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Nowadays, every solid security strategy includes security awareness training. Training employees on the dangers of the digital world is absolutely vital when you know that 82% of all data breaches are caused by human error.
Before we can highlight why it is so crucial, we need to fully understand what awareness training involves.
Security awareness training is a strategy used by IT and security professionals to prevent and reduce user risks. These programs are designed to help users and employees understand their role in tackling security breaches. Effective security awareness training helps employees understand proper cyber hygiene, the security risks associated with their actions and how to recognise cyber attacks they may encounter via e-mail and the web.
In short, awareness training teaches workers to spot, report and nullify cyber threats.
There are several reasons why awareness training is necessary. Here are the most important:
43% of all employees are “pretty” certain they have made a mistake at work with security repercussions. Is it any wonder? Phishing, malware, man-in-the-middle, SQL injection, … The list of potential cyber security keeps growing, and attacks are becoming more sophisticated.
During the training, employees learn the ins and outs of all the different cyber attacks. We also expose employees to real-life examples of cyber attacks in their normal work environment. This allows us to teach them the things to be wary of and to be on their guard at all times.
Developing a proactive culture of security has long been seen as the holy grail for security experts. But that goal is notoriously difficult to achieve.
Creating a culture of security means building security values into the core of your business.
By setting up an awareness training program, you ensure that security is part of regular day-to-day life at work. Gradually, the significance of security will become more apparent to the employee, transforming people from the weakest link in your network into your last line of defence.
Keeping customer data out of the hands of cyber criminals should be at the very top of your list. Awareness training is a massive help here, but it can do more than just that.
‘Cybersecurity is a strategic business enabler‘. In a 2022 PwC survey, senior leaders stated that “a way to establish trust with our customers with respect to how we use their data ethically and protect their data” is their number one cyber mission. If you can communicate the positive impact of the company’s cyber security capabilities to customers, their satisfaction, trust and loyalty will only increase.
The majority of consumers believe companies aren’t doing enough to ensure cyber security. Awareness training is a great way to show you care.
Happy people are productive people.
Well-informed individuals are less likely to make mistakes. No employee wants to be responsible for a data breach. 89% of data breaches led to repercussions for the employee involved. You can protect the employee from such situations by training them properly.
But security awareness training doesn’t just keep people safe at work, it keeps them safe from security threats in their personal life, too. In that sense, awareness training is not just an employer benefit, but it’s an employee benefit too. Add to that the fact that your employees are going to encourage other people to pay attention to security best practices outside of work. In this way, you contribute to more than just your own organisation.
To be fair, compliance should never be the main reason to introduce security awareness training. That being said, compliance can be a happy by-product of security awareness training. Introducing the right training will make your organisation more secure and comply with regulatory requirements in many sectors.
Most regulators can impose fines for data privacy breaches. Reducing these risks in any way possible is good business sense.