A few IT security training tips

Roel recently posted about user education. Last week I co-moderated a discussion workgroup at Net Focus UK on ‘Building and managing an effective IT security training and awareness program’. I thought I’d share some of the key points that came out of the discussions on the subject of staff awareness as part of an overall security strategy.

  1. It’s education, not training. You’re trying to influence attitudes and approaches, not create security experts.
  2. You’re educating your employees; they’re not ‘users’.
  3. If it’s done properly, education can make a big difference to company security.
  4. Keep it personal; this will make it more effective. e.g. tie it in with home PC security.
  5. Make it engaging and interesting. You could use
    • Your company intranet
    • Online training
    • Poster campaigns
    • Foyer displays
    • Tip of the month
    • Calendars or screen-savers.
  6. Keep it simple.
  7. Keep guidelines about what to do or not do, what to report, and who to report to as straightforward as you can.
  8. Make sure you have a written policy that includes guidelines and expectations.
  9. Foster an attitude of openness; otherwise security problems will not be reported.
  10. Avoid making employees feel stupid, or you’ll just alienate them.

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