Business & Technology

12 Areas of Concern to Cover in Cybersecurity User Awareness Training

By Rob Rashotte | July 25, 2022

End user security awareness training for today’s workforce is a must and will help organizations protect against ever-evolving cyberthreats, especially phishing. By taking the time and making the effort to educate your employees, your organization can greatly diminish the risks of cyberattacks to your network’s and your organization’s security.

This blog explains what end user awareness training encompasses, why it's important for organization, and provide a list of a dozen key topics for discussion required for a comprehensive end user security awareness training program.

Why is User Security Awareness Training Important?

A workforce that is unaware of all the types of dangers lurking online are a serious security risk to any organization’s network and mission. In short, today’s workforce cannot be untrained in cybersecurity awareness.

Cybercriminals will aim their attacks on your employees because they consider them vulnerable and high-value targets that can be easily manipulated into clicking on links in a phishing email; unknowingly initiating an online drive-by download; or unwittingly granting a threat actor access to an office or facility.

One successful attack—as say the result of a single wrong click on hyperlink—can lead to millions of dollars for criminals and your organization becoming a repeat target of more attacks. The price paid by an organization—even one with cyber insurance—could be millions of dollars in compliance fines and in the loss of brand confidence, revenue, shareholder value, and more.

What is End User Awareness Training?

In order to equip your staff, an end user awareness training program is a better teacher than them having to experience the painful ramifications of a successful cyberattack. This is a case where “learning from experience” is extremely undesirable.

An end user awareness training program is an initiative that organizations undertake to fortify their workforce to prevent cybercriminals from being successful. Some corporations design their own training programs, but we recommend engaging with a cybersecurity vendor that has a cyber awareness training program along with years of proven success and experience in defending against cyberthreats.

Cybersecurity awareness starts with the individual, and every employee has a responsibility to secure their organization’s information and assets.

How to Build the Best End User Awareness Training Program

It’s vital to make cybersecurity awareness an integrated and continuous element of your organization’s work culture. Cybersecurity awareness starts with the individual, and every employee has a responsibility to secure their organization’s information and assets.

The best cyber awareness training programs are turnkey offerings that include an intuitive administrative interface for campaign building, monitoring student progress, and reporting on results, along with a student’s portal, learning modules, short reinforcement videos, and remedial exercises.

A Guide for Building a Cyber Aware Workforce

Fortinet has a guide for building a cyber aware workforce and constructing an end user awareness training program titled Setting Goals and Planning Your Security Awareness and Training Program. This guide describes the process in these six steps: 

  1. Design and develop
  2. Implement and roll out
  3. Monitor and manage
  4. Reengage and reinforce
  5. Inspect and improve
  6. Access and define

Also, there are two key preliminary activities that you should do before beginning the six-step process: 

  • A) To assess your organizations risks so that you have a cybersecurity risk baseline to measure against
  • B) To have your leadership team’s full support.

An end user awareness training program should have a cybersecurity framework as its foundation. Ideally, the framework contains your organization’s standards, guidelines, and best practices used to manage cybersecurity risks. The framework can be used to document the policies and procedures that highlight the best practices an organization follows to manage its cybersecurity risk.

In summary, an end user awareness training program must be comprehensive, current, well-designed, supported by executives, and engaging so that your staff will learn and be better equipped to defend themselves and your organization against cybercriminals.

12 Areas of Concern to Cover in All End User Security Awareness Trainings

There are a dozen areas of concern that must be well covered in any effective user awareness training course. Your employees need to learn how to manage threats in the following areas:

  1. Phishing Attacks
  2. Ransomware
  3. Social Engineering
  4. Social Media Use
  5. Internet and Email Use
  6. Mobile Device Security
  7. Removable Media and Devices
  8. Passwords and Authentication
  9. Physical Security
  10. Work from Anywhere (WFA)
  11. Public Wi-Fi
  12. Cloud Security

Fortinet Security Awareness and Training is Ready to Help

The Fortinet Security Awareness and Training service provides timely end user awareness training on cybersecurity threats. It assists an organization’s leaders of IT, security, and compliance in establishing a cybersecurity awareness culture where employees recognize cyberthreats immediately and avoid falling victim to them. The training service also helps satisfy regulatory or industry compliance training requirements for organizations that are need to comply.

The Fortinet cybersecurity awareness training service includes:

  • Engaging and interactive training presented via rich media formats
  • Testing of employees’ understanding and retention during training sessions
  • Reporting on dashboards to show user activity
  • A friendly administrative interface for simple deployment and management

Whether you use the Fortinet training service, another organization’s offering, or develop your own, end user awareness training on cyberthreats should be continuously updated and kept current with the latest threat challenges.

Find out more about how Fortinet's Training Advancement Agenda (TAA) and Training Institute programs—including the NSE Certification program, Academic Partner program, and Education Outreach program—are helping to solve the cyber skills gap and prepare the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow.