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Cybersecurity Training and Awareness Course for Confluence users

Cybersecurity is a prerequisite for any successful organization. The cyber threat landscape is widening exponentially. Employees play a significant role in protecting their corporate digital assets. Contrarily, an untrained or disgruntled workforce can harm enterprises. Therefore, considering the human element is indispensable to thwart cybersecurity threats and attacks, such as malware attacks, social engineering attacks, wireless and application attacks, password attacks, and cryptography attacks.

Undoubtedly, cyber resilience is ensured by modern IT technologies like Security Operation Centers (SOC) and tools within it, including Endpoint Protection, SIEM, SOAR, Threat Intelligence, Incident Response, etc. Nevertheless, businesses cannot underestimate the importance of cyber education for employees. For example, according to Verizon's 2022 Data Breach Investigation Report, 82% of cyber-attacks occur because of the human element, including social engineering attacks, misuse, and errors. In fact, knowledge is a powerful weapon. Therefore, successful companies start with a cybersecurity training and awareness program to educate their IT staff and employees. In addition, they include cyber training as a part of their security policies.

More importantly, various regulatory standards such as GDPR, SOX, PCI, CCPA, and HIPAA require cybersecurity training and awareness program for all workforce. Noncompliant organizations may face severe penalties and reputational damage. The following sections delve into more details.

Many companies that use Confluence for team collaboration are concerned about cybersecurity awareness. The information gathered in this article can serve as a checklist for those in charge of cybersecurity training. Hopefully, it will save you the time you'd use trying to compile all the related topics into your perfect course outline.

Why Is Security Training and Awareness So Important?

Cybersecurity training and awareness are indispensable to preventing human errors. In addition, defending against viruses, malware, and social engineering attacks such as phishing, spear-phishing, Vishing, Whaling, Hoaxes, and tailgating is essential.

No matter how many hours you spend daily to make an incredible culture at your company. Some employees still are dissatisfied with their jobs. They may feel unhappy and angry due to potential unfair treatment. Thus, they can create security issues or insider threats for their organization. This is another reason to deploy security training as a security control to address insider threats due to disgruntled employees.

The untrained employee can expose his company's sensitive information, such as competitive corporate secrets, to cybercriminals. If a data breach occurs, the company will face a deficit of trust and lose customers. Reputational damage will also be a severe issue. Therefore, you must impart a security training education to your workforce to prevent cyber incidents.

And the great news is that you can use Confluence for your cybersecurity training.

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With izi LMS for Confluence, you can set up such a course right in your workspace and invite users to take it without leaving the comfort of their main work hub - Confluence.

Today's regulatory bodies, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), require organizations to implement cybersecurity training and awareness programs to avert security incidents. Moreover, if a company fails to protect its vital digital assets, such as PII, it must face a massive fine. For example, the European Union's GDPR imposes a penalty of €20 million (about £18 million) or 4% of annual global turnover for infringements.

What Is a Role-Based Training?

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Role-based training is a part of the company's security policy. It assigns specific tasks to specific workers or groups in the company. Only the specified group will be responsible for completing that task. Also, the new employees must understand how to utilize IT infrastructure, why resources are classified, and where data is stored. Numerous enterprises do not allow full access to new users for using critical systems as long as they are not trained. On the other hand, some organizations grant limited access to new users. Typically, role-based training should incorporate three roles, including:

  1. The organization as a whole: This should encompass the entire organization by covering critical areas, including the importance of security, social engineering prevention, usage policies, and policies and procedures.
  2. Management: Managers must take responsibility for enforcing policies and procedures.
  3. Technical Staff: The technical staff includes developers, network administrators, database administrators, and so forth. Each of them must perform their duty diligently. For example, the network administrator will monitor network traffic flow and detect intrusions.

More importantly, the training must be provided to every employee as long as they are associated with your organization. In fact, training is an ongoing activity requiring periodic audits to ensure that every person is trained enough to perform their tasks adequately and efficiently.

How Important Are Security Policy Training and Procedures?

Behavioral changes and motivation are critical factors in successfully implementing the security solution. These changes occur when alterations in the regular work activities take place to comply with the procedures, guidelines, and standards mandated by a security policy. 

Behavior modification should be addressed with a learning program that includes awareness training and education. All these learning elements should be incorporated into the organization's security policy. The security policy must define every employee's liability and responsibility. Lastly, the enforcement of security policy is indispensable because lack of enforcement may cause the employees to feel non-obligated to comply with it.

What Do I Need to Know About Cybersecurity Threats and Attacks?

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1. Malware

Malware is a malicious file or code that cyber pests deliver to the victim's machine to gain unauthorized access and compromise sensitive information. According to Microsoft, malware is a catch-all term to refer to any software designed to cause damage to a single computer, server, or computer network." Malware has different types:

  • Ransomware
  • Bots
  • Worm
  • Keylogger
  • Trojan Horse
  • Fileless Malware
  • Crypto-Malware
  • Backdoor
  • Logic Bomb
  • Malvertising
  • Rootkits
  • Spyware
  • Adware

The security training course assists in comprehending malware and its types, detection schemes, and essential measures to prevent them.

2. Social Engineering Attacks

Kaspersky, a cybersecurity firm, defines social engineering as a manipulation technique bad guys use to exploit human error. Once the employee gets a victim of the attack, hostile actors steal sensitive information. The firm terms social engineering as human hacking that tends to trick unsuspecting users into revealing private data, delivering malware, or giving access to critical systems. Social engineering attacks include:

  • Phishing
  • Spear-Phishing
  • Scareware
  • Pretexting
  • Vishing and Smishing
  • Honey Trap
  • Diversion Theft
  • Water Hole
  • Piggybacking/Tailgating
  • Shoulder Surfing
  • Dumpster Diving
  • Impersonation

Employees must be mindful of social engineering and its types. To this end, organizations introduce security awareness and training courses. The users will learn what social engineering is and its prevention measures.  

3. Cryptography Attacks

A cryptographic attack is a malicious attempt to circumvent a cryptographic system's security. Attackers try to find a vulnerability in code, cipher (an encrypted text), key management, or a cryptographic protocol. The cryptographic attacks incorporate Dictionary Attack, Rainbow Table Attack, Birthday Attack, and Brute-force Attack.

4. Wireless and Application Attacks

The use of wireless connections is widespread nowadays. Attackers use sophisticated techniques to exploit wireless connections. Moreover, applications are also vulnerable to attacks because they are not as protected and patched as modern operating systems. Threat actors launch several types of wireless and application attacks, including:

  • Evil Twin
  • Bluejacking
  • Bluesnarfing
  • DoS and DDoS
  • Rogue Access Point
  • URL Hijacking
  • DNS Poisoning
  • Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) Attack
  • MAC Spoofing
  • IP Spoofing
  • Pharming

What Are Some Anti-Phishing Best Practices?

Phishing is one of the most dangerous social engineering attacks. Employees often fall prey to fishing attacks. However, if they know the anti-phishing best practices, phishing attacks would be prevented. To this end, the security awareness program recommends some security controls, including deploying and updating company procedures, reporting suspicious activities, beware of malicious emails, attachments, or links, using spam filters, protecting your pc, installing an antivirus program, always configuring your email client, comply with your company email policy, use a strong password, and avoid employing removable media.

What Are Some Essential Physical Security Controls?

Physical controls also have paramount importance in protecting IT infrastructure. You must prevent thieves from entering your IT department and stealing an entire system or critical data. Therefore, security professionals recommend using essential physical control, including escape routes, escape plans, lighting, locks, fencing, CCTV cameras, control types, and testing controls.

What Are Vital Training Topics for Employees?

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1. Clean Desk Policy

When working in the office, you may have critical information on your desk, such as printouts, pads of note papers, important notes, company secrets, etc. At the end of your working day, clean your desk to keep essential information secure from thieving hands and prying eyes.

2. Data labeling, Handling, and Disposal

These three operations on data are performed by three different subjects—namely, "User," "Owner," and "Custodian." A user analyzes data and performs actions such as access or retrieve. The owner is responsible for performing data labeling to ensure data storage and protection. Finally, the custodian also does the same job, but they have day-to-day responsibility to store and protect data.

3. Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

A PII is a part of corporate privacy laws and is used to locate a single person or identify an individual under consideration. PII may include an individual's name, social security number, date of birth, and employment information.

Protecting PII must be part of your company's privacy policy, and each employee must not disclose the PII of his counterpart or any other employee working in the same organization. Unauthorized disclosure of PII can trigger legal issues for the company in question. The training course will let employees understand how to identify attacks and protect PII using essential security controls.

4. Smart Computing Habits

Each employee should not attach any stray media, such as a flash drive, no matter how secure. For example, don't trust the flash drive near your car parking or home door. Before attaching any mobile device to your PC or laptop, ensure that it is appropriately secured and protected with an antivirus program.

5. Smart Internet Habits

The users must be familiar with phishing attacks and, therefore, must not open the unwanted attachment and click on suspicious links. Besides, it is better to disable pop-up windows as they involve risks. In addition, the worker should not install a software application from unknown websites. Unfortunately, today, many sites offer fake antivirus programs that compromise the system instead of protecting it.

6. Beware of Email Scams

An email scam is an unsolicited and fraudulent email claiming the prospect of a bargain for nothing. Scam Emails lure users to free offers and business opportunities and invite the victim to a site for a detailed description of the offer. Users must be mindful of these menaces to prevent scams and avoid such offers.

7. Prevent Tailgating

Tailgating, in fact, occurs when an unauthorized person gains access to a facility under the authorization of a valid employee but without his knowledge. The security training course provides necessary education against tailgating.

8. Be Careful Against Social Engineering

In social engineering attacks, threat actors capitalize on human error to achieve their malicious goals. The cybersecurity training and awareness course makes you mindful of social engineering attacks and their tactics used to compromise victims. Moreover, you will also learn some essential techniques to prevent social engineering attacks.

9. Respond to Hoaxes

A hoax is a falsehood/deception deliberately fabricated to subterfuge the victim. The malicious parties typically use hoaxes through emails to harm the users. A hoax email will notify the user with regard to the approaching danger. For example, a hoax can apprise you that your computer will be badly compromised if you don't turn it off on Friday at 2 A.M the 13th.

10. Use Smart Passwords

Passwords are, unfortunately, a weak form of authentication. Poor passwords that can easily be guessed are vulnerable to several password attacks. Therefore, a strong password must be a part of an organization's security policy. There are numerous tools that help you generate strong passwords and manage them, e.g. 1Password. In addition, enterprises should use multifactor authentication to avert password attacks.

11. Understand Bring-Your-Own-Devices (BYOD) Policy

BYODs personally belong to your employees, such as mobile devices, iPods, laptops, etc. Since each employee has control over their BYOD, the security mechanisms of these devices are often poor and, hence, provide porous holes for malicious actors to penetrate your secure corporate network. This usually occurs when an unsecured BYOD establishes connectivity with your company network.

12. Be Mindful of Compliance Laws and Standards

Your enterprise must deploy a compliance testing/checking technique to ensure that your entire workforce is complying with your corporate laws (such as security policy), best practices, and standards.  

The Bottom Line

In the evolving world of technology, cybersecurity threats are increasing by leaps and bounds. Many reports and surveys demonstrate that most data breaches occur due to a lack of cybersecurity training. For example, according to a recent study by Scalar Decisions Inc, an organization's lack of cyber training continues to be a primary reason for increased cyber-attacks in Canada.

According to another report created by the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), lack of cybersecurity training is the leading cause of the cybersecurity skills shortage. This problem is impacting 70% of organizations. The report further reveals that 36% of survey respondents believe that their companies should provide more opportunities for cyber training.

The workforce in your company must be equipped with advanced cybersecurity training and awareness program to thwart the possibility of human oversight and negligence. This program should be part of the organization's security policy for this to be done effectively. In addition, it will help your company to strengthen its overall security posture.

Try izi LMS to create and launch your cybersecurity training inside your Confluence.

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