As IT professionals we understand the fundamental importance of network security, but end users don’t often have the same concerns. You should educate them on why network security is important and about your organization’s security policies. There are two perfect times to do this:

  • Immediately after a security breach has occurred, because you probably need to reiterate the importance of your policy
  • When your users have been lulled into complacency because your company hasn’t had a security issue crop up in a long time

So what’s the best technique for imparting the criticality of network security? In my opinion, there’s just no substitute for face-to-face contact. E-mails and mass voice mail messages are too easily ignored. You could have each manager discuss security with his or her employees; but if difficult questions are asked, the managers may not be able to answer them—and misinformation can be more harmful than no information at all. Instead, you should emphasize the importance of following your organization’s network security policies by making a security presentation in person.

To help you decide what types of information to include in your presentation, download our sample PowerPoint presentation, “Network security starts with you.” It illustrates the importance of network security and helps you advise end users on how to play an active role in your organization’s network security.

Get end user buy-in
For any security policy to be successful, end users must understand how security breaches negatively affect them personally, and not just the organization as a whole. To drive this point home, our sample presentation outlines each end user’s responsibility to practice safe computing and lists examples of how a security breach can affect their daily work routine.

Although the situations mentioned in our sample PowerPoint are generic, I suggest mentioning actual security breaches that have occurred in your organization.

However, it’s best not to name names when recounting a local incident. If you do so, you run the risk of making end users to feel that if they make mistakes, they will be perpetuated forever in security training exercises. The next time they create or notice a security breach, they may try to hide their involvement or try to cover up the fact that the organization’s security has been compromised at all. So as a presenter, don’t play the blame game.

Tell them how to help
Once end users have bought in to the importance of network security, tell them how they can help. Our sample presentation addresses the most common end user security issues: passwords, e-mail, instant messaging (IM), and viruses.

More specifically, the presentation:

  • Recommends ways for users to protect their passwords and create more secure passwords using numbers and special characters.
  • Details the threats from e-mail and IM attachments.
  • Emphasizes the virus risk from shared files and software downloaded from the Internet.
  • Outlines several actions end users can take to protect your company’s network.
  • Describes how end users should respond to security breaches and contact the help desk.

As you’re giving this presentation, you’ll also want to outline the steps the IT department is taking to protect the organization’s network. Show users that security is a collaborative effort between them and the IT department.

Download our PowerPoint security presentation
You can download our sample PowerPoint security presentation by following this link or by clicking on the Downloads link in the navigation bar on the top of this page. TechRepublic has many useful documents, templates, and applications available for download, so be sure to check out our other offerings.

Our sample PowerPoint security download was created using PowerPoint 2000. To increase download speed, we’ve zipped the file. You’ll need an unzip utility such as WinZip or PKZIP to expand the zipped file. While you don’t need PowerPoint to view the presentation, you will need PowerPoint 2000 or later to customize the presentation.