6 Employee Engagement Tips for Cyber Security Awareness

For many employees, the prospect of cybersecurity training is tedious. Often, these sessions focus on a list of procedures, enumerating technological dos and don'ts. It is unsurprising then, that this uninspired format has little long-term impact on staff behavior. In celebration of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), we are changing the narrative of ineffective cybersecurity curricula.

Here Are Six Engaging Ways to Drive Employee Awareness:

1. Spear Phish Your Employees

Can your staff tell the difference between genuine and phishing emails? End-users are responsible for opening 30% of all phishing emails, often proving the weakest link in cybersecurity defenses. By mass spear phishing staff, you are able to test your employees' ability to discern genuine email content from malicious attachments. This skill is very important, as spear phishing attacks have increased by 600% since the mass migration to remote work in 2020. Many employees aren't even aware that they're actively, or could potentially, compromise their employer's information.

2. Personalize Training for Greater Retention

When presenting cybersecurity training, emphasize that these are transferable skills. If employees use secure practices on their home computers and phones, they will be more likely to do so at work. Using everyday common-sense precepts, as opposed to IT jargon, will also improve employee retention. 

3. Reward Staff for Their Cybersecurity Awareness  

Despite well thought-out cybersecurity policies, you may still find many employees non-compliant. Devise a means of measuring end-user cybersecurity awareness. After doing so, reward staff members who follow best practices. By recognizing highly compliant workers, you may incentivize others to improve their security habits. Some ways of rewarding employees include individual and team-based engagement competitions, encouraging messaging, company swag, and gift cards to their favorite coffee shop.

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4. Make Your Message Visible and Interactive

A cost-effective way of increasing cybersecurity awareness is the use of timely, brief and intriguing content. Media such as posters, comics, flyers, etc. are known for their effectiveness in communicating specific messages. Consider strategic placement, such as break rooms and above printers, to boost employee awareness. 

5. Address Security Misconceptions

Separating what's true and untrue when it comes to cybersecurity can be difficult. Employees often fret over nonessential cyber security issues and tend to lack discipline when it comes to the more serious issues. This is why it's essential to address security misconceptions. Dispel some of the more common ones, such as: authentication isn't necessary, you can store sensitive data anywhere, you don't have to encrypt data in the cloud. 

6. Leverage Your Digital Marketing Team 

Encourage collaboration between your marketing and IT teams, to leverage social media platforms and tools (i.e. videos within the Microsoft 365 platform) to distribute helpful cybersecurity content. From short instructional videos to concise how-to guides, there are numerous ways to boost employee engagement with creative, newsworthy cybersecurity content. Looking for more ways to prepare your employees for the cyberthreats of tomorrow? Reach out to iCorps for a free business IT consultation, today!

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