When it comes to protecting your business, people will always be the weakest link in your security strategy. Humans are prone to making mistakes, forgetting things, and falling for sneaky criminal tactics. It doesn’t mean they are bad people, it simply means they are human. The scary part of this weakest link is something that most people never talk about: you can have the most advanced defensive security solution in the world, but it can all be bypassed if a user gets tricked into doing something they shouldn’t. This is why training your employees on the latest criminal tactics and keeping security top of mind is so critical.
5 Reasons You Need Security Awareness Training Program
- Security awareness training reduces the possibility of data breaches.
When people hear about a data breach, they automatically think of computer hardware, like a criminal “hacked” into a computer or network to steal sensitive information. In reality, the number one thing that leads to a data breach is human error. Every fancy security system businesses use to protect themselves can be bypassed if a user clicks on the wrong link, goes to the wrong website, or falls for a trick and unknowingly hands over their login credentials.
This is why implementing a security awareness training program is so important. Your employees are the last line of defense for your business. Educating them on the latest tactics that criminals are using helps to form a “human” firewall for your business.
- Security awareness training keeps your organization in compliance.
On the surface, this seems straightforward, but you’d be amazed at how many regulated organizations miss this. If you’re in a regulated industry, you’re required to have a security awareness training program. It doesn’t matter what security regulation you’re governed by, they all have a rule or statute that states that security awareness training is a requirement in order to be compliant.
The tricky part is they don’t stipulate what this security awareness training program needs to include. It’s common to see organizations throwing something together and slapping a security awareness training label on it just to check the box. This approach misses the spirit of the requirement: to educate your staff on the dangers out there so they don’t unknowingly become a victim. If your goal is to simply check off a box, then your staff is no more aware than they were prior to the “training.” This means they are still a liability to your business.
- Security awareness training saves you money.
The average cost of a data breach on a small business ranges anywhere from $149K all the way up to multiple millions. There are a number of things people overlook when they think about the potential cost of a data breach to their business. The biggest thing individuals often fail to consider is the risk associated with their digital assets.
People think their cost and exposure is limited to remediating the incident, but there are other potential repercussions to consider, such as:
- Lost revenue due to theft
- Lost revenue due to your damaged reputation
- Lost revenue due to clients leaving
- Lost revenue due to downtime
- Cost of legal fees to fight lawsuits
- Loss of market advantage due to theft of intellectual property
- Loss of personal assets due to identity theft
This is just a short list of things that every business has in common. Once you start to factor in those costs, you can see how data breaches become extremely expensive to a business.
- Security awareness training increases employee confidence and reduces stress.
More than ever, job security for employees increases both morale and productivity. What are the consequences for an employee who makes a mistake that leads to the business being compromised? Do they get written up? Do they get fired?
If you’re not training your employees on how to avoid the kinds of mistakes that could get them fired, you could be putting unnecessary stress on them, which can result in decreased performance or poor judgment. This strain can ultimately lead to the very thing you want to avoid. Provide your staff with the training they need to identify these threats so they can be confident in the job they’re doing.
- Cybercrime isn’t going away.
Cybercrime is a trillion-dollar business. That’s right- business. Criminals make more money from cybercrime than they do from the sale of all illegal drugs combined. Plus, cybercrime carries less risk. So if you could make more money and have less exposure, would you ever stop? No. In fact, you’d likely increase your efforts to find more creative ways to capitalize on the opportunity. Don’t leave your employees, and your business vulnerable to this ongoing threat.
Every day cyber criminals are coming up with new ways to engage in unlawful activity. Don’t rely on a static plan- make sure you know areas likely at risk for your company. If you don’t know how to do this, check out our helpful cheat sheet 4 Steps to Business Risk Management.
Leverage Your Resources
Security Awareness Trainings not only protect your business, but they also help employees feel confident in the ways they work and navigate online. Create a plan that helps protect your interests, outlines guideposts for employees, and gives time for discussion.
Your employees are both your greatest risk, and also your greatest resource in protecting your company. Find out the ways they do business daily, where their work takes them, and what they encounter. See what they interact with online, and where there might be areas that need additional training. Need help finding a place to start when putting together a Security Awareness Training? Our specialists are happy to chat with you and identify ways we can help you keep your business safe and secure.
Need additional resources on cyber security? Check out our full resources archive.