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With spear phishing attacks increasingly being used to spread malware and ransomware, security awareness training has never been more important. There’s a daily need to keep staff alert to the dangers of email attachments, to watch for warning signs in the text of messages and to mouse over hyperlinks.

Yet a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study found only 57 per cent of Canadian respondents in a global study said their organization offer employee security training and awareness programs.

So a story this week on the importance of awareness training is timely. As the author notes, a once-a-year, classroom-based approach may be traditional, with some security updates and warnings posted on walls and the Intranet thrown in, but it isn’t enough.  However, many CISOs feel they don’t have the time and resources to do more.

First, the piece offers some sage advice to infosec pros: Don’t push this stone uphill. If directors and the C-suite understand the need for security awareness training, they’ll find you some time and resources to do it.

Second, if you have the resources find out what the best training is for your organization. It may be gamification, it may be a video explaining how an attacker can exploit the weaknesses in your company.

Third, as the story points out, awareness training has to create a positive culture. “There cannot be a culture of blame,” one CISO is quoted as saying. “I would rather have someone recognize they have made a mistake and notify security. If they do not notify security because they are concerned they may be punished, your awareness program has failed at the worst possible time.”

One thing is certain: We’ve got to do better than this test that ran last year, which showed Canadians who took an Intel-run phishing test took the bait far too often.

Read the full story here



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