Published on August 20th, 2022 | by Sunit Nandi0
How Your Business Stands to Benefit from Security Awareness Training
As we progress further into the digital age, businesses are being targeted by cybercrimes at the highest rates in history. During the pandemic, the FBI reported that cybercrime complaints were averaging above 3,000 per day, up from 1,000 daily complaints before April 2020.
This trend has only gotten worse, with 86.2% of enterprises having experienced a successful cyberattack in 2021 or early 2022. With a cyberattack happening around the world every few seconds, businesses are experiencing a digital threat on levels that are difficult to comprehend.
Alongside state-of-the-art cybersecurity tools, one of the most effective ways of reducing the chance that a cyber event occurs in a company is to turn to education.
Enterprise security awareness training allows businesses to educate their workforce on the main signs of nefarious communication online. Over time, recognizing these signs is the first step toward neutralizing them, with companies that have great educational programs managing to significantly decrease their cyber risk.
In this article, we’ll turn to security awareness training, outlining the major benefits for companies as well as detailing exactly how your business can get started. Let’s get right into it.
Key Benefits of Enterprise Security Awareness Training
Whether teaching individuals the tell-tale signs of phishing or educating about other major risks they could face online, increasing the general understanding of cybersecurity in a company is the most effective method of preventing attacks.
With the threat becoming ever more pressing, your business is set to gain a range of benefits when you implement security awareness training for all employees.
1. Avoid small mistakes that lead to big issues
Human error is the leading cause in 95% of cybersecurity exploitation cases, demonstrating the extent to which individual actions can cause huge problems for a company. Whether it be a coworker sharing sensitive information where they shouldn’t or an individual that falls into a phishing scam, one small mistake can lead to huge problems for your business.
Part of preventing these small mistakes from happening is ensuring that employees are aware of exactly how they occur. Specifically looking at phishing, which is the leading method of breaches caused by individuals, training against action bias – and helping employees to understand the repercussions of not taking that extra second to check the validity of an email – can go a long way. Baseline security awareness training helps to walk employees through the most common security risks, preparing them for real-world situations where they could fall prey to cybercrime.
2. Training saves money
While enlisting your whole staff cohort in security training may seem like a costly task, it actually ends up saving your business in the long run. Alongside derailing progress and slowing down everyday actions, when your business experiences a security breach, it can end up costing you millions.
On average, the cost of a data breach for a small business reaches up to $3.9 million, with this amount crippling the vast majority of smaller companies. Indeed, cybercrime is one of the most drastic things that can happen to derail company progress, often cutting right through company budgets and bankrupting entire businesses.
What’s more, data breaches often cost publicly-traded companies around $116 million, another astronomical fee that many businesses simply cannot afford.
With this in mind, focusing on laying the foundation with effective security awareness training is not only a great investment for employee education but one that actively helps reduce the likelihood of a cybercrime event occurring. Although there may be a large upfront cost, this pales in comparison to the amount of money you’ll be saving by preventing successful phishing attacks on your company.
3. Security awareness ensures individuals make use of security tools
No matter how much money your business invests in the latest cyber defense tools, they won’t do anything if your employees aren’t putting them to use. A base course in security awareness training allows your employees to understand what tools they have at their disposal, and what each of these security features can do for them.
While you may have fantastic firewalls up that protect your employees from nefarious emails, these filters won’t work unless they’re turned on and up to date. Even reminding employees of the importance of updating to the most recent version of tools is vital to ensure their ongoing safety.
Although smaller tips like these may seem obvious to those of us that are tech conscious, many employees simply forget about security features unless they’re reminded. A company-wide security awareness training event allows everyone to get on the same page, outlining the very best ways to put your security tools to use.
4. Give your customers piece of mind
When a company suffers a cybersecurity event, they are far from the only one impacted. Most of the time, companies will store large volumes of customer data within their data warehouses. If a security event does occur and this information is leaked, customers from around the globe are put at risk, reflecting terribly on the company itself.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder that 66% of customers stop doing business with a company after they experience a data breach. With this high figure, it’s vital that companies always take preventive measures to make sure their customer’s data is as secure as possible.
As a large number of breaches occur due to individual employees making a small mistake, creating a baseline understanding of the best cybersecurity practices does more than just protect your business – it protects the customers you serve.
If you can demonstrate to your customers that you have their best interests at heart and are continually providing security awareness training to your employees, they will have a great deal more confidence in your company. As a customer-facing business, giving the people that interact with and subscribe to your services piece of mind should be a top priority.
How Can My Business Start Security Awareness Training?
Although education has been proved as a leading method of decreasing the cyber risk within business, many employees simply don’t want to learn. After sitting through mind-numbing cybersecurity seminars where the same information is repeated in stale ways, it’s no wonder that many employees now dread the mandatory training modules that are regularly slipped into their calendars.
The simple fact is, if you want your employees to actually change behaviors, the methods used to teach need to be entertaining, light and memorable. With this in mind, companies around the globe are turning to gamification, which is the process of turning security teaching into a game that employees can actively participate in, leveling up on their skills as they compete with one another on a leaderboard.
Framing security training through methods like these allows your employee to learn while enjoying, boosting the amount they retain and ensuring that they’re better equipped to deal with any security threats that land in their email.
Embracing security awareness training that takes on interesting formats helps your employees to learn more effectively, protecting your company and its customers for the long run.
Final Thoughts on Security Awareness Training
Security awareness training is no longer a luxury but a necessity. With the rising cyberthreat actively targeting businesses, creating a security-forward culture that understands the risk and knows how to manage it is vital. The first step toward creating a culture of employees that can spot and neutralize a security risk is by focusing on enterprise-wide training.
With this in mind, the mass movement toward security awareness training is a reflection of the heightened anxiety around cybersecurity at the current moment. Luck favors the prepared.