Security Awareness

Top Present Challenges for Cyber Security Awareness in Europe

Just like the rest of the world, as European Union states are getting more dependent on the use of internet resources and digital technology for their daily needs including shopping, communication, professional commitments and social contacts, their vulnerability towards falling prey to ever increasing cyber threats is subsequently also on the rise. It has been reported that in Europe, about seventy percent of the people use internet on a daily frequency. In all different aspects where internet plays its role, the information and management systems which are based on internet are most critical both in terms of their use as well as their data integrity and security.

Links to cyber awareness and why cyber security awareness training ?!
More and more stories of such internet based systems being attacked have been reported in recent past. Such attacks or incidents have many core baseline causes which include software errors, human faults and deliberate attacks done by hackers due to a fault in the system. These kind of incidents result in loss of organizational data as well as the customer data which is critical and confidential.

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Cyber security awareness training and crytical infrastructure
On a larger scale, cybercrimes are now targeting critical infrastructures with major threats to infiltrate industrial control systems including electrical and nuclear power industry, aviation, water, telecom, transportation and manufacturing sectors.

Why Cyber Attacks are on the Rise?
Technological advancement and development of newer digital facilities have attracted more organizations to use the digital technology to fulfil their basic daily life requirements. Yet, this is not completely in line with the development of secure and safe mechanisms to protect these systems. Thus, it is anticipated that more organizations now face security threats as compared to few years ago.

Now let us analyse some of the core reasons behind these cyberattacks becoming more common, even though the technology is developing.

  • More emphasis is laid on the release of newer technologies than on making them less vulnerable and more secure.
  • Breaches on behalf of the staff.
  • EU companies are unaware of the cyber security risks and problems their information and digital systems are exposed to, which directly implies to a lack of cyber security awareness training for employees.

How can we Deal with Potential Cyber Attacks?
All these factors demand high level of cyber security awareness training campaigns to be initiated within the employees of the organizations. This demands organizational level cyber security awareness trainings to the employees as well as government level efforts to educate employees about current problems and risks in cyber world. Mitigate risks of cyber-attacks at your organization by adopting some of the best practices.

  • Ongoing risk assessment by gathering and evaluating potential risk indicators on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.
  • Tailored cyber security awareness trainings for employees according to staff role.
  • Access management by regulating people’s access to systems, facilities and data.
  • Vendor Management by regularly assessing risks associated with vendors.

Every organization chooses to have a different style of cyber security awareness training for employees, depending upon what it finds compatible with its culture.

  • Clean Disk Policy: Employees should be taught on how to leave their working space when leaving office. An employee needs to ensure that their desk is clear of all papers when the day ends.
  • Physical Access Checks: Physical access to tangible assets is as important as intangible ones. Every employee should make sure within their capacity that servers, workstations and all such devices including portable hard discs and backup devices, are locked up securely in cabinets.
  • Online Trainings: This consists of pre-defined training content that workers can refer to at their own pace from any location at their convenience. Online tests are conducted at the end to gauge their understanding.
  • Visual Aids: These may not serve as a single source of training, however, visual aid reminders to employees in the form of posters in the workplace and through Email prompts ensures that employees retain what they learn in trainings.
  • Cyber Security Awareness Training Challenges: Nothing will gain the attention of a learner more than actually realizing that they have fallen for a phishing scam. This brings to attention the very important “Phish before you Train” trend that most organizations are now adopting.

GDPR and Cyber Awareness Training
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation enforced in EU states to protect its citizen’s data, since 2016. This is a government level initiative to restrict all the Member States on how they should handle the user private data. This demands high protection and security to be deployed by the organizations on using the citizen’s confidential information. This requires a certain level of cyber awareness training for personal data processors. GDPR protects the out flow of information of the EU citizens from EU. It is an added layer of protection and rights to citizens on their data in international data communication. Dedicated modules for PII and legal requirements should be present in the regular cyber security awareness training for employees.

Cyber Awareness Training for Employees
Employees are now a high risk in the present cyber landscape. Searching for improvements in their level of cyber awareness have to be a priority and this should be continuously aligned with the current attacks spectrum and internal security policies. All these actions for cyber security awareness training for employees will pay-off on a long run through a reduction in terms of risk exposure. This effort has, in any case, has measurable component and can be achieved implicitly in the cyber security awareness training sessions or through simulated attacks.