Over the years, businesses have become increasingly reliant on IT for their operations. Unfortunately, this has also opened more opportunities for hackers to spread malware, launch cyberattacks, and wreak havoc on IT systems. In fact, Accenture’s Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study found a 67% increase in the number of security breaches and a 72% increase in the cost of cybercrime from 2014 to 2019.
While these statistics are alarming, there are many ways to boost your cyber defenses. One effective way is to conduct security awareness training for all of your employees. Here are five reasons why it’s so crucial for your business.
Related article: How to improve your cybersecurity without overspending
1. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility
Cybersecurity shouldn’t be the concern of just your IT department, but rather everyone’s, from rank-and-file employees all the way up to the board. After all, anyone in the company — even the CEO — can unwittingly fall victim to a cyberattack, consequently endangering your company data and IT systems.
By having regular security awareness training, your company will be able to develop a company culture where everyone practices good cyber hygiene and can recognize and properly respond to security threats. This , in turn, will enable your employees to become a strong first line of defense against cyberthreats.
2. Technical security can be undone by poor practices
Technological security solutions, such as firewalls and anti-malware software, are valuable in keeping cyberthreats at bay. However, users can inadvertently compromise these security measures. For example, they may turn off their firewall or ignore security warnings when these appear. They may also postpone and then completely forget about installing software patches. Such poor user practices won’t likely happen if employees were properly trained in cybersecurity.
By undergoing security awareness training, organizations would be able to combine human know-how with technical security measures to minimize vulnerabilities in their IT environment.
3. Human error leads to data breaches
Rather than attempting to breach IT security using sophisticated lines of code or other technical means, hackers today are increasingly targeting the human element — the people in your company. After all, humans are often referred to as the “weakest link” in cybersecurity.
In fact, the 2020 Psychology of Human Error study revealed that 88% of data breach incidents are caused by human error. Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report also found that 22% of all breaches involved phishing emails, whereas only 17% involved traditional malware infections.
88% of data breach incidents are caused by human error.
Related article: Phishing 101: Teaching your employees to keep company data safe
Training your staff in cybersecurity will help minimize human error, thus reducing your company’s risk of falling victim to cyberattacks and data breaches that can result in major financial losses. Data breaches can cost millions of dollars — $4.2 million on average — while security awareness training is relatively inexpensive. In other words, you’ll easily get a return on your investment in security awareness training for your employees.
4. Downtime prevention
Security incidents can paralyze business operations. For example, when major healthcare chain Universal Health Services got hit by a ransomware attack, its entire IT network across all of their facilities shut down. Their hospitals had to revert back to paper-based systems, resulting in delayed test results and canceled medical appointments. Some patients were even rerouted to other emergency rooms and facilities.
If your employees are well-trained in cybersecurity, your business won't easily succumb to downtime-causing cyberattacks.
5. Customers trust security-conscious companies
When customers do business with you, they entrust you with their personal and financial information. However, that trust is broken the moment you fall victim to a data breach. A Ponemon study found that 65% of consumers said they lost trust in companies that suffered one or more breaches, and 31% of them terminated their relationship with a company that experienced a data breach.
To improve customer confidence, you must be able to protect your customers’ data from cyberthreats — and conducting security awareness training will help you do just that.
Let the cybersecurity experts of SpectrumWise train your employees. We’ll equip them with the right mindset and tools to effectively thwart cyberattacks. Contact us to learn more about our security awareness training services.