Cybercriminals are getting bigger and better at bypassing existing security measures and causing data breaches. The reason for that is our increased reliance on technology, which hackers target specifically to steal our data. While companies are no strangers to specific security measures, including antivirus software and backup methods, there is an entirely different approach to security few are aware of.
That is security awareness training. Security awareness training services exist to provide companies and organizations with the means to train their employees and make them understand the dangers of the cyber world. In addition, these programs aim to turn your employees into cybersecurity experts. To understand how this is possible, we must dive deeper into security awareness and explain its importance.
What is Security Awareness Training?
Security awareness training is the process of providing organizations and entities with an educational program. The program aims to educate employees on recognizing and responding to security threats. The overall goal of security awareness is to create a security culture within an organization by instilling best practices and raising awareness of potential threats.
These programs cover many topics, including phishing attacks, password management, social engineering, and data protection. Through these educational methods, a company can create a strong security culture and make security breaches a thing of the past.
Why Is Security Awareness Training Important?
To better understand the potential of cybersecurity awareness training, let’s touch on its benefits to an organization.
Reduce the Risk of Data Breaches
Human error is the cause of the vast majority of cybersecurity breaches. Whether through accidental deletion, clicking on a malicious link, or using weak passwords, companies must find ways to prevent the human error element. A cybersecurity awareness training program can help employees recognize and avoid the most common attack vectors, reducing the risk of a data breach.
A security awareness program will contain topics relating to password management, phishing attack prevention, and device security.
The need for a secure culture goes beyond stopping human error mistakes. We live in an increasingly digitized world where governments create compliance regulations to protect customer data. And many industries have specific compliance requirements regarding data protection. These include the following:
- GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
- HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
- PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)
- FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act)
These compliance requirements exist to protect customers’ data and sensitive information and ensure the information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Security awareness training programs can help employees understand their responsibilities and obligations when handling sensitive data, reducing the risk of non-compliance. Unfortunately, non-compliance can result in costly fines, which could be severe enough to force you out of business.
Protect Company Reputation
A potential security breach is a big red flag for customers and potential investors. That’s because security breaches can significantly impact your company’s reputation, leading to losing trust with your customers. While data breaches are costly, they also negatively affect your reputation as a service or product provider.
Security awareness training can help prevent these breaches. Security awareness training programs aim to educate employees on ways to detect harmful malware that causes data breaches. Through these programs, you are preventing security incidents and protecting your company’s reputation. As a result, you maintain trust in the eyes of the customer.
A potential data breach can result in downtime and potentially halt business operations. When critical systems must be taken offline to combat a cyber attack, your company loses money. Also, your employees sit idly while security professionals get systems back online.
The loss of productivity can have serious consequences. So one way to increase productivity is to educate your employees on cybersecurity matters. When your employees understand how to recognize and respond to cyber threats, they become an asset in case of a data breach event. Through time, they will become more confident in their ability to protect company data. This increased confidence can lead to improved productivity and job satisfaction.
We’ve talked endlessly regarding the costs of data breaches. But do you know exactly how much are data breaches costing you? On average, the cost of data branches is twice the global average. For example, the average data breach cost in the United States is $9.44m, compared to the global $4.35m.
That means companies should avoid security incidents like the plague. But how much are companies spending on cybersecurity? It is estimated that SMBs spend 10% of their budget on cybersecurity tools and services. But there’s a better way to protect your company while minimizing cybersecurity costs, and that’s through cybersecurity awareness training.
By now, you’ve probably concluded that these training programs aren’t free. But they cost less than the average security solution on the market. While these training programs take time to complete, they are essential for creating a culture of security within your organization.
Once your employees understand how to detect and deal with cyber attacks and security risks, they become more adept at protecting data and preventing the fallout that comes with data breaches.
Modern businesses are constantly threatened by cyber attacks that aim to steal their most valuable data. And hackers are succeeding at that. While cybersecurity solutions can detect threats, most breaches involve a human element.
That makes breaches unpredictable unless you train your employees to become cybersecurity experts. One way to do that is through security awareness training. By educating employees on best practices and raising awareness of potential threats, organizations can create a security culture and reduce the risk of data breaches.