Here’s why cybersecurity training is important to your staff

Here’s why cybersecurity training is important to your staff

The number of cyber incidents jumped by a massive 31% between 2020 and 2021, and there's reason to believe the trend will continue this year. Cybersecurity best practices like installing anti-malware software and updating critical business applications can minimize your company's exposure to such incidents.

Your organization can, however, further bolster its defenses by taking your employees' digital hygiene into account when developing and implementing cybersecurity strategies. In this blog, we'll discuss how your employees factor into your organization's resistance to cyberattacks and how cybersecurity awareness training can help.

How can your employees endanger your company's cybersecurity?

Over the years, employees tend to be the weakest link in a company's cybersecurity. This is because regardless of how many cybersecurity measures an organization implements, the actions of its staff could completely undermine the company's efforts. For instance, even after a company installs sophisticated firewalls and antivirus apps, cyberattacks may still occur if employees use weak passwords to lock critical online business accounts.

Proofpoint's 2022 Cost of Insider Threats Global Report showed that insider threats remain among the biggest contributors to security incidents. In fact, the number of incidents related to this particular threat has increased by 44% between 2020 and 2022. An insider threat could be anyone from within the company who uses their authorized access to steal, expose, or endanger business systems or data.

A common misconception about insider threats is that they always involve willful participants, such as a disgruntled employee stealing intellectual properties to sell to the company's competitors. But according to the report, such criminal activities account for just 18% of insider-related events. A staggering 56% of incidents result from staff negligence and a further 18% are caused by credential theft, possibly from employees failing to effectively secure their online accounts.

Insider-related cybersecurity incidents can cost US companies over $17 million a year in 2022 — a 34% increase from 2020. Additionally, just 12% of organizations resolve insider-related incidents within 30 days. The rest take about 85 days, an increase from 77 days in 2020. Keep in mind that the longer an incident remains unresolved, the greater the impacts are to a business, such as serious lawsuits, penalties, and reputational damage.

How can cybersecurity awareness training help your business?

The best way to address insider threats is by implementing cybersecurity awareness training for all your employees. This training educates participants on the latest cyberthreats, how to use security tools, and the proper response to a threat or successful attack, among others. It can help your business:

Avoid human error

Humans will always commit mistakes, but educating your staff will make them more conscious about their actions and how these affect your business's cybersecurity. This will empower them to change neglectful habits, such as leaving their work devices unlocked and unattended, reducing the risk of incidents caused by such behaviors.

Prevent social engineering attacks

Social engineering attacks like phishing take advantage of human nature, such as one's desire for freebies to trick employees into sharing sensitive information or downloading malicious files that can compromise your business network. As these attacks don't actually contain viruses and other components that security tools often flag, they are usually difficult to detect and stop.

Cybersecurity awareness training can help your employees spot telltale signs of these attacks, turning them into your company’s first-line defenses against social engineering. If you use email and spam filters, these tools will also become more powerful as your staff becomes better at detecting potentially harmful messages.

Improve employee morale

Being called the weakest link can be disheartening. Cybersecurity awareness training transforms your employees into effective defensive assets who can help detect threats and report these to your IT team. Fulfilling such an important role can make them feel more invested in their job and more secure about their contributions to the company.

The human factor can break your company's cyber defenses, but cybersecurity awareness training can turn it into a dynamic asset, especially if this training is handled by cybersecurity experts. At Safebit , we are more than happy to assist you in maximizing your company’s cybersecurity posture through our services. Learn how we can help your business become more secure by contacting our IT experts today.

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