Cybersecurity breaches are everywhere and very expensive. It doesn’t choose who it happens to- whether it’s just a small start-up or multinational like UN or Microsoft.
Today, no service provider can guarantee 100%, full-proof cyber protection. Hackers have devised very sophisticated modern malware tactics that can leave all clients completely devastated in a matter of seconds, and spell even more doom as a result of the time wasted on remediation and disaster recovery.
A study released recently about the state of cybersecurity in the UK revealed that on average, £6.4 million was lost by organisations that experienced data breaches in 2018. What’s worse, about 60-90% of these breaches were due to human error.
What all this means is that there’s an urgent need to invest in ways of mitigating such breaches and the first place to start is to create security awareness training for yourself and your employees.
And here, we look at the reasons why security awareness training is so critical to any organisation.
8 reasons for security awareness training within your organisation
At a very basic level, security awareness training involves a formal process of educating all your employees about how to handle computer security. That should include learning corporate policies and all the procedures of working with information technology.
1. Security awareness training helps you curb breaches and attacks
Breaches should be the first thing that comes to mind whenever you think about security awareness training. Although the precise number of how many breaches this kind of training helps you prevent is not easily quantifiable, it’s possible to quantify the incidence and prevalence of breaches before and after a successful awareness campaign. The outcome would provide a good metric to assess the ROI of security awareness training.
This may not provide an ideal picture but considering the cost of breaches that’s currently in the multi-billions (while security awareness training is inexpensive), whether to invest in a security awareness training shouldn’t be given a second thought.
2. It’s a perfect way to influence company culture towards safety
Although always thought of as the exclusive holy grail of chief information security officers (CISOs), a culture of security is desirable for every organisation. And it’s not an easy feat to achieve; it takes several instances of awareness campaigns and training as well as having the right attitude and objectives.
Most of today’s security awareness training platforms put enough emphasis on the value of a secure culture and measure its score right from the beginning. This is then recorded as the metrics before the awareness training is started and assessed over time as the company matures in creating a secure culture.
Security professionals will, as time goes by, monitor the parameters of your security culture through their advanced awareness training platforms and develop and nurture a culture of security.
3. Build more robust technological defences
Investing in security awareness training helps you build a more robust technological defence against the obviously costly breaches. Because technological defences require input from people, setting your employees on a path to being more security conscious is the only way to go.
From here, they will know when to turn your firewalls on, acknowledge security warnings, update software on time, etc. thus creating a more conscious, robust technological defence.
Another angle that makes this a critical necessity is the fact that today’s hackers don’t approach their goings-on through technological means but rather use people often considered an easy way into a protected network.
4. Investing in security awareness training wins you more customers
If your business is into doing high-profile contracts, this is one investment you don’t want to risk missing out on.
You are not going to be considered by IT decision-makers for a high-profile contract if you have not included cybersecurity precautions in your proposal or RFP process and justified your claim to understand the same.
Most of these highly-rated contracts demand that an organisation must at least show some achievement of a standard in cybersecurity that’s universally acknowledged.
Besides, customers feel confident if they are dealing with people who are well informed and trained on cybersecurity matters.
5. You need it for compliance reasons
It’s not just enough to introduce security awareness training for compliance alone because it won’t benefit you in the right way.
However, with the threats of hackers all around us, more and more regulators are calling upon specific industries to implement security awareness training.
This is done to help employees become more conscious of security threats and help organisations remain compliant for the overall good of the industry and themselves.
Industries such as the financial sector, healthcare, energy, etc. are required to be more self-aware of the security threats and how mitigation should be conducted.
Also, your clients may be in the same industries where regulators state stiff penalties for those ignoring security awareness training thus forcing you to invest in the same.
6. Security awareness training makes you socially responsible
If WannaCry and NotPetya are examples to go by, cyberattacks spread at very shocking speeds. Once a network is infected, the rest are just seconds away from facing the same fate.
In the same manner, connected networks face the same security threats once there’s a decrease in individual network security. organisations with little to no security awareness training put the rest of the organisations linked to them at risk.
It’s more like leaving your door open with your neighbour’s key waiting just one step inside. Provided your customers, suppliers and other organisations are linked to your network, investing in security awareness training benefits not only you but everyone else interlinked to your network.
7. Security awareness training helps you empower your employees
Happy people are always productive people. And when employees are happy, great things happen both at work and personal level. Being cyber security-conscious doesn’t only benefit employees at their workplace alone, it goes with them into their personal lives.
Security awareness training benefits the employer as much as it does to the employees. The more they are empowered and aware of how to handle information that must pass through security protocols, the less they are prone to costly security incidents that are likely to give hackers a through pass to your data/network access.
8. This kind of awareness training helps you protect your assets and prevent downtimes
As already mentioned before, a single breach could mean a loss of over 3 million dollars which would have been channelled to more productive activities. And besides, a breach also affects your reputation which is likely to cost your business relations.
At the same time, a single breach could mean months of investigation and repair. That’s precious time that your employees could use in attending to more productive causes. Even worse, you are likely to miss deadlines and suffer disrupted workflows because of the divided attention caused by the breach.
Facts to note
As you rush to implement security awareness training in your organisation and everywhere else you may have influence, it’s important to note that:
- Security awareness training isn’t a one-off undertaking. Threats keep evolving and hackers are also changing their tactics. That said, it’s important to make this practice an ongoing case rather than do it once.
- Cybercrime isn’t going away either. No matter how prepared you are or how much training you offer, hackers are equally busy devising new techniques and launching them at the slightest opportunity. Also, as the world becomes more and more connected through groundbreaking technological advancements, cyber threats are equally advancing.
At Leap IT, we have developed a training product allowing users to sit through various modules on security. The product uses video and is a question and answer led product that the users will be able to pick over time. The product is delivered via a link and software. After completion, users will receive a certificate to say all modules have been completed successfully.
At just £1.50 per user per month for as long as they have the subscription it is quick, cost-effective and gives you the assurance you are educating your staff.