat daily cyber threats.