The best cybersecurity strategies take a multi-layered approach to network protection that include both technology like firewalls and anti-malware programs, as well as the human factor, encompassing the users that are often the targets of phishing attacks.
Too often companies focus all their efforts on the technology part of the equation and not as much on the human, leaving an important piece of their total data security defenses neglected, making them vulnerable to a data breach.
According to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), over 1/3 of data breaches reported in the second quarter of 2019 were the result of human error.
The cause is often lack of proper and ongoing security awareness training that gives employees the tools they need to be active participants in an organization’s data and network security.
Why Training Your Employees on Cybersecurity is Important
Hackers know that getting past humans is easier than getting past cybersecurity programs. That’s why phishing emails are still the number one way they deliver viruses, ransomware, and other forms of malware.
They use tactics like spoofing an email from a person within their company to gain trust, or threats and emotional responses, such as an email that warns their account is about to be shut down if they don’t click to update a password.
Phishing is the tactic used in 90% of data breaches.
A well-trained staff can fortify your defenses against cyber attacks and provide multiple other benefits for your organization. Following are the reasons to institute ongoing security awareness training for your users.
The key advantage of data security training is to reduce the chance of a data breach that’s targeted at users. If your team knows how to spot a phishing email and the steps to take when they suspect one, they’ll be much less likely to accidentally click on a malicious link or download a dangerous attachment and infect your network with malware.
Some of the tips for spotting phishing emails include:
- Hovering over links before they’re clicked to reveal the true URL
- Viewing the message source code to reveal the true “from” email address
- Never download attachments without running them through an antivirus/anti-malware scanner first
- Always question unexpected emails (like a PO coming from an unrecognized company)
- Know the telltale signs of a phishing email (sent to “undisclosed recipients,” uses emotional tactics, etc.)
- Get a second opinion from an IT pro on any suspicious emails
Reduces Employee Errors
Cybersecurity training keeps the importance of good cybersecurity in the forefront of your employees’ minds, so they’ll be less likely to make mistakes that can leave your network vulnerable.
These mistakes include things like not setting a lock screen on their work devices, using weak passwords, or logging into company applications while on public Wi-Fi.
When an employee accidentally gets fooled by a phishing email, they’re typically embarrassed and possibly fear for their job. Hackers employ hard to spot decoys these days, using the logo and signatures of well-known companies, so untrained employees can be easily fooled.
Security awareness training empowers your employees to spot phishing tactics, enhancing job satisfaction and helping employees feel better about themselves.
Enhances Company Reputation
Consumers and B2B clients are very aware of the risks posed by data breaches of their information through 3rd parties. So, the security measures that your company takes are also a boost to your reputation.
Knowing that a vendor enhances their technical security with employee security awareness training might be the deciding factor for them to choose you over a competitor.
Increases Compliance with Data Privacy Rules
Companies that are required to be in compliance with rules such as the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) Scheme and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have a lot to gain by conducting ongoing data security training for their employees.
They can reduce their chances of a data breach or non-compliance violation by keeping employees informed of threats to data security as well as in proper handling of sensitive individual data.
Lower Costs & Improve Productivity
The cost of a data breach averages $3.92 million USD (AUD 5.74 million) and data breach costs can often cripple a small business in Brisbane and anywhere else in the world. Many end up going out of business less than a year after a data breach.
When users are properly trained in cybersecurity and spotting phishing emails, they can more quickly identify and avoid threats, improving productivity, as well as significantly reduce your risks of suffering a devastating breach.
Start Your Cybersecurity Training Program Today!
Connected Platforms can help your company put a comprehensive security awareness training program in place at your organization so users stay informed and your “human factor” is covered when it comes to network and data security.