A knowledgeable, well-staffed security team is essential to any comprehensive risk management strategy. Yet when it comes to cyber incidents, the reality is that it\u2019s typically your employees\u2014not just your security analysts\u2014who are your enterprise\u2019s first line of defense. According to a recent Fortinet research brief, 81% of organizations faced attacks last year that directly targeted users, such as malware, phishing, and password attacks. \n\nWhen it comes to protecting your organization\u2019s assets, employees play a leading role in halting breaches. However, depending on how cyber-aware they are, they can be your best defense or your weakest link. That\u2019s why implementing an ongoing security awareness and training program is crucial to managing organizational risk. Creating and maintaining a comprehensive training program increases the likelihood that employees have the necessary insight to identify potential attacks and know what to do if they suspect they're a target.\n\n4 considerations for enhancing security training effectiveness\n\nIt\u2019s encouraging that more than 80% of organizations surveyed in recent research have existing security awareness training programs. However, among this same group of leaders, the majority (56%) still believe that their employees lack knowledge about cybersecurity best practices. This disconnect shows that there's likely room for improvement regarding organization-wide cyber awareness education efforts.\n\nWhether you already have security awareness training in place or are just getting started with implementation, here are four essential factors to consider to enhance the effectiveness of your program.\n\nWhat to look for in a vendor-developed security awareness program\n\nWhile some organizations have the resources to develop security awareness training in-house, many do not. When evaluating existing offerings, organizations should look for a SaaS-based offering that delivers timely and current awareness training on today\u2019s cybersecurity threats. Training sessions should be engaging, interactive, and delivered through various rich media formats, with quizzes and knowledge checks to test employees' understanding and retention of the content. \n\nAn effective security awareness training offering should also be easy for your administrators to implement and track. Fortinet\u2019s Security Awareness and Training service achieves this, offering an up-to-date dashboard of campaign and user activity with out-of-the-box reporting, an intuitive administrative interface, and the ability to customize or co-brand the service.\n\nSecurity awareness initiatives are an essential part of any risk management strategy. These efforts help IT, security, and compliance leaders build a cyber-aware culture where employees can easily recognize and avoid falling victim to cyberattacks. As cybercrime proliferates, there\u2019s no better time to create a cyber education initiative or reevaluate your existing program.\n\nFind out more about how Fortinet's Training Advancement Agenda (TAA) and Training Institute programs\u2014including the NSE Certification program, Academic Partner program, and Education Outreach program\u2014are helping to solve the cyber skills gap and prepare the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow.