In this article, we provide 5 reasons why security awareness training is important. If you run a business and do not provide security awareness training to your workforce, you are taking a big risk.
Data breaches are being reported with increasing frequency and with people leading more and more digital lives, there is a lot more data to steal. The Have I Been Pwned service includes a database of usernames and passwords that have been exposed in data breaches. The database now includes 12 million credentials showing just how common data breaches have become. Data breaches are also becoming costlier to resolve. The IBM Security 2022 Cost of a Data Breach report indicates the average cost of a data breach is now $4.35 million, a 2.6% increase from the previous year.
So how can security awareness training help a business and why is it so important?
1. Helps to Prevent Data Breaches
Businesses store sensitive data, whether that is customer data, financial information, contact lists, or proprietary company information. That information is valuable to cybercriminals as business and customer data can be easily monetized and sold on the dark web. Cybercriminals actively target businesses for the data they hold and misuse or sell that information, or encrypt it to prevent the business from operating, requiring a ransom payment to get the information back. You can implement technical defenses to repel these attacks, but technical defenses are not 100% effective, and attacks often target humans – malicious emails, websites, phone calls, and text messages. Security awareness training is a vital component of any security strategy. All members of the workforce need to be trained on how to recognize and avoid threats. Security awareness training reduces susceptibility to cyber threats and helps to prevent data breaches.
2. Avoid Regulatory Fines and Litigation
Companies of all sizes are required to comply with regulations at the local, state/regional, and Federal level that have data retention and privacy and security requirements. For instance, there is the General Data Protection Regulation in the EU that requires data protection by design and default, and industry regulations such as FISMA (financial services) and HIPAA (healthcare) that have security awareness training requirements. The failure to provide security awareness training can result in significant financial penalties, and if tax records are lost in a ransomware attack, companies can still be fined for not producing those records. By preventing cyberattacks and data breaches through end user training, companies will also reduce the risk of litigation. Lawsuits are now commonly filed after data breaches.
3. Improve Productivity and Save Money
Security awareness training comes at a cost. You will need to devise your own training course, pay for a third-party trainer, or most commonly, invest in a third-party security awareness training platform. For every hour of training provided to an employee, that is an hour of lost productivity. These costs should be seen as an investment that will give you a return. The money spent on training and the time devoted to it will be recouped in terms of productivity gains by preventing ransomware attacks and data breaches. The cost of remediating cyberattacks and data breaches is far higher than the cost of security awareness training to prevent them.
4. Improve Employee Well-being and Job Satisfaction
Security awareness training is concerned with improving cybersecurity defenses, but it is an investment in people. Businesses that provide security awareness training are teaching their employees to be more security aware at work, but this is a transferrable skill and one that is not just valuable for employees for future work positions but also in their personal lives. Train employees to be more security aware and they can apply those lessons at home and avoid personal data breaches and financial losses, which helps to reduce stress and improve mental, emotional, and physical health.
5. Helps to Protect Your Company’s Reputation
One of the most damaging effects of a cyberattack or data breach is the impact on your company’s reputation. Surveys suggest that following a cyberattack that exposes sensitive customer information, two-thirds of customers would take their business elsewhere and would never return. The amount of time, money, and effort that goes into building a business can be lost overnight. Many businesses will be able to weather a cyberattack and take the financial hit, but the reputational damage can take many years to recover. The reputational damage is one of the main reasons why 60% of small businesses cease trading within 6 months of a data breach.
SafeTitan from TitanHQ
TitanHQ offers businesses a comprehensive security awareness training solution for businesses called SafeTitan. The platform includes an extensive library of training content, divided into short (max 10-minute) computer-based training modules that are easy to fit into busy workflows. The training content is fun, gamified, and engaging, and helps to build a security culture and eradicate risky practices. The platform also includes a phishing simulator for testing whether employees can recognize phishing attempts – the most common way that cybercriminals attack businesses. Phishing simulation data shows susceptibility to phishing attacks can be reduced by up to 80% with SafeTitan.
If you have yet to provide security awareness training to your workforce, you will be missing out on all the above benefits. So why not make a start today, starting with a free trial of SafeTitan?