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Employee AI Security Awareness Training Checklist and Best Practices

Use this comprehensive checklist for AI security awareness training to discover the essential steps for equipping employees to use AI systems safely.

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Understanding the Importance of AI Security Awareness Training

As artificial intelligence (AI) weaves its way into all aspects of our daily lives, it is essential for everyone to understand how to make use of the technology safely. 

Impactful AI security awareness training ensures employees understand risks and know how to make ethical decisions when working with AI technologies. You want to build training that equips employees with the knowledge and skills they need to protect your organization, customers, and employees.


Identifying Potential AI Security Risks

Identifying potential AI security risks to your organization is the first step to designing an effective AI security awareness training program. A risk assessment helps identify risks specific to your organization and how your employees use AI.

With AI technologies, ethics, privacy, safety and security risks are all connected. It is best to conduct risk assessments holistically and avoid building fragmented training in silos.

Here are some helpful questions to answer as part of the risk assessment:

  • What is the impact on us [marketing / communications / software development / HR... etc] if we end up making use of erroneous/unreliable AI output?
  • What is the impact on us if AI bias affects our decision-making?
  • What is the impact on us and others if we are not transparent about content or material that is AI-generated?
  • What is the impact on individuals if we feed their personal data into AI systems? Do we have a process for evaluating the risk before we upload personal data?
  • Can misuse or compromise of the AI systems we use threaten the safety of people?
  • Is our policy for the use of AI with employee and job applicant personal data compliant with applicable employment and privacy laws?
  • What is the impact on us if someone gains unauthorized access to all data we have inputted into AI systems?

Some common potential AI security risks include data breaches, unauthorized access to AI systems and/or the data they contain, malicious attacks targeting AI algorithms, and privacy violations. Effectively mitigating these risks starts with policies, instructions and training for employees.

Consider also how you will stay updated on the latest AI security risks and keep your risk assessment up-to-date. You will need a process to keep your training program updated as well. 


Identifying Role-specific Training Needs

You should tailor AI security awareness training to meet the specific needs of different roles within your organization. Employees in different roles need different levels and kinds of skills for ethical, legal, and safe use of AI.

To identify role-specific training needs, organizations should assess the responsibilities and tasks associated with each role and determine the level of AI system interaction and access. Roles that involve significant interaction with AI systems or access to sensitive data should receive more in-depth training on AI security.

For example, employees in IT or cybersecurity roles may need advanced training in AI security measures, such as secure coding practices and threat detection techniques specific to AI systems. Employees in non-technical roles may only need a basic understanding of AI security and privacy risks, and how to report any suspicious activities or incidents.

Addressing role-specific training needs makes for an effective and motivating training program that goes beyond tick-the-box compliance.


Creating a Culture of (AI) Security Awareness

A security culture keeps your organization resilient against emerging new threats. You want to foster an environment where employees are not just taught to follow rules and report, but actively think for themselves and take ownership of managing security risks and developing secure practices.

Checklist for building healthy security culture:

1. Regular Training and Education: Continuously provide role-relevant security awareness training to employees to keep them updated on the latest threats. Think about how training motivates employees with different skill levels. 

2. Clear Policies and Guidelines: Establish clear policies and guidelines regarding AI system usage, data protection, and incident reporting. The most effective guidelines and instructions are not strict rules, but provide employees with necessary guidance to make informed decisions. 

3. Ongoing Communication: Promote open communication channels where employees can discuss any AI security concerns or incidents. Encourage a culture of transparency and accountability, where learning from mistakes is celebrated. Consider implementing an anonymous channel for questions employees may not feel comfortable asking others.

4. Silo-breaking Audits and Assessments: Involve people outside IT and security in internal audits and assessments to evaluate security measures and identify areas for improvement. 


Get your role-based training program running quickly with CyberCoach 

You may not want to use AI to build AI training, but that does not mean you have to build everything yourself. CyberCoach can help you easily and quickly roll out a complete role-based training program for AI security and privacy. With CyberCoach, you can also build your own role-based trainings fast. With new content every month, you do not have to worry about keeping training updated yourself. Bonus: CyberCoach also offers anonymous support for employees.