Cyber Security Month week 2: We take a look at digital skills and education

We’re blogging about cyber security each week in October to coincide with European Cyber Security Month (ECSM), an awareness campaign dedicated to raising the importance of cyber security both for individuals and businesses. Read our blog on the first week’s theme, basic cyber security hygiene.

The theme for the second week of CyberSecMonth is all about digital skills and education, and it couldn’t be a more relevant topic. Swathes of recently-published research has highlighted a pressing digital skills gap in the UK, with numerous pieces of advice ranging from embedding digital skills in school subjects to enabling businesses to effectively train and upskill their existing staff.

Cyber security experts are in high demand but there’s a critical shortage of skilled engineers according to a government report. This is where outsourcing IT solutions can come in incredibly handy; think about it, which businesses are most likely to attract the in-demand IT security experts? The businesses that live and breathe technology and specialise in security.

Beyond cyber security specialists, there are things you can do to educate your staff on the importance of IT security. It’s essential that, in the face of an increasing cyberthreat landscape, you embed a security-savvy culture into your business.

One effective way to do this is through testing your staff. But we don’t mean boring exam-style tests or even multiple-answer questions. We mean testing their current abilities to spot cyberthreats.

As a Select Partner of Gartner-approved security experts Sophos, we know first hand how effective Sophos Phish Threat is. The premise is simple: you create convincing phishing emails that you then send out to your colleagues to gauge their ability to spot fake emails.

Should an employee fall for your phishing email, they won’t be taken to a fake credentials site or download malware, like so many real phishing attacks result in, instead they’ll be directed to training materials to improve their knowledge and ensure they don’t fall victim again. With over 30 training modules available, you can be sure that there’s a solution for every issue and that your staff can become experts in spotting cyberthreats in no time.

What’s more, you get access to detailed reporting that will give you a high-level overview of how many people fell victim to the attack, which departments had the most victims (let’s hope it’s not your senior management team!) and you can monitor the improvement as you progress with each new simulated campaign.

There’s no doubt that digital skills are essential to thrive in modern business and personal life. Cyber security skills, in particular, should be polished as hackers get more sophisticated and target your data with more ferocity than ever.

Tune in for next week’s theme – how to spot cyber scams. Relevant, isn’t it?