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26
Jul
2022
Staying Aware and Prepared with Security Awareness Training

Staying Aware and Prepared with Security Awareness Training

Whenever we start a new job, training is often an integral part of the onboarding process. We attend orientations to familiarize ourselves with company policies, procedures, and practices, as well as the task at hand. However, one area requires training more than any other: cybersecurity. Without proper training, employees are more prone to mistakes that can be dire for themselves, their employers, and their customers. Even small errors can be disastrous. According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021, the average data breach cost $4.24 million last year¹. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of security awareness training for your business. 

One major benefit of security awareness training is that it empowers employees². By teaching and encouraging active awareness of security measures and potential threats, employees will become familiar and comfortable with the best practices to use when handling sensitive information. This awareness and familiarity will help employees avoid mistakes. As outlined in a 2020 Tessian study co-authored by Stanford University professor Jeff Hancock; 88 percent of data breaches result from human error³. Therefore, security awareness training helps you reduce human errors and empower your staff to perform their best. 

Another advantage of security awareness training is that it protects your company’s most valuable assets². Consider that while the average data breach in 2021 cost $4.24 million, ransomware attacks cost an average of $4.62 million, and the most malicious and destructive wiper-style attacks cost a hefty $4.69 million last year¹. That is more than four and a half million dollars wasted they could be spent growing your business. You should therefore invest in training from day one so you can better protect your assets². 

Security awareness training in your organization also prevents downtime². Since data breaches take considerable time to investigate and repair, you could spend several hours to a few days getting your network running again². Important tasks may be sidelined for an indefinite amount of time while the network is down, which could result in losses for your company. 

Yet another benefit of security awareness training is that it ensures more cohesive security across all a company’s departments or locations². Consider the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for example. In December 2019, UNC-Chapel Hill mandated annual security awareness training for all its students and employees⁴. The University’s ITS security office created a straightforward training module taking 15-20 minutes to complete, ensuring that staff in all departments will possess the same basic understanding of how to protect themselves and their data from cyberattacks⁴. 

While security awareness training has its benefits across every sector, this is especially true in healthcare. For example, doctors and nurses must handle hundreds if not thousands of patient records securely and privately every day⁵. Similarly, office personnel and administrative staff need to input and maintain data confidentially⁵. Security training is essential for these environments to ensure that all staff are able to recognize and handle possible threats. 

Although security training modules may vary from one business to another, they all need to encompass a variety of subjects. First, employees must learn about the core tenets of IT security, including definitions for viruses, malware, and ransomware⁵. This training should also include educating employees about the dangers of phishing and social engineering⁵. Although social engineering typically takes place on a company’s computer networks, it can also involve other communication methods such as phone calls and text messages⁵. Therefore, you should train your employees to understand social engineering across a variety of business communication platforms⁵. 

Of course, there are other factors you must consider when developing security awareness training programs. For instance, you need a cyber threat index prioritizing which attacks can not only harm your business financially but also damage your brand’s reputation⁶. Your security training program should also create and implement a cyber threat vector board alerting your employees to imminent cybersecurity threats and risks⁶. This helpful tool should also keep track of data from previous attacks to help employees visualize potential attacks in the future⁶. In short, cybersecurity training is essential for any business. 

Whether you need cybersecurity training for five or 500 employees, navitend can help. We offer end user security training for a diverse clientele of small and medium-sized businesses, giving you a much-needed line of defense against phishing, malware, and other forms of cybercrime. 

Navitend can help you. Call 973.448.0070 or setup an appointment today. 

Sources: 

¹IBM Security. “Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021.” Retrieved from https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/OJDVQGRY

²InfoSec Institute. “Ten benefits of security awareness training” by Beth Osborne. Retrieved from https://resources.infosecinstitute.com/topic/10-benefits-of-security-awareness-training/.  

³Tessian. “Psychology of Human Error” by Tessian and Jeff Hancock. Retrieved from https://f.hubspotusercontent20.net/hubfs/1670277/%5BTessian%20Research%5D%20The%20Psychology%20of%20Human%20Error.pdf?__hstc=170273983.078cb3048ba3c68e8465566faa2df651.1654272777466.1654272777466.1654272777466.1&__hssc=170273983.1.1654272777466&__hsfp=2056064509

⁴The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Mandatory Security Awareness Training.” Retrieved from https://fo.unc.edu/news/2019/12/09/mandatory-security-awareness-training.  

⁵RSI Security. “What Should Security Awareness Training Include for Healthcare Companies?” Retrieved from https://blog.rsisecurity.com/what-should-security-awareness-training-include-for-healthcare-companies/#:~:text=%20Healthcare%20entities%20should%20implement%20or%20conduct%20the,3%20Web%20applications%204%20Mobile%20devices%20More%20

⁶InfoSec Institute. “Why Does the Finance Industry Need Security Awareness Training?” by Ravi Das. Retrieved from https://resources.infosecinstitute.com/topic/finance-industry-need-security-awareness-training

navitend can help you. Call 973.448.0070 or setup an appointment today.

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