Your business would be nothing without its employees, whether you have 2 employees or 500! But even though workers keep a business going and provide value to customers, they do present a major risk to cybersecurity.
According to a study by IBM in 2021, human error was the root cause of 95% of data breaches. And while that sounds scary, think about how much more protected your business could be if your employees had the knowledge and know-how to prevent cybercrime. That’s where security awareness training comes in.
What Is Security Training for Your Employees?
At its core, security awareness training is designed to educate employees about the risks of cybercrime and how they can protect themselves and the company. It’s important to note that this type of training is not a one-time event. Instead, it should be an ongoing process that evolves as the cybersecurity landscape changes.
Some common topics covered in security training for your employees are the following, which we have defined:
· Social engineering: when someone uses deception to trick people into revealing sensitive information or taking an action that could compromise security, like clicking on a malicious link.
· Phishing: a type of social engineering where attackers send emails that appear to be from a trusted source in an attempt to get the recipient to share sensitive information or take an action that could compromise security.
· Password security: best practices for creating strong passwords, storing them securely, and using two-factor authentication.
· Malware: software that is designed to damage or disable computer systems. It can be spread through emails, social media, and malicious websites.
· Ransomware: a type of malware that encrypts files and demands a ransom be paid to unlock them.
· Data breaches: when sensitive information is accessed without authorization. It can happen through hacking, social engineering, or physical theft.
Security awareness training teaches your employees not only what the risks are that face them, but how to avoid them and prevent data breaches. This includes learning the red flags of a phishing email, participating in mock hacking attempts, and implementing secure passwords across every account.
How Does Security Awareness Training Minimize Your Risk?
When employees are properly trained on cybersecurity risks, especially by an experienced managed service provider, the chances of a successful attack are greatly minimized. Employees will be able to recognize social engineering attempts and know how to report them. Not to mention, there are several other benefits of training your employees on security risks:
Security training is a bit like insurance. You pay a small amount up front in preparation for a potential disastrous cost down the road. The average cost of a data breach for a small to medium-sized business is $108,000. By comparison, the average cost of security awareness training can range from $5 to $60 an employee per year.
The average cost of downtime is $5,600 a minute. If your employees are able to troubleshoot and protect themselves from unnecessary downtime, your company is going to save money, be more productive, and see a quick return on your investment in security training.
Security awareness training can also help you create a culture of security within your organization. When your employees are receiving consistent messages about the importance of cyber hygiene, you’ll build a culture of strong decision-making and cyber awareness. Your employees will be prepped with the knowledge and skills they need to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to cybersecurity threats.
Not only can a data breach damage your brand and make it difficult to regain the trust of your customers, but if you’re proactive about protecting your clients’ data, they’ll see that you’re a business they can trust.
Are There Any Downsides to Security Awareness Training?
The cost and time investment are really the only potential side effects of security training for your employees. But when you compare the cost of a data breach or downtime, security awareness training is a drop in the bucket.
Plus, there are plenty of ways to make training more affordable and less time-consuming. Your local IT provider can “diagnose” the current skill levels and knowledge of your employees and find out exactly what you need to upgrade your cybersecurity.
AIS Can Help
At AIS, we offer security awareness training for businesses of all sizes. We’ll work with you to find the right solution for your company and ensure that your employees are properly trained on cybersecurity risks and how to prevent them. Contact us today to talk about the training your business needs.