Maintaining a strong cybersecurity posture is more important than ever. With so many businesses investing in digital transformation technologies, the ramifications of a cyber attack would be devastating.
Combine this with the fact that many organizations have standardized the work-from-home model and you’ve got a recipe for serious disruption.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. While hackers are eager to exploit the new vulnerabilities entailed by a fully digitized future, there are preventative measures that can keep them at bay. One particularly powerful tool is cyber awareness training.
In this article, we discuss the importance of security awareness training and its five major benefits for your business.
What is Cyber Awareness Training?
Before we begin, it’s important to understand what exactly cyber security awareness training entails. In a nutshell, it is the formal act of educating employees to recognize, identify, and respond to cyber threats in order to keep themselves and their organization secure.
When successfully implemented, the result is an increased personal vigilance over critical data, systems, and infrastructure. This is especially important in light of one particular fact: Most successful cyber attacks prey on human psychology, and not vulnerabilities in code.
These types of attacks are known as social engineering attacks, most often embodied by the ubiquitous phishing email. According to a recent Purplesec study, roughly 98% of all attacks involve some degree of social engineering. If this sounds disturbing, well, it should.
Luckily, a KnowBe4 study demonstrated that, with just one year of phishing awareness training, organizations of all sizes, across diverse sectors, experienced an average improvement rate of 87% in detecting and mitigating security risks.
The training included seminars, spontaneous drills in which employees are faced with a simulated threat, and interactive debriefings.
Let’s now focus on some of the key benefits of cyber awareness training.
The 5 Major Benefits of Cyber Security Training
1. Reduce the Risk of Cyber Attacks
By far the most obvious and important benefit of security awareness training is a marked reduction in successful cyberattacks against your organization.
In practical terms, this means a decrease in things like downtime, compliance violations, lost revenue, and damage to your company’s reputation.
As we’ve discussed, most cyber threats are unsophisticated. In other words, bad actors attempt to leverage human ignorance as opposed to exploiting something as complex as a zero-day vulnerability.
By educating your workforce and providing them with ample training, you can dependably defend against these predatory attacks.
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2. Avoid Expensive Downtime
Whether it’s a data breach or a ransomware attack, getting your operations back up and running after a downtime event is both time-consuming and costly.
According to research conducted by Gartner, IT downtime costs businesses an average of $5,600 per minute. That’s over $300,000 per hour, which is far from being a negligible sum.
Though not all forms of downtime are avoidable, awareness training teaches your workforce to avoid those that can be.
By understanding common attack vectors, employees can better participate in keeping your organization safe. That means your critical systems stay online while your annual budget stays on track.
3. Improve Employee Awareness
Building awareness is the key to developing a strong security culture. Not only will it help minimize human error, the number two cause of a data breach, right behind unpatched security vulnerabilities.
However, it will also teach employees to proactively defend their company’s sensitive information from suspected security threats.
Beyond this, increased awareness enables your organization to collaboratively establish security policies. Employees can provide real-time feedback based on an evolving roster of experience as C-level staff oversees new security laws and regulations.
4. Boost Customer Confidence
It’s well-known that organizations with poor information security suffer from a correspondingly low consumer confidence score.
According to a Ping Identity study, 81% of respondents said they would terminate their relationship with a company in the wake of a data breach. The same study also reported that 63% of consumers believe organizations are responsible for protecting their confidential user data.
The bottom line is this: Your organization should thoroughly cover all of its bases to remain cyber secure. A laissez-faire attitude is all but guaranteed to cause irreparable damage to both your public image and your revenue.
5. Maintain Regulatory Compliance
Last, but certainly not least, security awareness programs can help your business comply with regulatory standards, especially those concerning the responsible handling of consumer data. Failure to adhere to strict security laws and regulations can lead to massive fines and penalties.
That’s why any worthwhile security training program will provide you with the most up-to-date information, examples, and exercises regarding compliance.
Some common regulations include the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Be especially prudent if your organization deals with customers on an international level.
Of course, keeping in step with the latest security standards is both time-consuming and complex. Partnering with a qualified managed services provider (MSP) is a cost-effective and reliable way to get the insight and training your business needs.
Leverage the Benefits of Security Awareness Training With powersolution.com
Now that you understand the indispensable benefits of security awareness training, it’s time to fortify your own cyber resiliency. Since 1996, powersolution.com has worked with businesses across New Jersey to improve their protection against the latest cyber threats.
As a premier managed services provider, we pride ourselves on delivering security awareness training that is both up-to-date and rigorous.
Make sure your business doesn’t become another statistic. Contact us today to learn more about our cutting-edge training program.