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How To Successfully Switch On Your Own Effective Human Firewall

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Darcy is the director of a local independent financial advisor. Because of the data they store, it is crucial that they are aware of and are prepared for potential cyber-attacks. To ensure their critical data and devices are protected, they are in the process of implementing a layered approach to their cybersecurity.  Although 95% of cyber-attacks stem from human error1 their own team could become their greatest asset in the fight against cybercrime.

Implementing an effective cybersecurity awareness training program for the team would, in essence, create a human firewall. This would provide an additional layer of protection against malicious threats such as ransomware and phishing.

In the past Darcy has attempted to introduce cybersecurity training but found it had very limited engagement. Feedback from staff suggested that there was too much complicated information to take in. This resulted in staff not understanding what they should do if faced with a cyberthreat and why cybersecurity matters.

Darcy’s team requires training that delivers valuable content at the right time in short bite-sized sessions. This would give employees the robust understanding required to help them become an effective human firewall. Read along to discover what a human firewall is and how you can create your own utilising cybersecurity awareness training.

What is a Human Firewall?

A human firewall is a group of people within an organisation who are trained to spot cyber-attacks such as ransomware or phishing. It isn’t an exclusive group. All members of a team should be trained on how to spot these threats and how to handle data correctly to prevent cybercrime.

Some advanced cyber threats can bypass even the most robust IT security systems. It has been identified that email filters have an average failure rate of 7 to 10%.2 The fallout from this could mean the loss of brand reputation, damaged client relationships and possible legal liability. Creating a human firewall adds an additional layer of cybersecurity to your organisation. Securing your networks like a regular firewall, it helps block malicious threats and prevents a potential loss of data. Ultimately your human firewall could be your last line of defence against rogue cyber threats.

Unbelievably, in a recent survey, 45% of respondents believed that cybersecurity was not their responsibility.3 As 30% of data breaches are caused by repeat offenders within an organisation2 this couldn’t be further from the truth. Rob May, author of ‘The Human Firewall’ suggests: 4

‘Cybersecurity is not just an IT problem. It is something that affects all of us within an organisation. To build a cyber secure culture we all need to embrace regular, ongoing cybersecurity awareness training for every person at every level of an organisation.’


human firewall cybersecurity awareness training


Discover our 5 steps that will help you to build your own secure human firewall using the implementation of cybersecurity awareness training.

5 Steps to Build an Effective Human Firewall Using Cybersecurity Awareness Training

> Invest in Ongoing Cybersecurity Awareness Training

Employee education should not be a tick in the box exercise that is performed once a year and quickly forgotten. Instead, focus on proactively reducing the risk of cybercrime by investing in ongoing training. As cyber threats continue to evolve your training needs to be continuously reviewed, ensuring it covers new emerging threats.

> Make Participation in Training Simple

Detailed security policies have their place in maintaining a cyber secure culture, but cybersecurity training should be engaging and not overwhelming. Support the creation of your human firewall by keeping training focused on improving a few key areas at a time. Bite-sized training, performed at the learner’s own pace will ensure any newly acquired cybersecurity knowledge is retained. 

> Involve all Departments

Cybersecurity should be a shared responsibility. As a result, it makes sense to include employees from all levels within your training program. This should be people-centric and relevant to their current role within your organisation. Helping employees understand how cybersecurity affects them will create a lasting behaviour change. Ultimately this will have a positive effect on improving your organisation’s cyber-culture.

> Make it Fun

69% of users surveyed thought that cybersecurity training was more effective when it involved games, rewards, or quizzes.2 Encourage users to be part of the human firewall by rewarding your team with small incentives. These can include offering verbal recognition, a small prize, encouraging messages or activating automatic rewards within your training software. Never shame people if they make a mistake. Unmotivated employees are less likely to be invested in improving your cybersecurity.

> Continually Monitor Progress

Your cybersecurity awareness training should have a test or quiz element that allows you to evaluate an employee’s knowledge and progress. If a member of the team doesn’t pass a module, remedial training should be allocated to bring them up to speed. This process will also allow you to measure the overall effectiveness of your cybersecurity awareness training program.

Adopting these steps will equip your organisation with a positive cybersecurity culture and a powerful human firewall that is confident in spotting and blocking malicious threats.

Are You Ready to Start Building Your Human Firewall?

NCI Technologies are the IT security experts ready to support you in developing your own human firewall through the implementation of cybersecurity awareness training. We partner with a leading web-based training provider who offers relevant, modern and engaging training. This educates participants to make smarter security decisions, helping to protect your data and devices. Training is delivered in short and relevant bite-sized chunks to ensure knowledge retention and good cyber habits.

To find out more about our cybersecurity awareness training contact our friendly sales team today.



1IBM Cybersecurity Intelligence Index







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