Cybercriminals are social engineering experts who are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to manipulate people into clicking malicious links. A lack of cyber skills and awareness have attributed to 85 percent of cybersecurity breaches. Higher education organizations are at a high risk for damaging ransomware attacks and data breaches. By implementing cyber awareness training programs, colleges and universities can close the cybersecurity skills gap and better protect their organizations and employees from becoming victims of the latest attack.
When it comes to the cybersecurity skills gap, colleges and universities typically focus on building a stronger IT team to handle cyberattacks. But when there are tens of thousands of students and faculty members accessing the university’s network, this means that there are tens of thousands of potential vulnerabilities within a university’s cyber defenses.
William Candrick, Gartner’s Director Analyst, explained the need for intuitive training programs, “You need to turn employees into controls that detect and resist social engineering attacks, but security and risk leaders often fail to deliver a security awareness program that produces meaningful changes in employee behavior.”
Despite the number of cyber awareness training programs available, few provide employees or students with the necessary knowledge and skills needed to identify and respond to cyber threats. In a conversation on the Defender’s Advantage podcast, Shanyn Ronis, Mandiant’s Intelligence Training Program Manager, explained their methodology for building training programs that effective close the cybersecurity skills gap.
“One of the things that we do in the training is apply critical thinking and core underlying concepts to novel scenarios,” Ronis said. “The idea being that we want to help make concepts relevant and actionable, but still valid six months or a year from now.”
Since the ransomware attacks are constantly changing and evolving, employees need more than the traditional cyber awareness and trouble-shooting checklists. By developing critical thinking skills and understanding of core concepts, employees can identify suspicious activity and react to cyber threats in real time.
Cyber awareness training is essential to protecting universities from costly cyberattacks. However, universities can close the cybersecurity skills gap by investing in solutions that teach employees to use critical thinking skills and apply core underlying concepts to everyday situations. Investing in these training solutions will ensure better cybersecurity for years to come.
Learn how to close the cybersecurity skills gap with hands on training here.