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A Tip for Better Security - A Benefit of AITP Membership

Monday, August 05, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Vincent Luciani, Association Director
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How secure is your organization? If you're in any way responsible for or familiar with your organization's security policies and practices, you no doubt have firewalls, anti-spam and anti-virus devices. You likely even have intrusion detection systems/intrusion prevention systems, as well as a bevy of other devices or applications to help assure that employees are shielded from the bad guys. In fact, these measures are no longer considered "nice-to-haves”, but necessities in today's world. Similarly, if you are in the security business, you know how important it is to keep your systems updated with the latest signatures or software patches. After all, what good is security software if it's out of date? In fact, you may even use special software specifically to manage the patches!

But I am curious, are you patching your users? Yes, you read that correctly. The truth is that end users may be the biggest risk to your company's security. Just as important as patching your firewall, you need to educate your users on the threats or risks that face them every day. Does your company have a specific security initiative? Do you regularly inform your users on the latest threats, or educate them on how they themselves can be more secured? I like to make analogies… Not educating your users on security is like leaving your house in the morning to go to work; you remembered to lock the front door, but you left all the windows open.

Fortunately, the AITP Association Development team has negotiated with the SANS Institute, the most trusted and by far the largest source for information security training and security certification the world. Together we are offering AITP members and their companies significant discounts on an online video-based training program specifically targeted toward employees called "Securing the Human.” It is a series of approximately 40 topic–specific videos, each usually 3 to 5 minutes long that address issues such as: Social Engineering attacks, the benefit of strong passwords, controlling personally identifiable information (PII) and WIFI security just to name a few. It even has videos specific to HIPAA, PCI, Education, Government and Legal entities should those apply to your company. The AITP-SANS agreement entitles you to train up to 700 employees for only $3,500. This is a one-time payment and access to the training is available for 1 year. Where else can you offer security training to 700 people for only $5 each?

I happen to be in the midst of rolling this out to my organization, thus far with very positive results. Within my company, we are not forcing employees to take the training (people don't like to be forced to do anything). Instead, we 'strongly encourage' them, allowing them take it at their own pace. They can replay a module should they need a refresher. I am even working with our Human Resources Department to incorporate this training into the new-hire process. The videos are well made, easy to understand and very accurate. The entire training program is managed through a simple administrative portal.

If you feel that your company's employees need to be "patched” please visit http://www.securingthehuman.org/programs/aitp.

Vincent Luciani
AITP - Association Director – Eastern Region
CIO – IAC


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