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Cybersecurity Awareness: A Comprehensive Guide for the Central Coast

In today's digital age, cybersecurity awareness is paramount. It's not just about completing an annual phishing training or feeling secure after teaching employees how to spot phishing emails. The key to a robust cybersecurity posture is continuous training and reinforcement. This article delves into the importance of frequent cybersecurity training and provides tips on how to cultivate a cyber secure culture.

The Importance of Regular Cybersecurity Training

Why is regular training crucial? A recent study presented at the USENIX SOUPS security conference found that training every four months is the "sweet spot" for maintaining cybersecurity awareness. The study examined users' ability to detect phishing emails versus training frequency and found that four months after their training, employees were still able to accurately identify and avoid clicking on phishing emails. However, after six months, their scores started to decline.

To keep employees well prepared, they need training and refreshers on security awareness. This will help them to act as a positive agent in your cybersecurity strategy. Regular training and support are key components of managed IT services, which are revolutionizing businesses in Santa Maria and the wider Central Coast region.

Cultivating a Cyber-secure Culture on the Central Coast

The gold standard for security awareness training is to develop a cyber secure culture. This is one where everyone is cognizant of the need to protect sensitive data, avoid phishing scams, and keep passwords secured.

However, according to the 2021 Sophos Threat Report, one of the biggest threats to network security is a lack of good security practices. The report states, "A lack of attention to one or more aspects of basic security hygiene has been found to be at the root cause of many of the most damaging attacks we've investigated."

Well-trained employees significantly reduce a company’s risk. They reduce the chance of falling victim to any number of different online attacks. To be well-trained doesn’t mean you have to conduct a long day of cybersecurity training. It’s better to mix up the delivery methods.

Here are some examples of engaging ways to train employees on cybersecurity. You can include these in your training plan:

  • Self-service videos that get emailed once per month

  • Team-based roundtable discussions

  • Security “Tip of the Week” in company newsletters or messaging channels

  • Training session given by an IT professional

  • Simulated phishing tests

  • Cybersecurity posters

  • Celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October

When conducting training, phishing is a big topic to cover, but it’s not the only one. Here are some important topics that you want to include in your mix of awareness training.

Phishing by Email, Text & Social Media

Email phishing is still the most prevalent form. But SMS phishing (“smishing”) and phishing over social media are both growing. Employees must know what these look like, so they can avoid falling for these sinister scams. This is where reliable IT support, like the one growing in Santa Barbara's tech scene, plays a crucial role.

Credential & Password Security

Credential theft is now the #1 cause of data breaches globally. This makes it a topic that is critical to address with your team. Discuss the need to keep passwords secure and the use of strong passwords. Also, help them learn tools like a business password manager. This is a key area where San Luis Obispo businesses can benefit from a focus on cybersecurity.

Mobile Device Security

Mobile devices are now used for a large part of the workload in a typical office. Review security needs for employee devices that access business data and apps. Such as securing the phone with a passcode and keeping it properly updated. This is particularly relevant for SMBs in Lompoc, where tailored IT solutions can help overcome unique challenges.

Data Security

Train employees on proper data handling and security procedures. This reduces the risk you'll fall victim to a data leak or breach that can end up in a costly compliance penalty. Data security is a critical aspect of managed cybersecurity services, which businesses in Goleta and the wider Central Coast region are increasingly turning to.

Need Help Keeping Your Team Trained on Cybersecurity?

Consider taking training off your plate and train your team with cybersecurity professionals. An engaging training program can help your team change their behaviors to improve cyber hygiene.

This article is brought to you by StarSyn, your local partner for IT success in California's Central Coast. We're dedicated to providing robust IT solutions for the coverage you need, helping you have peace of mind and confidence in your cybersecurity.

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