By CHRIS SACHSE,
As today’s business world continues to rely more heavily on data and technology than ever before, cyber-attacks are also becoming more sophisticated. The simple truth is: no data is safe anymore! While there are plenty of tools that can help protect your business from these threats, they will hardly do any good if your employees are not armed with sufficient knowledge about how to spot them. How prepared is your business against such security threats?
Importance of security awareness training as part of cybersecurity strategy
When it comes to cybersecurity, one of the best strategies is creating awareness. Here are 5 reasons security awareness training should be an essential part of your cybersecurity strategy.
1. Improved security
The most obvious benefit of security awareness training is that it leads to improved security since employees will be equipped with the vital skills and knowledge they need to protect your business against attacks and threats. Your employees are your first and primary line of defense against online crime. Getting your employees trained makes it possible for them to spot a phishing email and know what to do when they suspect one. In other words, training your staff prepares them against attacks and threats so they are able to catch them in good time before.
2. Reduces employee errors
According to findings by Kroll, approximately 90 percent of all data breaches are the result of human error and the top reason is that employees lacked knowledge around cybersecurity and data privacy. Comprehensive cybersecurity training emphasizes best practices in cybersecurity and provides sufficient information that can help workers recognize attack vectors, prevent cyber-related mistakes that can leave your network vulnerable and know the steps to take in response to a potential threat.
3. Enhances company reputation
A single incident of data breach can make customers lose trust in your business. Customers, in this context, refer to both other businesses and individuals that patronize your products. What is common to both types of customers is that their sensitive information is with your company and they want to be certain that their data is safe with you as any data breach puts them at risk too. Thus, training your employees to be cybersecurity-conscious can help minimize the risks of attacks, which in turn gives a boost to your reputation. Knowing that your business takes cybersecurity seriously can be the deciding factor for your customers to choose you over a competitor.
4. Bolster employee confidence
With the rising spate of data breaches, many employees are becoming concerned about the risks of getting fooled by a phishing email. While spotting a potential threat might seem simple, cybersecurity attacks are getting increasingly sophisticated as hackers now employ hard-to-spot decoys such as using the logo and signatures of well-known companies and employees. By treating cybersecurity as a priority for your company and empowering your employees with advanced tools and resources, they will be better equipped to spot phishing tactics, which will in turn help to reduce anxiety, enhance job satisfaction and make them feel better about themselves.
5. Lower costs and higher productivity
Another notable reason to consider cybersecurity awareness training is that it helps your business save money that could otherwise have been lost to phishing and other types of security threats. A data breach can be expensive and detrimental for any business, with the costs rising to millions of dollars. Most businesses that have been victims of a cybersecurity-incident end up going out of a business barely a year later because a significant part of their working capital has been lost. Beyond the actual sum lost to data breaches, other losses may result in the following forms:
- Loss of clients
- Intellectual property (IP) cyber theft
- Compromised sensitive business information and system
- Reputational damage, etc.
There is an epidemic of cybersecurity threats against big companies and even small businesses are not left out. With hackers employing smarter tricks to cause data breaches, there’s a good chance that organizations that are not well prepared may fall victim to such attacks. Security awareness training can help eliminate these threats by equipping your employees with what they need to know about security threats, how to spot them, and how to safely handle them.