The Importance of Cybersecurity Training

Frankie Wallace

Cybersecurity training is imperative to the success of any modern workplace. The work force has transformed over the years, as has the technology required to operate it. Digital transformations and full-scale transitions over to cloud infrastructures have meant large changes for organizations wishing to remain relevant while providing employees and customers with better overall experiences.

Advancements in business technology continue to drive better productivity and efficiency levels, especially for company employees. However, these same advancements have also left organizations vulnerable to more advanced forms of cyber attacks. Today, data breaches, ransomware viruses, and DoS (denial-of-service) attacks account for billions of dollars in company losses each year. Unfortunately, the problem isn’t going away.

As the first line of defense, employees play a vital role in keeping a business safe from malicious sources. Therefore, cybersecurity training is now a vital part of business sustainability and requires active steps to manage properly.

Understanding Today’s Digital Landscape

Cybersecurity training isn’t a new concept for most organizations. Ever since the internet was introduced to the world, there have been risks to personal and business security. Accordingly, most organizations have deployed countermeasures in the past to combat them effectively. However, today’s digital landscape greatly differs from what it was five years ago, and hackers are using advanced tools to exploit it.

IoT Developments

Years ago, most businesses operated on basic servers, restricted wireless technology, and poor remote access connectivity. However, thanks internet of things (IoT) developments, there are near-limitless capabilities for companies to incorporate intelligent wireless technologies into their work-space. Whether using smartphones and watches, remote asset management systems, or other seamlessly connected devices, businesses have more flexibility than ever before regarding how they operate.

Unfortunately, however, these connected assets also create new gateways for malicious sources to gain access to sensitive information and critical systems.

Automated Data Manipulation

Hackers are now using artificial intelligence and automated software programs to funnel information about their intended targets. In fact, with the help of system exploits and phishing scams, it’s never been easier for passwords to become compromised. Additionally, they can cause unrecognized data breaches resulting in irreparable damage for months and even years.

The Rise of Ransomware

The past decade has seen a plague of devastating ransomware attacks cause catastrophic damage to businesses in nearly every industry. In fact, there will have been a ransomware attack on a business every 14 seconds by the end of the year. However, only do these attacks cause great financial distress to organizations, but many are unable to recover from the destruction these attacks can cause to systems.

Why Cybersecurity Training Is Vital for Businesses

Modern businesses operate at much higher efficiency levels than companies from 10 years ago. Thanks to the digitization of assets, large data storage capabilities, and cloud-based services, organizations can now streamline their operations and provide better quality goods and services to their customers. However, these advancements in technology, along with better accessibility to company data, also comes with great risk to both personal and business security.

Data Breaches Are Getting Worse

Data breaches cause problems to businesses in several ways. Moreover, what makes making them so catastrophic as of late is that they’re getting harder and harder to diagnose. According to IBM, it now takes companies on average 197 days to identify a breach to data security as it occurs. Additionally, it can take up to another 69 days to contain it.

These staggering averages make it absolutely critical to implement solid cybersecurity training. It is important to prepare your employees on how to effectively mitigate their cybersecurity risks. While online digital retailers can rely on business insurance to mitigate some of the risks associated with data breaches, the cost of this downtime alone can be extremely problematic.

Besides the downtime that can occur when containing data breaches, companies can also experience legal troubles. These troubles will occur if due diligence isn’t taken to protect sensitive client information. In fact, in many industries, regulatory data compliance is a very serious issue that demands the attention of each individual accessing business systems. Additionally, employees aren’t adequately trained on how to protect themselves when they access company assets. This lack of cybersecurity training can cause potential fines and even legal intervention.   

Most Employees Are Unaware of the Risks

The fact is, employees are often the primary targets for hackers looking to penetrate critical business systems. However, rather than trying to breach a secure network or system through external means, it’s much easier for hackers to pose as authorized members of a company while they inflict their damage from the inside and do so undetected.

Sadly, many employees don’t even realize how important cybersecurity training really is for the organization they work for. And even worse, according to a survey of over 4,500 employees, 22% of employees don’t feel like they should be obligated to keep their employer’s information safe.

Important Tips for Educating Your Employees

In most companies, it’s common that the bulk of cybersecurity training rests with IT teams. While this probably makes sense to most company leaders, it’s important for “all” employees to engage in defending an organization from outside intruders. It’s because of this that educating your employees regularly about current online dangers and how to mitigate them successfully is vital to your business safety. Therefore, here are some tips to help you execute this initiative effectively:

Cybersecurity Awareness Training Programs

Creating a program specifically for cybersecurity training is a valuable way to mitigate many of the risks associated with malicious attacks. Plan a quarterly or biannual review with all employees to discuss emerging security trends, potential risks to personal and business security, and the steps that should be taken to avoid being targeted.

Policy Implementation and Enforcement

For certain organizations, seeking optional compliance from employees concerning cybersecurity training sessions may not be enough. Creating enforceable policies with employees for their own protection and can be an effective way to minimize business risks. Having documented policies that regularly update is a great way to do this and plays an important role when supporting regulatory compliance standards.

Regular Testing

Cybersecurity training seminars can be very beneficial. Getting your employees to take part in active cybersecurity training can help to ensure employees are keeping what they’ve learned. Additionally, it can help make sure employees are actively deploying best practices to support the company.

Cybersecurity training is an important part of developing a sustainable business in today’s digital landscape. By taking the time to train your employees on how to protect themselves and the company, you’ll be able to mitigate many of the security threats associated with operating a business while maximizing productivity levels.

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