Why is it important to invest in cybersecurity awareness training?

A cybersecurity awareness training program is an effective way to educate employees on the current cyber threat landscape to reduce the risk of cyberattacks and engrain a strong security culture within an organization. Staff security training is a continuous process covering various topics and practices, including:

  • Basic cyber hygiene
  • Internet and network usage
  • Social engineering threats
  • Threat recognition and response
  • Attack simulations
  • Review of security guidelines and policies
  • Compliance training
  • Personal responsibilities in corporate cybersecurity
  • Tests and certifications

The cybersecurity awareness problem

Employees are every organization’s first line of defense against cyberattacks, but they’re also the weakest and most vulnerable security link. According to Verizon’s DBIR, 85 percent of all successful data breaches in 2020 involved the human element. Rigorous cybersecurity training is the key to turning this human weakness into a strength.

However, many entrepreneurs don’t appreciate the importance of incorporating cybersecurity awareness training in their security framework. In a survey conducted by TalentLMS, 69 percent of the respondents claimed to have received security training, yet 61 percent failed a basic cybersecurity quiz. Only 1% of employees answered all the quiz questions correctly, and most of those who failed said they felt safe from threats.

Although most organizations make an effort to educate employees on cybersecurity, they still fall short of the goal. Given the dynamic threat landscape caused by the ongoing pandemic and the widespread remote working trend, it’s about time every organization took cybersecurity training seriously. To drive this point home, here are the top four reasons to invest in company-wide cybersecurity awareness programs:

Shrink the widening attack surface

Awareness plays a big part in the battle against cybercrime, especially now that threat actors are increasingly focusing on human vulnerabilities to orchestrate social engineering attacks. For instance, phishing attack incidents skyrocketed in 2020 and show no indication of slowing down any time soon. Plus, employees are now more vulnerable than ever. Most of them are working from home while using their own devices and accessing corporate resources over untrusted networks.

Achieve compliance

Regular cybersecurity awareness training is a common requirement in most data security regulations, frameworks, and standards, including HIPAA, GDPR, PCI DSS, and FISMA. To achieve and maintain compliance with these regulations, all employees handling sensitive information must prove that they’ve undergone essential cybersecurity training.

Build a culture of security awareness

Cybersecurity training is not just meant for employees alone. It should bring everyone on board with standard cybersecurity best practices, including the stakeholders and business partners making up the supply chain. This helps create a solid corporate culture that encourages everyone to make thoughtful decisions in line with the company’s security policies. Instilling a self-driven cybersecurity responsibility in each employee is the closest you can get to creating a human firewall.

Investing in cybersecurity awareness pays off 

You can quickly calculate the economic value or ROI by dividing the net benefits by costs. In this case, the net benefits include the cost of data breaches, compliance fines, and business losses that can be avoided through awareness training. The costs figure sums up the total expenses incurred during training.

The potential financial implications of neglecting cybersecurity training far outweigh the cost of training. Remember that data breaches can have other incalculable consequences, such as loss of brand reputation and customer trust.

As you invest in high-end security tools, services, and software, don’t forget to allocate enough resources in your IT budget to educate employees. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to close gaping security holes in your organization.

KME can help you get started with educating and training your workers on cybersecurity. We understand the staff’s role in a company’s security posture, so training is such a crucial part of our security services package. Talk to us to learn more about strengthening your cybersecurity framework.