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Why Cybersecurity Education Needs to Be A Top Priority

Across the globe, organizations are anticipated to spend more than $112 billion on security solutions in 2020 to protect their facilities and people from emerging threats. No one wants to become a victim of cyber or physical security attacks and theft, but protection aided by software, systems, devices, and services alone won’t solve all of an organization’s security concerns. 

With bad actors getting more savvy every day, it’s imperative to proactively educate yourself and your employees on the latest industry trends and best practices throughout the year. In 2020, many organizations will need to focus on workforce talent development to be sure they have expertise in place across the full spectrum of risks.

Here are four ways you can keep yourself and your organization well-informed throughout the year. 

Host internal security trainings

Companies spend millions protecting themselves from outside threats, however, a recent report found internal threats are often a top culprit, with 69 percent of organizations reporting they were breached due to an insider. 

To avoid this and put preventative measures in place, consider hosting security training sessions for all employees, not just technical staff. The most prepared organizations will create an environment for collaboration across operations, IT, physical security staff, executives, employees on the frontlines, and those in back-office departments. 

These efforts will not only help ensure your organization’s security policies and technologies are current and up-to-par, they will also keep your employees informed and prepared for evolving threats. 

There are many resources online and in-person you can tap into throughout the year to host bi-annual or quarterly meetings. These can be as simple as quarterly refreshers of best practices. Helpful courses could cover selecting strong passwords and changing them regularly, why employees need to be careful of anything that’s downloaded or clicked on a work computer, tips on how to recognize common cybercrime risks, implementing contactless technology for enhanced physical security, preparing for active shooter situations, and more. 

If you’re looking for a more in-depth training, these can take a more intensive form with a third-party integrator expert for a full day of in-person training, risk prevention, and how to respond when there is a crisis. 

Depending on the size of your organization and your budget, there are numerous expert resources available. Some of the best resources include those offered by the Security Industry Association, online trainings from the Department of Homeland Security, and in-person training sessions through SANS Institute.

By educating your staff, you are better protecting your company from internal and external threats, phishing schemes, and much more, all while empowering your employees to be informed and prepared to deal with a crisis should one arise.

Stay up to date on security news

A simple and efficient way to stay educated on the latest in security is to read security-focused publications, such as blogs like Krebs on Security. You can also subscribe to daily security newsletters that give a snapshot of top news for the day, as well as in-depth monthly newsletters and articles via sources like ISC News

These provide easy and digestible ways to stay in the know on the industry, new security and public safety technology, and best practices. By staying informed on what’s happening daily, you’ll gain insight on what issues other companies may be facing, and what you can do to get ahead and prevent crises before they happen.

Social media platforms like Twitter are also a great resource for quick, real-time updates on security news, cyber threats, and more, and allow you to become a part of the conversation. There are a variety of wider industry hashtags to follow, such as #cybersecurity, #publicsafety, #datasecurity, #securityindustry, #cyberrisk, #securityplan, #securitysystems, and #connectedsecurity.

By combining frequent scans of security and public safety news with social media and other online resources, you’ll gain a 360-degree view of the industry, get a sense of trends that are happening, and be better equipped to protect your organization in the long run.

Attend conventions

There’s no better place to combine training, education, solution-finding, and networking than at a tradeshow. Tradeshows and other live events are a great way to see the latest and greatest security technology has to offer, and the people and organizations who can provide solutions and expert insights.

The range of events vary, and showcase products, technology, and education that cover physical, IT, and IoT security. 

With a wide array of exhibitors, speakers, and learning sessions, trade shows allow you to demo new products and services (often before they’re released to the public) to determine what can help you in the future and what your business needs most now. 

One trade show to keep an eye on is the International Security Conference West — better known as ISC West — which is the largest security and public safety industry trade show in the United States. It will take place March 17-20 in Las Vegas and will provide hands-on training, exhibitors from a comprehensive range of product categories, and an extensive schedule of special networking events. 

With thousands of security and public professionals in the industry converging at the same location, security trade shows and events give you unmatched access to technology experts and executives in various sectors, allowing you to learn from professionals outside of your everyday bubble.

Understand what tech is available

Physical, IT, and IoT security technologies are always advancing and changing, and there’s countless products that your organization can invest in to further protect itself. The first step to investing in these technologies is understanding what’s available and what issue each product is looking to solve or avoid, and then evaluating where your organization needs protection the most. 

For example, if you’re looking for advanced network protection, you should consider tools that use artificial intelligence and machine learning because they accelerate early detection and response for threats. 

If you’re looking to increase physical security for your employees’ technology, biometric solutions like fingerprint scanners or facial recognition to access laptops would ensure you’re protected against thieves and other physical dangers. 

Finally, more sophisticated cameras and video surveillance are extremely beneficial for those looking for added protection for a facility, and can allow an organization more time to identify and respond to a threat, such as an active shooter or a burglar. Depending on what level of physical and IoT security you’re looking for, most of these emerging technologies can be converged to work simultaneously and give you a complete look at the security of your organization. 

While keeping up with the security industry and its technology might seem intimidating, it’s critical to the well-being of your company, your customers, and your employees to stay educated and invest in technologies that will keep you prepared and protected.

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