7 reasons why security awareness training is important

7 reasons why security awareness is important infographic


We are CybSafe. A cyber security & data analytics company.


Data breaches cost UK organisations an average of £2.9 million per breach.

82% of breaches involve the human element.


Those facts alone are usually enough to convince people that cyber security awareness training is important for data protection. Usually.

Only 1 in 9 businesses (11%) provided cyber security training or a security awareness program to non-cyber employees in 2020. That’s according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport’s recent Cyber Security Skills report.

Where training is given, it’s typically mandatory. But in 3 out of 10 organisations (30%) in the private sector, it’s not.

So it appears that many are yet to be convinced about the benefits cybersecurity awareness training lends to information security.

Here are 7 reasons to reconsider:



security breaches in the UK

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.


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 is notoriously hard to achieve.

With the help of security awareness training, more organisations 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.



update your cyber security

3. To make technological defences against cyber threats more robust

Technological defences 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.


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, your customers see you as more responsible, which can only benefit your business.


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.


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.



Security awareness training

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.

This is how your people get better