The largest cybersecurity risk a business has is also a resource without which it can’t succeed: its people.
In fact, more than half of businesses—52 percent—admit their people are their biggest weakness when it comes to cybersecurity, according to Kaspersky Labs.
These risks could be malicious, but also could simply be from employees’ carelessness or their lack of knowledge.
That’s why we urge businesses of all kinds to implement security awareness training for their entire staff.
Security awareness training involves courses, programs, and campaigns to help educate and empower employees to lower a business’s risk profile by detecting and avoiding common cybersecurity threats.
After all, Verizon found in its 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report that 85 percent of breaches involved a human element.
In addition to providing actionable information, there are at least five benefits of equipping your team with security awareness training to help protect the company from attacks.
Being informed creates a better workplace culture.
By establishing cybersecurity as a priority, employees can help keep each other accountable for best practices and support each other in safe technology use.
Employees can be proactive in identifying social engineering attempts, for example, allowing them to peruse their inboxes with confidence.
Cultivating a security-focused culture pays off in a handful of ways, from increased employee morale to satisfaction to retention, and more—not to mention the heightened awareness of best practices for cybersecurity.
As technology use has exploded, many individual employees or even entire departments can feel like they’ve been left to fend largely for themselves in a wilderness of new software, social media, email platforms, and more.
That can lead to a feeling of uncertainty around technology, in general—and cybersecurity, specifically.
By offering, and potentially even mandating, security awareness training, all of your employees will be on the same page regarding what to do and what not to do to protect your business.
Of course, arguably the greatest benefit to offering security awareness training is better security.
Knowing your employees are prepared and focused on preventing a cybersecurity incident boosts a business’s confidence.
All employees need training on all aspects of their jobs, including cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity incidents don’t just harm valuable data—they can affect other resources such as time, money, and even reputation.
In its 2021 edition, IBM’s Cost Of A Data Breach report highlights just how severe a breach can be:
Security awareness training should therefore be viewed as an investment in cybersecurity to avoid larger costs in the event of an incident.
Among other strategies, businesses should address the impact of compromised credentials in their training programs.
After all, IBM reported that 20 percent of breaches were initially caused due to compromised credentials, which is why we advocate for protection and mitigation strategies such as strong passwords and multifactor authentication.
Finally, regulated businesses benefit from industry-specific cybersecurity awareness training.
For example, we work with organizations in healthcare and banking, who have specific needs as they relate to HIPAA and the GLBA, respectively.
Regardless of the specific industry, security awareness training should address what it means to ensure compliance within that industry.
Overall, security awareness training is often the best strategy to prevent costly cybersecurity incidents.
Organizations benefit from regular, recurring training by fostering a security-focused culture, reserving resources for when they’re truly needed, and protecting their sensitive information from would-be cybercriminals.
Integrity specializes in creating security awareness programs for businesses, including regulated entities. Learn more about what we offer and what it’s like to work with us here. Plus, find out whether your data is secure by downloading our Data Security Checklist!