Cybersecurity Training Has Failed!
An Editorial by Tim McGuinness, Ph.D.
Certified Cybersecurity Professional & SCARS Director
Cybercrime Training Does Not Work?
Cybercrime training, also known as cybersecurity training, is a form of education that aims to teach individuals and organizations how to protect themselves against cyberattacks and other forms of online threats.
But it mostly has failed.
These training programs can take various forms, including in-person classes, online courses, videos, and simulated exercises, and are often designed to teach people about topics such as password security, phishing scams, data protection, and scams (financial fraud).
Despite the widespread availability of cybercrime training, it is becoming increasingly clear to those that help the victims to pick up the pieces afterward, that these programs are not very effective at preventing cyber attacks. There are several reasons for this.
First, cybercrime training often relies on lectures and theoretical explanations of how to protect oneself online. While these types of presentations (in whatever form) can be useful for providing a general understanding of cybersecurity concepts, they are not always effective at helping people internalize and apply these concepts in real-world situations. In many cases, people may forget or overlook the information they have learned, or they may not be able to apply it when faced with a real-world cyber threat.
Second, cybercrime training often focuses on teaching people to recognize and avoid specific types of threats, such as phishing scams or malware attacks. However, cybercriminals are constantly adapting and evolving their tactics, making it difficult for people to stay up-to-date on the latest threats and how to defend against them. As a result, even if people have received cybersecurity training, they may still be vulnerable to new types of attacks that they have not learned about.
Third, cybercrime training often fails to take into account the fact that human behavior is the major factor in the success of cyber attacks. Cybercriminals often rely on exploiting human weaknesses & vulnerabilities, biases, and psychology, such as our tendency to click on links or open attachments without verifying their authenticity. While cybersecurity training may teach people to be cautious and to verify the source of a link or attachment before interacting with it, it is difficult to change deeply ingrained habits and behaviors. As a result, people continue to engage in risky behavior even after receiving cybersecurity training.
Finally, cybercrime training is often time-consuming, which can be a barrier for many organizations and individuals. Potential target actually resent (in many cases) having to take training that they firmly believe will never happen to them – because they know better. Also, not everyone knows that they have access to this type of education, which can create an uneven playing field where some people and organizations are more vulnerable to cyber attacks than others.
In conclusion, while cybercrime training can be a useful tool for helping people and organizations protect themselves against online threats, it is clear from the simple facts that these crimes are growing uncontrollably that it is not effective. Cybercriminals are constantly adapting and evolving their tactics, and human behavior is the major factor in the success of cyber attacks.
To truly protect ourselves against cyber threats, we need to take a more holistic approach that includes not just training, but also ongoing education, robust security systems, and a culture of security within organizations that focuses not on knowledge, but on behavioral changes.
However, we also have to be honest about our failures. Training is important, but as an organization that helps after the fact, SCARS knows that mitigation and recovery training – something that is virtually never taught is just as important – maybe more for organizations to perform.
If you are an organization that is dissatisfied with your current training models, contact SCARS – we understand the victims and as such, what failed and why!
If you are an individual victim of a cybercrime/scam/online financial fraud please contact us, we can help! We also offer free support programs for scam victims here: support.AgainstScams.org
SCARS is a government-registered nonprofit crime victims’ assistance organization. You can learn about SCARS at www.AgainstScams.org or contact us by email at contact@AainstScams.org
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