Cybersecurity awareness training is just as important as using technology to block cyberattacks as most cyberattacks target employees and exploit human weaknesses. By providing cybersecurity awareness training to all staff members, you can significantly improve your security posture.
According to the Verizon 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, in 2021, 82% of all data breaches involved the human element. These data breaches occurred because of mistakes by employees that opened the door for malicious actors, such as responding to phishing emails, setting weak passwords, reusing passwords on multiple accounts, using a public Wi-Fi network without a VPN, and making configuration errors. Many data breaches occur as a result of cyberattacks that do not involve the human element, but the DBIR report makes it clear that if you want to improve your security posture, you need to take steps to address human issues.
Cybersecurity awareness training is concerned with making all staff members aware of the risky behaviors that can create vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious actors and showing them how to work more securely. The ultimate aim is to develop a culture of security in an organization where everyone understands that they have a role to play in the security of their organization, and that cybersecurity is not the sole responsibility of the IT department.
Does Cybersecurity Awareness Training Work?
Cybercriminals are constantly developing new techniques to evade technical security defenses and reach employees. One of the most common methods used to reach employees is email. The majority of malware infections occur via email, and according to the Verizon DBIR, 76% of companies experienced a phishing attack in 2021. If employees are not trained how to identify malicious emails, they are likely to be fooled when a threat is encountered.
It is not possible to prevent all human mistakes, and it is unreasonable to expect that training will ensure that all employees will be able to identify every malicious email or security threat, but training will improve security awareness and employees will get better at detecting threats. Through regular cybersecurity awareness training, businesses can stop employees from engaging in risky behaviors that open the door to hackers.
Phishing simulation data shows that before providing cybersecurity awareness training, almost a third of employees responded to phishing emails. After training, susceptibility to phishing emails fell by an average of 85%. Many other studies have produced similar results, with susceptibility reduced by between 70% and 90%.
How Often Should Cybersecurity Awareness Training Be Provided?
If you only provide an annual training session, you are unlikely to develop a security culture in your organization. Over the course of a year, employees will forget parts of their training and bad security practices can easily creep in. To get the best return on your investment you should be conducting training continuously. According to a 2020 report by USENIX, 38% of organizations conduct cybersecurity awareness training monthly, and only 16% of organizations conduct training twice a year or less frequently.
To get the best return on your investment in cybersecurity awareness straining, you should be providing training frequently in bite-sized chunks. If an employee completes a 10-minute computer-based training module once a month, it will not have a major impact on productivity, but will be far more effective than only providing an annual training session. At the end of each training module, you should then conduct a quick quiz to make sure the employee has understood the training.
Be Sure to Conduct Phishing Simulations
Phishing is the main way that employees are targeted. If you teach employees how to recognize the signs of phishing, employees will have the skills to be able to avoid phishing threats. They may be able to identify phishing emails in a training session, but will they apply that training and be able to recognize real phishing threats? The easiest way to determine that is by conducting phishing simulations.
Phishing simulations involve sending examples of real-world phishing emails to employees to see how they respond when they are performing their typical work duties. Do employees open the emails? Do they open attachments or click links? Do they enable macros in attachments or visit a website and enter their credentials? Do they correctly identify the emails as potentially malicious and report them to the IT department? A phishing simulator automates these phishing tests and tracks all responses.
Phishing simulations allow organizations to identify gaps in knowledge and individuals who fail these tests can be provided with additional training. They show organizations how effective training has been and allow them to proactively address risks before they can be exploited in real phishing attacks.
The SafeTitan Cybersecurity Awareness Training Platform
TitanHQ understands that technical defenses against phishing and other cyber threats will only go so far and that workforce training is now essential. That is why TitanHQ now offers the SafeTitan cybersecurity awareness training platform. The SafeTitan training library covers all aspects of cybersecurity and delivers training in easy-to-assimilate modules of no more than 10 minutes. The training content is gamified and enjoyable and has been shown to reduce susceptibility to phishing emails by up to 92%.
SafeTitan is the only behavior-driven security awareness training program that delivers training in real-time. Real-time intervention training ensures that when employees make a mistake or engage in risky behaviors, they are immediately informed and are provided with brief training to nip the problem in the bud. The platform also includes a phishing simulator with hundreds of phishing templates that are taken from real-world phishing attacks.
If you want to improve your security posture, you need to address the human element. SafeTitan will allow you to create a human firewall to complement your technical cybersecurity defenses and create a security culture in your organization. Contract TitanHQ today to find out more.