It’s a never-ending endeavour for security teams to protect their organizations from cyber-attacks, especially with the increasing threat of phishing.
According to a Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021, 39% of firms and more than a quarter of charities (26%) have experienced cybersecurity breaches or attacks in the previous year.
With phishing scams becoming more complex, it’s evident that a single click on a fraudulent link might expose a company to a cyber-attack. As a result, businesses should recognize that protecting their infrastructure from cyber-attacks is a shared responsibility that falls not only on security teams but also on every employee – which includes providing cybersecurity awareness training to all employees. As a result, they know what to look for.
Here are some of the reasons why cybersecurity awareness training should be a top priority for businesses.
Educate employees or pay the price
The threat to businesses is significant as the number of phishing attacks rises throughout the pandemic. Falling for phishing scams and accidentally providing confidential information or exposing enterprises to vulnerability can have serious consequences for businesses. This isn’t just about the expense; it’s also about the loss of critical data, regulatory fines, economic disruption, and a negative impact on the company’s reputation.
Employee awareness of the issue can be increased by providing cybersecurity awareness training, such as knowing how to recognize a phishing email and understanding how social engineering attacks work. This can assist employees in determining whether an email or text is genuine or fraudulent by looking for key characteristics such as the sender’s actual email address, reviewing the email’s content, checking spelling and grammatical errors, and means to spot suspicious links.
Compliance with data security regulations
Employees play a role in ensuring that security compliance rules are met and followed, depending on where a business operates and the local regulatory norms that apply. Furthermore, cybersecurity awareness training teaches employees about the consequences of clicking on a malicious link, including how it might lead to a cyber-criminal initiating a ransomware attack, as well as the necessity of their actions. For example, cybercriminals used a phishing attempt to obtain access to the IT system. In that instance, they risk exposing sensitive data, such as employee or customer personal identifying information (PII), which could result in a major data breach.
Maintaining data security compliance demonstrates an organization’s commitment to following cybersecurity best practices. Customers also want to do business with organizations they can trust, thus compliance is required.
Ensure that the training is effective by testing and reviewing it
Regularly test employees with phishing simulation emails to see if cybersecurity awareness training is successful. This will aid in identifying any skill gaps in the organization, allowing security teams to provide any necessary follow-up training to employees who failed the test. Employees should not be informed ahead of time that they will be subjected to phishing tests, as this could bias the results. It’s critical to catch them off guard in order to figure out the effectiveness of the training. As a result, it can be updated and targeted at specific individuals on a frequent basis.
Prioritizing cybersecurity awareness training is critical for enhancing employee cyber resilience and minimizing the likelihood of a compromise at the company. Strengthening employees’ cybersecurity expertise isn’t just good business; it should be an obligatory compliance exercise for businesses of all kinds, including small businesses.