• January 16, 2024
  • Catagory Security

5 Considerations for Successful Security Awareness Training

By : Sanjeev Spolia

If you want to bolster your cybersecurity in 2024, providing effective security awareness training is just as important as deploying the right data protection tools.

Before you decide what security awareness training you’re going to do this year, consider getting feedback from your employees as well as aligning your training with the key projects you expect to be doing over the next 12 months.

Evaluate last year’s training

Find out what your employees liked about the security awareness training they have received in the past – both the positive and the negative. Was it engaging? What content did your employees like or dislike? Did like they like in-person workshops? What about online content such as videos? Understanding what works best will help make any future security awareness training more effective and enjoyable, as well as ensuring it’s effective.

How will you communicate?

Leveraging your employees to bolster your cyber security posture isn’t just about the security awareness training you provide, but also how you engage them on a day-to-day basis about any issues, concerns, or incidents. How effective is email for making sure everyone is on the same page? Are you leveraging channels on your collaboration platforms such as Slack and Microsoft Teams? How do you ensure that remote workers are receiving security-related bulletins?

What issues does your security awareness training need to address?

Broadly speaking, it’s easy to identify which challenges and threats your security awareness training must consider, but have you given thought to the specific issues that the executive team and employees are most concerned about? Were there specific threats in the past year such as phishing or ransomware that weren’t handled adequately? How well is your organization securing remote workers?

How should your projects in 2024 shape your training?

Security awareness training should not only apply to routine business operations, but also for major projects, whether it is customer deliverables or your own strategic digital transformation efforts. New endeavors often require access to data as well as the need for new cloud-based applications, all of which have an impact on your security posture. New customers may have security requirements that may require you to implement new processes and policies that your employees must be made aware of.

Getting new employees up to speed

If you’ve already added new staff or plan to scale up your headcount in 2024, you must gear your security awareness training for newcomers. They may come from an organization with less stringent security policies or conversely, they might be able to bring something to the table that enhances both your training and your security policies. No matter what, onboarding new employees should include security awareness training, and it should specifically address how certain roles engage with sensitive data.

Security awareness training works hand in hand with your cybersecurity and data protection tools – your employees are a critical element in securing your organization. If you’re to improve and expand your security awareness training, a managed services provider with a focus on security can help you develop, deliver, and maintain an effective program.

  • February 11, 2021
  • Catagory open source

Why you need access to open source skills

By : Sanjeev Spolia

A significant trend running parallel to cloud adoption has been the increasing use of open source software, and whether your applications and data on are on-premise or residing with one of the many cloud service providers, understanding open source technologies is essential.

A fall 2020 survey of 3,440 professional developers and managers conducted by O’Reilly Media and sponsored by IBM found that open source is maintaining and even increasing its influence. It’s become somewhat ubiquitous, with survey respondents expressing strong support for it in general and for specific skills in several open source technologies. For example, a whopping 94 percent view open source as being equal or better than proprietary software.

This preference extends to their cloud providers, with 70 per cent of respondents saying they prefer one based on open source technologies. Overall, those surveyed associate open source with more job opportunities, more professional opportunities, and higher wages. Linux in particular was highlighted in the survey as being an important technology, with 95 per cent of developers citing it as important to their career, as well as containers and databases. Linux is also highlighted as a critical technology for unifying hybrid cloud environments.

Given that containers and databases are critical enabling technologies in cloud environments, it’s not surprising that open source flavours are popular, especially as they can be spooled up quickly and easily.

Open source powers the cloud

Being able to rapidly and easily spin up computing, network and storage resources is enabling cloud adoption, so it makes sense that open source would ride its coattails, as it appeals to organizations looking to be able to respond nimbly to business requirements without expensive investments in on-site, proprietary technologies that eat up the time of in-house IT staff.

Another benefit of open source noted by the O’Reilly Media survey is vendors and cloud providers can rapidly apply updates, patches and other bug fixes, which improves overall reliability and security, while end users always have the latest and greatest applications on any device, especially mobile ones that use the cloud as their supporting backend. In the meantime, the cloud computing providers are also enjoying the same benefits of not being bogged now with licensing and administrative costs that go along with proprietary technologies.

As already mentioned, Linux is seen as a critical building block for unifying hybrid cloud environments as a common platform, and turn, innovation in the cloud is contributing to the development of the Linux kernel, which a collaborative process of millions of developers. Ultimately, open source technologies are what make the cloud possible.

Ensure you have open source expertise on tap

If open source is powering the cloud, and you’re at any stage of embarking on your cloud journey, then you need to think about the open source skills you have on staff as well ensure your managed service provider is making the same investments.

The O’Reilly Media survey makes it clear that developers and their managers are fiercely loyal to open source technologies, and that other third-party cloud services are increasingly turning to them to solve technical and business problems. In addition, the collaborative nature of open source means there is a constant loop back to improving and evolving open source technologies, particularly the Linux kernel. For businesses this means there are many benefits to being aligned with open source trends and acquiring relevant skills.

For developers and other IT workers, open source represents opportunities for professional advancement and interesting projects; for businesses, it means cost savings and agility because it reduces the potential for vendor lock-in. If you wan to realize the competitive advantages of open source, you need access to the right experts and skills, which not only means having those people on staff, but also accessing them through an experienced managed services provider.

Sanjeev Spolia is CEO of Supra ITS