7 reasons why security awareness training is important in 2023
We know we know, we’ve gone on about how security awareness is dead. We even dedicated a whole webinar to the topic (you can watch it on demand). But we’re not swallowing our words. We’re just adding more context!
So, let’s take it from the top, shall we?
What is security awareness training?
A definition to kick things off, then.
Security awareness training is the process of educating people to understand, identify, and avoid cyber threats. The ultimate goal is to prevent or mitigate harm—to both the organization and its stakeholders—and reduce human cyber risk.
Security awareness statistics
What can some recent figures reveal about the security awareness landscape? Well, strap in.
Only 1 in 9 businesses (11%) provided a cybersecurity awareness program to non-cyber employees in 2020.
Gulp! Pretty shocking, right. But should it be?
Most people just don’t have the knowledge, tools, and support they need to protect themselves and their organizations. And the average person’s cybersecurity knowledge is, well, patchy.
And it’s not their fault!
7 ways security awareness can make or break your 2023
So, how can you make your security program more effective?
Glad you asked, because we just so happen to have some handy tips on that.
1. To prevent data breach and phishing attacks
Starting with the most obvious, information security awareness training helps prevent breaches.
Of course, the number of breaches a security awareness training program prevents is difficult to quantify.
In an ideal cyber security world, we’d be able to run a controlled trial comparing those who received training and those who didn’t. But that would be going a step too far for most organisations.
What we can do is demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) of security awareness software. How? By comparing the number of incidents before and after cyber security awareness activities. The resulting metrics can be used to glean an indication of ROI.
But we don’t even have to do the maths to tell you that data breaches can cost millions while security awareness training is relatively inexpensive. So, really, it doesn’t take much cybersecurity awareness training to get serious returns.
Data breaches cost UK organisations an average of £6.4 million. Investing in security awareness training reduces the risk of phishing attacks by about 50%.
2. To build a culture of security
Developing a culture of security has long been seen as the holy grail for chief information security officers (CISOs). But that goal of rising the importance of security education training and awareness is notoriously hard to achieve.
With the help of security awareness training, more organizations are heading in the right direction.
Creating a culture of security means building security values into the fabric of your business. Training that covers situational awareness (why someone might be at risk) plus work and home-life benefits is a good way to bring people onboard.
Advanced training platforms can help monitor and develop a culture of security, making people your first line of defence against social engineering attacks.
Advanced security awareness campaigns measure, track and shape culture, making people an extra line of defence.
3. To make technological defences against cyber threats more robust
Technological defences and current awareness services are a valuable weapon in preventing breaches. But technological defences require input from people.
Firewalls need to be turned on. Security warnings need to be acknowledged. Software needs to be updated.
Few businesses today would dream of operating without technological defences. And yet, without security awareness training and cybersecurity education, technological defences cannot fulfil their potential.
Attackers today rarely bother trying to attack businesses through technological means only. Today’s attackers typically target people, as they are seen as an easy way into protected networks.
Technological defences require human input. Without security awareness training, many technological defences are not as effective as they could be.
4. To give your customers confidence
Consumers are increasingly aware of cyberthreats. And, as customers, they want to feel safe and secure.
That means a business that takes measures to improve cyber security will generate consumer trust. And we all know that a trusted business breeds customer loyalty.
This isn’t conjecture. A recent survey by Arcserve, shows that 70% of consumers believe businesses aren’t doing enough to ensure cyber security. And nearly 2 out of 3 consumers would likely avoid doing business with a business that had experienced a cyber attack in the past year.
For example, compromised endpoint security, phishing attacks, social engineering and data breach are common security incidents that could raise red flags in the mind of the consumer.
Clearly, customers pay attention to security credentials. When you introduce security awareness training to your employees, your customers see you as more responsible, which can only benefit your business.
More than 50% of all businesses must take cyber security precautions to either continue working with existing customers or to pitch for new business contracts.
5. For compliance
To be clear, compliance alone is no reason to introduce security awareness training.
If you introduce training solely to comply with regulations, then you’re probably doing the bare minimum. And that’s not a good thing.
Still, more and more regulators are demanding specific industries implement security awareness training.
“Firms of all sizes need to develop a ‘security culture’, from the board down to every employee. […] Cyber security is a shared responsibility, and we take a co-operative approach to address this threat, working with government, other regulators, nationally and internationally on this important issue.” – CybSafe partner, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), on cyber resilience. Compliance can be a happy by-product of security awareness training. Introducing the right training content makes your organisation more secure and, in many industries, meets regulatory requirements.Data breaches cost UK organisations an average of £2.9 million per breach. 82% of breaches involve the human element. Click To Tweet
Under the NIS directive, operators of essential services must ‘take appropriate and proportionate security measures to manage risks to their network and information systems’
6. To be socially responsible as a business
As WannaCry and NotPetya demonstrated in 2017, cyberattacks can spread quickly.
The more networks that become infected, the more at-risk other networks become. And one network’s weakness increases the overall threat for others.
That means the absence of security awareness training in one organisation makes other organisations vulnerable. It’s a little like leaving your house door unlocked – with the keys to your neighbour’s place inside.
Security awareness training doesn’t just benefit you. It benefits your customers, your suppliers and everyone else interlinked with your network.
A vulnerable network makes connected networks more vulnerable. Like leaving your house door unlocked with the keys to nextdoor waiting inside.
7. To improve employee wellbeing
It’s well-documented that happy people are productive people.
So, it’s worth remembering that security awareness training doesn’t just keep people safe at work. It keeps them safe from cyber security threats, phishing and social engineering in their personal life, too.
Remember, if cyber security awareness training does what it’s supposed to do in threat prevention, it isn’t just an employer benefit. It’s an employee benefit, too.
Security awareness training keeps people safe at work and at home. It benefits employers and employees alike.
The slow death of security awareness is happening
The Security awareness is dead (or dying) free eBook shows you how to build on security awareness training to influence real and lasting change. In this eBook you will learn:
Why the security awareness is dead (or dying)
How to build on security awareness training to influence real and lasting behavior change
What are the key elements of a successful security training program?
What are some of the most effective ways to train your people?
Security Awareness Training FAQs
Security awareness training is a critical element of any organization’s cybersecurity strategy. If done well, it helps to educate employees on security risks and best practices, as well as how to identify and respond to potential threats. Security awareness training can help organizations reduce the risk of data breaches, malware infections, phishing attempts, and other malicious activities. By providing employees with the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe online, organizations can ensure that their data is secure and protected from cyberattacks. However, security awareness training programs are often tick-box exercises that don’t influence long term security behaviors—and, therefore, don’t reduce human cyber risk. Here at CybSafe we advocate the programs that capitalize on the importance of managing and quantifying human cyber risk.
Security awareness training is an essential part of protecting a business from cyber attacks and data breaches. It helps employees to understand the importance of security measures and procedures, as well as how to recognize and respond to potential threats. With security awareness training, businesses can reduce their risk of being targeted by hackers, protect sensitive information, and ensure that their systems are secure.
Security awareness programs are essential for organizations to ensure that their employees are up-to-date on the latest security threats and best practices for protecting their data and networks. A successful security awareness program should include components such as training, testing, communication, and human security. Training should be tailored to the specific needs of the organization, while testing should be done regularly to assess employee understanding of security policies. Communication is also key to ensure that everyone in the organization is aware of any changes or updates in security protocols. Finally, improving human security measures need to be taken to ensure that employees adhere to these policies through nudges and behavior-focused reporting.
Security awareness training is essential for organizations to ensure that their employees are knowledgeable about the latest security threats and best practices. It should be conducted on a regular basis to ensure that employees remain up-to-date with the latest security trends and are able to recognize potential threats. The traditional belief is that companies should conduct security awareness training at least once a year, but more frequent training may be necessary depending on the level of risk associated with their industry or organization. However, here at CybSafe, we believe in influencing long-term security behaviors and developing a stronger people-centric security culture which should happen constantly and organically with the right data- driven tools and platform.
This training should cover topics such as basic security principles, best practices for password management, email security, social media safety, mobile device security, identity theft protection, and data privacy. It should also provide guidance on how to recognize phishing attempts and other malicious activities. By understanding these topics and the potential risks associated with them, employees can help ensure that their organization is secure from cyber threats.For more inspiration, please check our select 10 key cyber security awareness training topics.
Organizations are increasingly investing in security awareness training to protect their data and systems from cyber-attacks. To ensure that the training is effective, organizations need to measure its effectiveness via setting specific and measurable goals which influence specific security behaviors. This can be done by looking at the human layer security before and after the training, as well as tracking specific security behaviors to identify any changes in security practices. Additionally, organizations can also use surveys and questionnaires to get feedback from employees on their understanding of security policies and procedures. By measuring the effectiveness of their security awareness training, organizations can make sure that they are taking all necessary steps to protect their data and systems.
There are thousand of local, state or federal standards that may require you to implement a security awareness program. Some notable ones include PCI DSS, ISO/IEC 27001 & 27002, and NERC CIP.
In addition, to avoid security breaches, loss of productivity and reputational damage, companies are strongly encouraged to have a security awareness program in place to protect their data and comply with legal regulations. Such a program enables companies to identify and address potential security risks and ensure that all employees are aware of the importance of data protection. It also helps them develop effective strategies for responding to security incidents, protecting customer information, and ensuring compliance with applicable laws (which may differ from country to country). Security awareness programs should be tailored to the company’s specific needs, taking into account the size of the organization, its industry, the type of data it handles, and any other relevant factors.
Security Awareness Training is a crucial part of any company’s security strategy. It helps protect the company’s data, systems, and networks from malicious attacks and cyber threats. Security Awareness Training helps employees understand the importance of cybersecurity and teaches them how to identify potential threats and respond appropriately. It also provides employees with the knowledge and skills needed to recognize, report, and prevent security incidents. However, security awareness training alone often isn’t enough to reduce human cyber risk. By providing employees with the right training, and data- driven platform that measures and influences specific security behaviors, companies can ensure that they remain secure against cyber threats.