Cybersecurity Training: Why Your eLearning Is Incomplete Without Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity Training: Why Your eLearning Is Incomplete Without Cybersecurity
Summary: eLearning has another, possible even more critical application that will likely explode in popularity in coming years. Rather than focusing on skills and productivity, this new application of eLearning will emphasize cybersecurity training, compliance, and awareness.

Why Cybersecurity Training Is Important: When Productivity Hacks Become Survival Skills

Digital security has rapidly become the primary concern for businesses and organizations everywhere. From government to healthcare, from customer service to IT, security in digital spaces has never been more critical or complex. The same goes for cybersecurity training.

With a growing number of smart and connected devices providing new productivity opportunities and even new business models, the Internet of Things (IoT) is also compounding the possible number and nature of cyber attacks organizations face. And the greatest vulnerability to any system tends to be not the determination of hackers or other outside forces, but the negligence, ignorance, or general misbehavior of users within the organization itself.

The voluntary compliance rate for tax policy in the U.S. is about 80%; when the IRS gets involved, it is able to bump the compliance rate only around 2%, recouping roughly $50 million. Fraudsters, impersonating the IRS to scam citizens out of their money, are able to collect more than $26 million a year. Such bogus collections calls became the number one most common scam of 2016.

IRS impersonators are not cybercriminals per se, but their prolific success and procedure typifies the risks of cyber attacks: It isn’t the sophistication of the attack that makes it successful, but the vulnerability of the targets to be confused, manipulated, or blindsided. Fighting phone scammers during the filing season isn’t helped by caller ID or more robust communication networks – the IRS’s best defense is promoting awareness and vigilance on the part of every taxpaying citizen.

Effective cybersecurity training on security basics and behavioral standards is not something accomplished through a one-time seminar or even company meetings. The digital environment is constantly growing, changing, and creating new opportunities for hackers and criminals to take advantage of the unwary. Learning to be proactive and aware is as much a survival skill and it is a desirable talent in the modern workforce.

Next Steps To Take Today

1. Recognize That Universal Risks Require Universal Solutions.

Addressing the vulnerabilities created by average users in any system or program goes beyond the scope of even the most talented IT department. There was a time when typists were specialized professionals who worked with keyboards; now everyone is expected to have basic typing skills. This is precisely where we are with cyber security. Investing now in an on-going training regimen for all workers – regardless of their specific role or professional background--is necessary.

2. A Resilient Skillset Is Not Static.

Other than a few bells and whistles, keyboards have not changed significantly since the early days of typewriters. A few introductory courses in primary school have proven sufficient to train generations on the basics of keyboarding well into the digital age. There are many such skills that can be taught once and used indefinitely; cyber security does not fall into this category. Cybersecurity training must become a matter of routine: An ongoing, evolving curriculum that is responsive to both new technology, new applications in your organization, and the new vulnerabilities that emerge.

3. Learning Is A Survival Strategy.

A resilient culture carries an organization through iterations of development, through internal and external change, and keeps employees engaged. A major part of keeping organizations resilient is learning, training, and a dedication of workforce education. In the digital era, resilience and survival also entail understanding the basics of cyber security, and deploying strategies, behavioral guidelines, and operating standards throughout the workforce. “Cybercrime” may sound high tech and esoteric, but its perpetrators are just like most other criminals looking for soft targets and easy wins. The business that addresses how employees create vulnerabilities is the one that makes itself a less attractive target--and survives another day.

4. eLearning Can Deploy Security Awareness. 

There can be a trade-off between productivity and security; after all, if no one comes to work, there are no users to compromise the computer network. Finding the right balance takes an efficiency that digital learning solutions are uniquely prepared to provide. As more and more work is done in virtual and remote environments, so too must your security training be delivered exactly where it is needed. Whether you are grappling with a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy or simply trying to protect a local network, digital learning resources can simplify security training and keep all workers in touch with best practices and new challenges.

Final Word 

A robust approach to security training can take many forms; the only certainty is that it is needed everywhere. There are many learning opportunities and skills upgrades available through digital media today, but there is perhaps none more critical to both success and survival. From learning the language of security, to behavioral basics and changing standards, professionals of every trade need an opportunity to get acquainted with cybersecurity, and then stay up to date as the world grows more connected, complex, and capable of devastating hacks, scams, and breaches.