It is a well-known fact that one of the greatest threats in information security comes from within one’s own company. Cybercriminals have become increasingly advanced in their never-ending attempts to manipulate users into compromising systems and exposing valuable information.
Security awareness programs have been implemented on a growing scale due to necessity and compliance requirements imposed by standards such as PCI, FISMA, and HIPAA, to name a few. However, the purpose of implementing a strong, thorough security awareness program is not to simply satisfy compliance needs. The true purpose of a solid security awareness program is to prevent sensitive data loss and the pain and anguish that accompany a breach.
All too often companies and organizations develop security awareness programs to meet the bare minimum of requirements, but just because compliance with a regulatory standard is achieved does not mean the company is secure. To gauge the effectiveness of a security awareness program, data tracking security incidents and employee involvement must be charted from one year to next as the program is updated and evolved to meet the growing needs of the business.
An effective and thorough security awareness program must have a variety of communication methods and include a range of topics educating the user about the array of tactics utilized by cybercriminals in today’s world. Six of these highly important topics which will be covered in this article are physical security, password security, phishing, malware, wireless security, and safe internet browsing.