What Is Security Awareness Training & Why Should You Have It?

4 years ago | by Chris O'Brien

Almost 90% of successful cyber attacks stem from human error or behaviour.

With the risk of cyber attacks forever rising, businesses are becoming more willing to investing money in their tech environment to ensure they have sufficient protection in place. As great as this is, there’s still a critical area that is going unprotected within organisations. Just like protecting the technology within your business is important, so is enforcing protection on the weakest level of your cyber security protection: employees [source].

It’s the human error that results in most attacks being successful that cyber criminals rely on. They prey on our emotions, curiosity and trust. And small businesses are in the pool of those most at risk. The Australian Commission & Consumer Commission (ACCC) reported that cybercriminals swindled nearly $4.7 million from Australian business, with 50% of those reported being small businesses with fewer than 20 staff. Businesses within these reports lost an average of $11,000 from the cyber attacks [source]. There is truth in the saying: ‘knowledge is power’ – particularly when it comes to cybercrime, and how that affects protecting your company against the likes of data loss, legislative implications and monetary loss.

So how do you train your staff to be more knowledgable and aware of cybercrime? The emerging way to effectively strengthen this arm in your cyber security efforts is by implementing Security Awareness Training in your business. Training includes automated fake phishing campaigns that are tailored to your business and employees to show you where you need to focus education efforts, on-going short examinations to test and enforce best practice, and knowledge about the latest attacks to be weary of.

View our Security Awareness Page for more information.

Not convinced? Here’s 8 more reasons why Security Awareness Training is a must:

  1. Building strength in your company’s weakest link:
    It’s a well known fact that users are the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain, after all, it’s curiosity, trust and emotions that hackers prey on – software protection simply doesn’t comply with these traits and is therefore less susceptible. Phishing accounts for at least 93% of ransomware attacks, which is why it’s so imperative that your staff know the warning signs that something isn’t quite right – or risk your business going down within seconds.
  2. Your people are your first line of defence:
    Users are generally an easy target for cyber criminals because they can be tricked into opening suspicious emails, downloading bad attachments, and visiting malicious URLs. With proper education about malware sources and training to avoid them, your staff can become the first, and arguably the strongest line of defence against cyberattacks. Trained properly, users learn to spot and spread awareness about an attack going around to help others avoid the trap.
  3. Wise investment as part of your security approach:
    According to the Ponemon Institute, even the least effective security awareness training program still resulted in a 7-fold ROI, (which includes lost productivity time). This is proof that security awareness training works and protects your bottom line.
  4. Breaking bad habits:
    Technology alone cannot stop security incidents. But investments in security awareness help break bad habits by teaching staff about the critical role they play in keeping their organisation safe. Companies that have invested in this training have seen user failure rates decline rapidly, from as much as 25% to 5% each year! [source]
  5. There is no target too small:
    Small businesses often assume that hackers will only target bigger players, but in reality, small businesses face the same risks as larger companies (if not more!). Small businesses are typically desired targets as they handle the types of sensitive data hackers want, and they are less likely to invest in the types of security programs larger enterprises can afford, which cyber criminals bank on.
  6. There’s a lot at stake:
    Preventing cyber attacks isn’t just about avoiding successful malware. Depending on the extent of the damage, an attack can deliver financial and legal blows, erode customer trust, and even threaten the survival of a business. Did you know that 60% of SMBs hit with a cyber attack end up closing within the following six months? They simply can’t recover and have no choice but to close.
  7. Threats aplenty:
    From phishing attacks, to drive-by downloads, malvertising to ransomware, social engineering to code injection, there are so many different types of threats, and users simply can’t keep up without education. Your staff will not only appreciate security awareness training for the sheer fact that it’ll keep them knowledgable and vigilant at work, it’ll also help them remain safe at home.
  8. Work in progress:
    Cyber security training isn’t a one-off. There are new and emerging threats created everyday that pose new hazards, and without continuous training, there is simply no way anyone can keep up with them. Research shows that changing behaviours by way of continuous security education can reduce the risk of a security breach by an average of 50% [source].

No matter what industry you’re in, or where you’re located, we can help your company implement a straight forward, effective Security Awareness Training process. Download our brochure here to learn about how the training works, receive more information by visiting our dedicated page here, or get in touch with our team through here if you want to speak about implementing Security Awareness Training for your business safety now.

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