Ensuring cybersecurity awareness amongst the different stakeholders of a country is only possible through cyber security awareness and education. Following cybersecurity policies is a lot easier when people are aware of the severe threats that cybersecurity threats possess. Even though awareness, education and training are taken interchangeably, they are different. It is essential to maintain this difference, especially when dealing with cybersecurity threats. It is important to work on all three elements to create secure cyberspace.
1. Cybersecurity Awareness
With cybersecurity awareness, it is possible to grab people’s attention. It is only when the attention is grabbed that the people can further be engaged to know about the importance of different cyber security measures. For instance, many people know that IP addresses can pose a threat, but they do not know how to check the IP address. Use What Is My IP to check the IP address. It is only when people are aware of these tiny bits it becomes possible to educate further and train them.
To create cybersecurity awareness, it is important first to create awareness of why it is relevant to the people. The gravity can be further explained by creating awareness about how cyber security threats impact them. It is important to take the attention span of the people seriously and send as many messages as possible. Innovative measures should be taken to work to create cybersecurity awareness.
2. Cybersecurity Education
After creating cybersecurity awareness, it is important to go a level deeper and educate the people for the same. Cybersecurity awareness should include information about the risks that they can affect. Along with that, it is important to equip the people with the measures they can take to protect themselves against the threat.
Simply, creating awareness is not sufficient without a possible solution. It is important to note that a tech person might understand the solutions more quickly, but the same is not true for people who are not digital literate. Depending upon the target, it is essential to devise a suitable method to educate them about cybersecurity. We recommend making cybersecurity education an interactive session to ensure that people can confidently protect themselves.
For instance, instead of telling multiple factor authentication gives an additional layer of security. The educator can give a demo or presentation to show how multiple-factor authentication works and can be activated.
3. Cybersecurity Training
Without cybersecurity training, the entire process is incomplete. With proper training, the skills can be provided to the people not only to recognise cybersecurity threats but also, to protect themselves. Once the skill is dispatched, it works like a chain mechanism. The person who has acquired the necessary skills can further teach others to protect themselves against the different cybersecurity threats.
Cybersecurity training should be conducted at educational institutions, and public and private companies to get the maximum benefit.
Is Cybersecurity Awareness, Education and Training Enough?
Even though it might give an idea that employing cybersecurity awareness, education and training are enough to build a resilient structure; it is not true. It is because, even when people know what to do and what should be avoided, it becomes hard to follow it. The challenge here lies in human behaviour. According to reports, 90% of human activity is automatic. Therefore, it is vital to work toward changing the behaviour pattern of people. Cybersecurity-safe behaviour should be encouraged. Even though it is challenging, with repeated practice, it can be employed over the passage of time. Further, changing human behaviour in the cybersecurity area will also ensure the creation of a security culture that can benefit the mass.
Changing human behaviour requires investment in time, budget and human resources. With the right amount of awareness, sensitisation clubbed with knowledge and conviction and proper implementation of the skills, acceptance can be created that can result in safe cybersecurity behaviour.
Cybersecurity-safe behaviour can be encouraged via regular training at periodic intervals and simulations. As discussed above, time is of utmost importance. To create safe cyberspace, different stakeholders like the government, educational institutes and even public and private companies need to come together. It is only when they create awareness and educate and train their masses that it is possible to create cybersecurity literate people at a higher scale.