The first step in keeping your company and its sensitive assets safe is to raise awareness about the need for effective cybersecurity practices. With human error as the cause of 88 percent of all data breaches, organizations must equip their employees with the most current and precise tools and information to protect their data, anytime and anywhere.
The second step is to provide data protection training programs to protect your organization against human error and risk. Learn the seven requirements every data protection training program must-have. And, discover how to prepare your teams to prevent data breaches and reduce their financial impact on your organization.
Why you need a data protection training program
Protecting your data requires more than installing the best security hardware and software that’s available on the market. It starts with security awareness training. Security awareness training programs help employees understand the potential threats to your IT environment and the latest types of attacks. They give them the knowledge, skills, and support they need to keep attackers at bay and react appropriately when faced with a potential cybersecurity attack.
Going a step further, you need data protection training to help prevent the loss of personally identifiable information (PII), intellectual property (IP), money, and brand reputation. It’s the driving force that enables your teams to make it difficult for hackers to break into your systems. These programs also ensure that your employees follow the latest industry regulations and compliance requirements for cybersecurity and data protection.
Without proper training, employees risk leaking customer data, and your company risks losing customers and their business. Also, your company becomes potentially liable for hefty fines and other financial repercussions. The financial damages might include having to pay for threat identification specialists, crisis management specialists, and legal counsel, along with any associated fees. These risks are more than anyone is willing to take or even consider taking.
7 requirements every data protection training program needs
When searching for the right data protection training program for your organization, look for the following seven requirements.
1. Bite-sized, text-based training
Long and tedious training modules are ineffective at sufficiently engaging employees. They are costly, time-consuming, and don’t promote the internalization of new concepts, much less their long-term retention.
Conversely, deliver Continuous Awareness “Bites” (CAB) in the form of short, text-based training so employees can learn at their own pace and in their own time. It exposes them to repeat and diverse situations combined with data-driven training, creating multiple engagement opportunities for optimal retention. These highly adaptable and customizable text-based bites cater to the needs of your employees right from their e-mail inbox.
2. Part of employees’ daily routine
Your employees are busy with only so many hours in one (work) day. Therefore, deploy your bite-sized, text-based training by using a just-in-time learning approach to raise awareness toward the most pressing cybersecurity issues. This approach also offers solutions to prevent or resolve them when they happen.
Attaching your training to events makes them relevant and memorable. It also creates greater engagement. As your employees find themselves in a vulnerable position, they’re motivated to learn how to avoid repeating an error in the future.
3. Continuous training year-round
Lasting change doesn’t happen overnight. Changing employee behavior requires deploying a training program that runs year-round. Find a solution that’s autonomous and can run every day, all year long.
Your CAB system should autonomously deliver bites to employees’ inboxes via an interactive security newsletter paired with a short quiz. This method minimizes the burden on your IT team while reinforcing employees’ learning. The training program must automatically adapt per employee and keep sending each bite until learning is completed.
4. Customizable training from the end user’s perspective
Cookie-cutter solutions rarely have a one-size-fits-all effect. Instead, they are more reminiscent of the “Jack of all trades, master of none” phenomenon.
Choose a data protection training program that engages your employees, even when repeating concepts. You must be able to customize training so it reflects the end user’s perspective with immediate relevance, so they’re motivated to take time to learn.
For CybeReady, customizable training is built on data to gauge employees’ needs for data protection training and adapt content based on their role, experience, or language of preference.
5. Data analytics to measure training effectiveness
Running a data protection training program isn’t enough. You must regularly monitor the program’s progress to determine its effectiveness and optimize it as needed.
While click rates assess how many employees click on your training program simulations, they don’t provide a clear picture of your simulations’ results. Here are a couple of examples where click rates fall short:
- Employees click the simulation link but don’t look through or engage with the training content.
- The simulation was overly transparent that your employees didn’t click through it at all.
To measure training effectiveness, your data protection training program must be able to:
- Identify high-risk employees
- Gauge the mean-time between failures (MTBF), as well as the resilience of teams, departments, and the organization itself
- Measure change in employee behavior, resilience, or both
6. Machine learning to change employee behavior
Machine learning plays a critical role in preventing and reducing the human error that opens your organization’s door to cyber threats. Advanced machine learning uses your organization’s training data to analyze employee performance statistics. It tailors continuous learning to each employee’s weak spots and follows a just-in-time learning approach.
Therefore, your data protection training program must leverage data science and machine learning using advanced automation to reduce the IT team’s overhead. It must also identify and minimize high-risk groups in the organization, including new employees, employees with access to sensitive data, and serial clickers. Through machine learning, your training program can bring these employees up to speed, mitigate risk, and boost their performance with marked effectiveness.
7. Compliance changes
Security awareness training programs are critical to any organization that’s seeking to comply with the leading data protection regulations, such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for healthcare and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU. These regulations are based on legislation about how to handle personal customer data, such as how much data an organization can collect and when to dispose of it. If companies don’t follow these regulations, they risk significant financial penalties.
Therefore, choose a data protection training program that keeps current on data protection compliance and regulations as they evolve. This extra layer of security ensures that your employees also comply with these regulations, creating greater security between your business and your customers from potential cyber threats.
Find your data protection training program
By implementing the seven requirements from this post in your data protection training program, you can trust that you have the right cybersecurity solution for your employees. If the data protection training program you’re considering doesn’t have these seven requirements, turn to CybeReady. CybeReady’s fully automated solutions are built on machine learning to provide dynamic, localized, and customizable training bites. Backed by data analytics to gauge and ensure engagement, trust in CybeReady’s complete training solution to protect your employees, your business, and your customers.