In an era where cyberattacks are an everyday threat to organizations, employees need to be empowered to practice proper security training and protocols to protect against cybercriminals. It’s easy to make errors when people don’t have a background in IT or security, so training a workforce on the most common cyberthreats can protect the company and its employees’ confidential information. 

Instead of defending against attacks, your company can proactively prevent them if employees are able to recognize red flags and potential threats. Practicing cybersecurity awareness by using foundational tactics such as encrypted emails, strong passwords, VPNs, and other implemented company-wide tools will help decrease the chance of data breaches. When beginning security awareness training in your company, here are the seven must-know, impactful training topics to make sure your training covers. 

1. Phishing Emails

Phishing attacks and scams disguise themselves as genuine emails, gaining the trust of the target before deploying vicious malware or stealing confidential information. Phishing emails may include a suspicious attachment or link demanding them to update personal information or passwords or may have errors in their sender information.

When employees know what to watch for, it’s easier to avoid getting caught by a phishing scam — even a targeted one. A good secure email service can also help screen incoming mail for suspicious patterns, helping to take some of the work out of employees’ hands.

2. Strong Passwords

One of the most basic but often overlooked forms of security is a strong password. Employees should understand the importance of making strong passwords and changing them periodically to protect private systems and information. Creating unique yet memorable passwords can be tricky, and employees should be trained on how to store passwords securely — rather than on a sticky note or in a text file.

3. Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware is one of the most common forms of cyberattacks, damaging and halting businesses until a ransom is paid. When ransomware’s vicious software is deployed, the target’s computer or system’s data becomes encrypted until the hacker’s desired sum is paid. Educating employees on how to prevent ransomware attacks is the best way to defend against bad actors. 

4. Information Security 

An organization is only as strong as its weakest link, which is why businesses protect digital assets starts by keeping confidential information on a need-to-know basis. Putting policies in place for sharing sensitive data between employees can help decrease potential leaks.

5. Removable Media 

Although using removable media such as USBs or external hard drives can be a simple and convenient way for employees to store work projects or data, it can also be a major risk. For organizations that share physical drives, giving employees the correct security awareness training on how to protect sensitive information on their removable media is essential. 

6. Social Engineering Attacks

Socially engineered attacks use psychological manipulation through social interactions and networks to trick the victim into making security mistakes or giving away private information. If employees have a good understanding of the risks and red flags of potential social engineering attacks, they can protect themselves and the company. 

7. Mobile Security

In the modern-day workplace, it’s normal to stay connected through mobile devices. However, lost or stolen devices with an organization’s private information present a cybersecurity risk. Training employees on the potential risks and how to secure their mobile devices with strong passwords is crucial to avoid a bad agent unlocking their phone, leading to sensitive information being leaked. 

Providing a workforce with the knowledge and tools to defend and prevent cyberattacks is a must in today’s age. Finding a complete and engaging security awareness training system can help make this task simple, and save countless headaches in the future.