The Importance of User Education

Blog / The Importance of User Education

When it comes to cyber security, there are plenty of topics out there to be written about. Some are easy to understand, with clear and definitive advice to help tackle, like the prevalence of ransomware and how to best protect yourself. Then there are the topics that are just too complicated for the average user, like how the latest strain of malware affects iOS. For the most part, I try to keep topics simple or easily simplified. The information needs to be useful or provide some benefit from the learning. Which is why this week’s topic is near and dear to every IT supports person’s heart: user education.

There are a lot of different topics I could write a newsletter on. Ransomware is an easy topic to write about. There’s some definite advice to give and it’s a major problem. A safe choice and easy for people to understand. There’s a lot of topics I could write about that are just too complicated, like the latest strain of Malware affect iOS. This means the topic needs to be something that can be simplified, for the most part. Also, it should be useful for people or at least something I believe people would benefit from understanding. This time I thought I’d take a stab at a topic that is near and dear to every IT support persons heart: user education.

Unfortunately, the nature of the most cyber security problems means advice needs to be generic and fluffy. Unless you’re talking about a specific organization (in which case your advice is only good for them), real specifics are hard to come by. So rather than talk about the how of cyber security, let’s talk about the importance of it.

One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll hear from security professionals is to provide cyber security and computer training to your average employees. This is because the most common assumption made by organizations is that the typical person knows how a computer works. The simple truth is that the average person knows only enough about a computer to do their job: powering up, logging on, using the software, and changing passwords. That’s about sums it up.

That may not seem like a lot when you put it like this, but it’s enough to let anyone do their job. At the end of the day, that’s all that’s being asked of them so it’s good enough.

Unfortunately, if you don’t know enough about computers you become a liability, from a security perspective. The weakest link in any organization’s cyber security probably isn’t the computers, it’s the people that use them. The good guys know it (that’s why training is one of the top three recommendations of cyber security professionals) and so do the bad guys (which is why your people are a major target).

Apropos of that, this Shakespearean quote comes from The Taming of the Shrew“In brief, sir, study what you most affect.”

If you have any questions about staff training, please reach out to you TRINUS account manager. We offer technical training through Mission Computers and can provide additional cyber security training to help ensure your IT is stress-free.

Be kind,

Your friendly neighbourhood cyber-man.

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