What is Cyber Security Awareness Training and Why is it so Important?
Does your business have employees? If so, cyber security (and cyber security awareness) are critical to your survival in an industry dominated by growing virtual crime. Certainly, most people know about costly identity theft and reputation-destroying network hacks, which seem to be on the news almost every day. Organizations implement firewalls, comprehensive cyber security defense systems, and sophisticated IT protocols to keep themselves safe from online threats.
The problem? Without an embedded culture of cyber security awareness and enforcement, all of those fancy and expensive systems aren’t going to do you much good.
In the end, your employees are your organization’s weakest link in the cyber security field. It’s called “the human factor.” Criminals know the easiest way to access secure networks or steal data is to target people who already have access and steal their login credentials and other critical info.
Why is cyber security awareness important?
Did you know that 95% of cybersecurity breaches are due to human error? On top of that, only 38% of global organizations state that they’re prepared to handle a sophisticated cyber attack.
And worse, as much as 54% of companies say they have experienced one or more attacks in the last 12 months—this number rises every month.
Social engineering is a current favorite tactic among cyber criminals—the psychological manipulation of victims to convince them to willingly or unwittingly surrender private data that is then subverted for nefarious purposes. Another prominent technique is phishing, where phony emails or links are spread to employees who then have their login credentials mined. In fact, 95% of cyber attacks are a result of phishing scams so phishing awareness training is essential.
Alongside these two, malware is also a constant threat, with people downloading apps or software that is designed to compromise their devices or provide network access to hackers.
Which employees should complete cyber security awareness training courses?
Your employees are your first and primary line of defense against online crime. That’s where cyber security awareness training comes into play—equipping your employees with the knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves from criminal elements.
Any employee with access to a work-related computer or mobile device should undergo thorough cyber security awareness training. This means pretty much everyone, because anyone with private or officially registered technology can be targeted. Those personal cell phones may still have data on them that can be used to access corporate networks. Or, if the employee falls victim to identity theft, their unique info can be used to create false profiles that link back to your brand, allowing for a wide variety of fraudulent acts.
By bringing cyber security awareness and training to all your employees, you heighten the chances of catching a scam or attack before it is fully enacted, minimizing damage to your brand and reducing the cost of recovery.
What topics should be covered in cyber defense training?
Any proper cyber defense training should cover elements such as:
- Current threats
- Attack red flags
- Defensive procedures
- Threat reaction plans
Security awareness training/ network security training should always be based on real-life attack simulations that are in line with the most recent criminal trends. Hackers are always evolving their approaches and technologies, and so your company must always be upgrading its defense training to keep vulnerabilities low.
How do I train my employees for cyber security?
Don’t settle for any off-the-shelf training module or basic web course, either. It’s wise to invest in professional cyber security awareness experts who are able to work directly with your organization. This kind of dedicated training lets them fashion a virtual defense strategy that addresses your unique corporate structure, data sensitivity, and employee needs.
One such program is provided via FraudWatch International. Our online security awareness and training program exhaustively educates your employees concerning the online threats they often face on a daily basis and how to protect themselves from falling prey to them. Our cyber security pros use relevant case studies and simulations in your internet security training and can also analyze past employee failures to detect (and plan for) ongoing vulnerabilities.
What is involved in cyber security training?
All of this is done within a controlled, secure environment. FraudWatch International customizes training sessions to employee needs, with topics escalating in difficulty as they become more informed and capable of dealing with lower-level threats.
Security awareness can be reinforced by employees being sent mock phishing and malware messages to see how they react, and then provided targeted training to those who fail to respond in a secure manner.
One pitfall some companies fall into is running org-wide security awareness training and then thinking that single course engagement protects them and their employees moving forward. However, cyber security defense training should be an ongoing investment in your virtual protection. Each year, new threats arise, new malware is coded, and new phishing scams are developed. Unless your team stays aware of these changes and are prepared to handle them, the risk of a successful attack rises until it basically becomes inevitable.
Yes, having the right security software and procedures in place is important, but never make the mistake of overlooking your employees’ training and fostering an environment of cyber security awareness in all organizational levels. When you choose to incorporate cyber defense training, many companies can see up to a 72% reduction of impact on their brand and operational stability from any attacks!
FraudWatch International combines numerous training topics and teaching strategies to help guarantee employee preparedness and optimize your defensive responses. This includes maintaining physical security, online security, password management, malware and phishing defense simulations, and much more.
Don’t skimp on this investment, as it may well be the singular most important one you can make to keep your business running safe and strong.
What does cyber security awareness training cost?
Training costs will vary widely by the providing agency, their criteria, and the number of staff to receive training. Some things included in the costs are course materials, instructor staffing, employee sessions, testing, reporting, and other fully-managed services. Of course, smaller or larger businesses are going to fluctuate the price of the training accordingly, as is the level of training intensity your staff may require to ensure they meet industry regulations.
When it comes to considering the cost of cyber security awareness and response situation training, compare the cost to prevent cyber threats from penetrating your organization rather than the financial impact of a successful cyber attack. This single deposit on the security of your company’s future will pay off in dividends, keeping you from losing countless profits to the criminals who may already be targeting your brand and your customers.