Having a cybersecurity training program is a vital aspect of information security. Data breaches are on the rise, and it accounts for financial losses small and medium-sized businesses suffer every year. In 2019, US companies lost more than $1.2 trillion dollars to data breaches. According to NJBIZ, 90 percent of these cyberattacks occur as a result of human error or negligence.In 2020, cyber attackers infiltrated the accounts of Twitter users. According to the New York Times, the hackers gained unauthorized access to the Twitter credentials through Twitter’s internal Slack messaging channels. The malicious actors used social engineering means to gain unwanted entry.
This explains why your employees need to be cybersecurity-trained. Unawareness about information security leads to negligence; negligence leads to human error which subsequently makes them soft targets for malicious actors. To improve the security system of your organization, your employees need cybersecurity awareness training.
As long as you depend on technology for your operations, your business will always be at risk of internal attack. Knowing the importance of cybersecurity training will help you mitigate any internal threats that may arise.
What is Cybersecurity Training?
A key aspect small and medium-sized businesses overlook is the ignorance of employees about cybersecurity. As mentioned earlier, one of the easiest ways cybercriminals gain unauthorized access to a network is by exploiting the cybersecurity loopholes of employees.
However, cybersecurity awareness training will help you improve the information security of your systems and networks. Cybersecurity training is the process of educating your workforce about the various information security threats that they’re vulnerable to and the policies and procedures that can secure them against these threats. It involves equipping your employees with the appropriate knowledge and skills that’ll help them identify and control potential threats.
Common Ways Employees Compromise Security
Beyond having cybersecurity solutions installed in your organization, you also need to educate your employees about information security. The combination of educated cyber security-conscious employees and an adequate cybersecurity system is the ultimate safety net you need to protect your data. The common ways malicious actors exploit employee security to gain unauthorized entry are listed below:
- Phishing: Cybercriminals use direct communication channels such as email, to gain access to sensitive information through business employees. The goal is to trick unsuspecting users to download a malware-containing attachment.
- Social Engineering: Here, cybercriminals trick employees into thinking they are employees of the company to gain access to sensitive information or physical access to company equipment. They can do this through any form of communication channels or in person.
- Common Login Credentials: One mistake many employees make is using the same username and passwords that they use at work for their personal accounts. If such personal accounts become compromised, it could result in a breach of the workplace network.
- Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy: The BYOD policy encourages the use of personal devices and networks for business purposes. One downside of this policy is that employees use unsecured networks and devices. Therefore, putting employees at risk of data infringements.
6 Proven Benefits of Cybersecurity Training
The reasons why cybersecurity training is important for your business to include:
1. To Prevent Data Breach
Data infiltration is costly; it's the last thing your business needs. Training your employees to identify and eradicate any form of phishing, social media engineering, and other common cyber threats will significantly help you secure your data.
2. To Meet Compliance Requirement
Specific industries are subjected to comply with regulatory data protection policies. The regulatory bodies protect sensitive data, such as protected health information (PHI), personally identifiable information (PII), and financial information. To meet and comply with these regulations, most businesses create robust cybersecurity measures.
Cybersecurity awareness training is another mandatory compliance requirement in some industries. For example, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requires staff security training as one of its requirements for consumer data protection. Depending on the industry in which your business operates, cybersecurity awareness training may be a part of your compliance requirement.
3. Makes your Firewall Defenses More Robust
The human firewall is a cybersecurity concept where employees are committed to following the best practices to prevent data compromise. Like your regular firewall, well-trained employees will help you mitigate threats. Even more, should a data breach occur, well-trained employees will serve as your makeshift response team to contain the negative consequences of a data breach.
4. Builds Trust with your Customers
Reputational damage is another negative consequence of data breaches. Consumers hold companies responsible for data protection. According to Business Wire, 81 percent of customers will stop engaging a brand after a data breach. The data breach also affects customer satisfaction and retention. Having cybersecurity-trained employees will help you mitigate data breaches. Should a data breach occur, the availability of cybersecurity-informed employees will help you contain and recover faster. Thus, helping you strengthen the relationship with your customers.
5. To Keep Up with the Constantly Changing Cybersecurity threats
Hackers and cybercriminals continue to invent innovative means to gain unwanted access into systems. Having regular cybersecurity awareness training will keep your employees updated on the latest control measures as well as the latest threats and vulnerabilities to guard against.
6. It Fosters Growth
Cybersecurity awareness training fosters growth within the workplace. The new skills your employees gain during cybersecurity awareness training improves confidence. Cybersecurity awareness training allows them to confidently carry out basic and unsophisticated security measures without the help of the information technology (IT) team. This will help your IT team focus on more complex issues.
Sophisticated ways of stealing sensitive data from businesses are on the rise. Human error and negligence remain another vulnerable route malicious actors use to penetrate systems. The importance of protecting your business against human errors cannot be overemphasized, which is why you need cybersecurity training.
NW Technologies render data protection services that’ll help you manage your security system. Our team of experts will work together with you to ensure that your employees are equipped with the technical know-how required to spot and eliminate threats. Contact us now to book a consultation session with us.