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2 min read

The Importance of Municipal Employee Security Awareness Training


When it comes to securing your municipality’s data and information, relying on firewalls, endpoint detection and response, and secure remote connections is simply not enough.


Cybercriminals can simply trick employees and bypass your cybersecurity tools and solutions. Contrary to popular belief, most cyberattacks are not sophisticated technical hacks. Instead, cyberattackers often use social engineering to trick people—making the actions of your employees one of the greatest risks to your municipality. In fact, 90% of cybersecurity attacks begin in an email.

That’s not to say your employees are intentionally allowing cyberattacks. Employees are professional, smart, and trusted. However, we all get distracted and busy. As social engineering attacks increase in sophistication, a single mistake such as sharing personally identifiable information (PII) through a phishing email is all it takes for a data breach to occur.

All municipalities, no matter their size, are at risk for experiencing a cybersecurity attack caused by an employee. But how can you keep your employees accountable for securing sensitive data if they are not aware of the risks?

Security awareness training is a comprehensive, continuous program that trains individuals to recognize common cyber threats, understand the consequences of a cyberattack, and learn about ways to prevent a cyberattack.

At a minimum, security awareness training should include:

  • Phishing simulation emails (ideally monthly) that test employees’ abilities to spot and defeat cyberattacks. Fake but realistic-looking phishing emails will land in an employee’s email inbox. Will the employee click or not? Identifying employees who may be more likely to click gives you the opportunity to provide them extra training.
  • Ongoing training (such as through videos) to help employees learn about the latest phishing and social engineering scams, attacks, and trends.
  • Dashboards and reporting tools to grade employees and provide extra help to those who seem to get tricked more than others or fall behind in the training.

If employees know more about how cyber threats can compromise a municipality, they will be more engaged in spotting those threats. Employee security awareness training is one of the best and most cost-effective cybersecurity investments you will make. With an employee security awareness training program in place, you not only increase employee knowledge and confidence but also establish a culture of security within your municipality.

VC3 is now helping municipalities address this problem with a new program called Cyber Aware that offers:

  • Monthly video training where employees learn about the latest phishing and social engineering trends.
  • Monthly phishing simulations that test what employees have learned in the videos and strengthen your employees’ ability to spot phishing attempts. They will receive fake but realistic-looking phishing emails to help them more quickly identify common phishing attacks and social engineering attempts.
  • Dashboards and reporting to note training progress, identify employees who click on phishing emails, and track metrics for compliance purposes.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can train your employees and keep them vigilant, reach out to us today through the form below.

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