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Security awareness training: Arming employees against cyber threats

The act of buying and selling goods and services has changed exponentially since the internet took the world by storm after becoming mainstream back in the 90s. Computers and the internet have opened up new horizons for businesses all over the world, allowing them to connect with customers and business partners anywhere.

Unfortunately, with every door that’s opened, it seems there are various risks just around the corner; in this case, cybersecurity threats are the disruptive threat.

Cybersecurity threats have existed since the internet first launched, with the first computer virus found in Australia being the Michelangelo virus, which was discovered in 1991.

Cybercrimes result in millions of dollars in damage to Australian businesses every year, with the average cost incurred from a breach being $276,323. Businesses may experience many such breaches throughout the year.

One major contributing factor is employees being unable to identify potential cybersecurity threats and falling victim to them or not knowing how to mitigate them — this issue can be resolved with security awareness training.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what security awareness training for employees can do for a business.

Creates a culture of cybersecurity

It’s estimated that about 70% of cybersecurity breaches happen in companies due to employees lacking extensive knowledge and training in cybersecurity.

Security awareness training teaches employees all they need to know about cybersecurity and cybercrime, from different types of computer viruses to common email scams, like phishing.

When everyone is adequately trained in cybersecurity, it creates a cybersecurity culture where cybersecurity measures are organically placed into the businesses goals, objectives and daily activities, creating a strong framework against cybercrime.

With this kind of culture, every employee will be aware of the dangers of cyber attacks and will make it a part of their daily routine to ensure they identify and protect themselves and the business from potential threats.

Makes employees feel more confident

Falling victim to a cyber threat that can affect the business will make any employee feel less confident in their abilities. A lack of proper cybersecurity training may also cause employees to doubt their ability to detect and avoid even the most obvious threats.

Some cyberthreats and phishing scams are very elaborate and may be difficult for an untrained person to identify. According to the Ponemon Institution, about 68% of small businesses around the world reported that employees had their passwords stolen.

Having a password to a company account stolen can be a major blow to an employee’s morale and this may affect their productivity and state of mind.

With proper cybersecurity training, employees will have the necessary knowledge they’ll need to tackle and avoid any cyber threats; this, in turn, will give them a boost in morale.

Protects the company’s reputation

Reputation is extremely important for any business and being hit by a cybersecurity breach can tarnish its reputation.

Customers and suppliers entrust their payment details and information to a business on a basis of trust, and when they have these important credentials stolen by hackers, they lose respect and trust in the company.

Back in 2013, the retailer Target fell victim to a data breach in which the credit card details of 40 million customers were stolen. This even hurt their reputation and cost them $18.5 million for settlements.

Losing valuable customers can ruin any business and many large-scale data breaches are difficult to recover from, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.

When a business has staff trained in cybersecurity, crippling data breaches are less likely to happen and they can ensure their customers, suppliers and business partners that their highly sensitive data is in good hands.

Security awareness training — teaching employees the skills to fight cybercrime

Investing in cybersecurity training for your employees is becoming increasingly important, given the reliability on technology.

When employees have the proper knowledge and skills they need to identify potential cybercrimes and threats, a business owner can rest easy knowing that everything the company has worked hard for is well protected against these malicious attacks.