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Cyber Security Awareness Program Planning

When planning for a successful cyber security awareness program implementation, one of the first things to consider is a timeline. 

We must make sure that critical cyber awareness topics designate appropriate attention and time. The goal is understanding and support from everyone in an organization. 

Cyber security defense is a shared responsibility and building a sense of responsibility organization wide takes time. 

How long does a cyber security awareness program last? 

To begin, each company has its own goals when it comes to building and delivering cyber security awareness programs.  For a successful implementation, industry experts agree it is most effective to plan and implement programs over 12 months. 

Cyber security awareness program planning also takes time. It is important we account for the planning stage.

Is an awareness program a one-time thing? 

NO. 

Cyber criminals won’t stop trying to hack into systems. Companies must always focus on delivering information concerning the newest threats and new ways to increase preventive skills. 

Each year, companies must determine what critical risks need the most attention. And moreover, focus on effective awareness and training methods to combat cyber-crime. 

Won’t people get tired of cyber-security? 

People do get tired of seeing cyber-security related information, and there’s a reason this happens. Like anything else, too much of a good thing is a waste.

Over the course of a year an organization might require hours of ongoing cyber security training. This could require logging into a separate system which interrupts workflow. Conversely, a company might constantly run phishing simulations or send cyber security updates every other day.

Cyber security training and awareness can become annoying noise. Eventually we become numb to the message. We start to fall back on bad habits because it becomes “too much” for us to keep in mind. 

Be that as it may, there are ways to prevent this.

How do you prevent cyber security fatigue? 

LastLine Cyber looks at cyber security awareness and training differently. 

Designing and delivering effective programs takes an empathetic approach. Taking into consideration factors like attention span, prior experience toward “required training” and interruption to workflows is a must. 

As a result, our methodology prevents cyber security fatigue by delivering bite sized lessons. We consider the things which make required training feel so “required” and make it enjoyable instead.

Cyber security awareness material is diversified every month. One month might include more video content. Other months might be content light and instead simulate phishing. Sometimes we focus on how to protect our personal assets. Or we share tips on how to protect your family from cyber crime.

Other times content is hyper specific to a certain current issue facing the company or the world. 

Think about companies who effectively market their products year after year. Their ads from 2018 are different than 2020.  Their message is often similar but delivered in varied ways, keeping their customers engaged. We get the latest and greatest but maintain the brand’s “feeling”. 

We take this approach of effective marketing and incorporate it into cyber security awareness programs. Then, employees retain the message of cyber security defense best practices without feeling that content becomes stale, outdated or worse… annoying.

What about new employees, do they miss out on content from last year? 

Nope. 

With new employees, familiarizing them with the company’s commitment to cyber security happens on day 1.  We do this in a variety of ways.

Most often, information security policies are communicated first. Then, it’s kind of like a season recap of your favorite show. We focus on the important parts, and save the rest for the next season. Right away a new employee is already on their way to become a part of the shared cyber security responsibility. 

We keep in mind that starting a new job can feel overwhelming. Especially if the onboarding process incorporates numerous trainings and meetings. 

That’s why we make ourselves accessible to new hires and their managers so that cyber awareness and training content is delivered in a consumable and non-overbearing way. 

Does a cyber security awareness program ever end? 

Yes.

A cyber security awareness program (if designed and implemented well) will have an end date. Additionally, it includes a review period to learn the ways in which the program succeeded and areas of improvement. 

Then we take lessons learned from the previous year’s program and incorporate them into the development of the next awareness program. 

We experiment with different program deliverables. Together, we learn what methods work best for your employee population and what methods we should avoid. 

Cyber security awareness programs are an ongoing part of a cyber security strategy. Programs are planned and implemented each year.  However, the awareness program content and delivery will vary with each new version of the program.  We must consider organizational changes, corporate strategy updates, technology integrations, new cyber threats and anything which impacts the cyber security strategy.

How does a company get started with a cyber security awareness program? 

There are a number of ways to start, but it helps having a guide.

You can contact us or take our free security baseline survey to start the conversation. Let’s begin your organization’s journey to a culture of shared cyber security responsibility. 

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