Cyber crimes are up approximately 600 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to PurpleSec. It is more important than ever before to promote cybersecurity awareness within organizations and teach employees about the dangers of phishing and other scams that could put the business and its stakeholders at risk. Although there are technologies in place that provide defense against cyber threats, there is no replacement for proper security awareness training.
The Benefits Of Cybersecurity Awareness In The Workplace
Security awareness training involves educating a workforce on the many cyber threats that exist. Creating awareness encourages employees to look for signs of suspicious online activities and take the necessary steps to keep themselves and the business safe. Here is a closer look at some of the top benefits of cybersecurity awareness in the workplace:
1. Keep Up With Cybersecurity Compliance Regulations
Businesses in certain industries are responsible for keeping up with cybersecurity compliance regulations and ensuring that their organization meets compliance standards. Depending on the industry, a company may have one or more regulatory agencies. Most regulators release frequent information about cybersecurity trends and industry best practices. If a business has compliance obligations that require an auditor, it’s critical for leaders to consult with the auditor regularly to stay up-to-date on changing requirements.
2. Prevent Employees From Falling For Phishing Scams
Phishing is a form of a cybersecurity attack in which a cybercriminal sends an email containing a link or document that appears legitimate but is designed to steal information. Phishing emails look like they come from a trusted source, but in reality, are part of a complex scheme. Training involves teaching employees how to identify phishing scams through company-wide cybersecurity training, as well as providing real-life examples of data breaches caused by phishing to help employees better understand the impact of a cyberattack.
3. Incorporate Cybersecurity Into Your Company Culture
Attacks that target employees are often successful when staff is not provided with ample information regarding cybersecurity. Incorporating security awareness can help businesses reduce their risk of suffering a breach and prevent sensitive business data from falling into the wrong hands. Consider developing an employee training program or partner with a cybersecurity provider to conduct regular security awareness training sessions.
4. Increase Buy-In From Stakeholders For Cybersecurity Spending
Many businesses don’t allocate the funding needed to implement robust cybersecurity awareness programs or training opportunities. When the security budget suffers, there is an increased risk of data breaches and similar cyber crimes. Start by adjusting the security conversation from technical to strategic and stress the importance of cybersecurity as part of the risk portfolio. Increasing the buy-in from stakeholders can provide businesses with the cybersecurity spending they need to keep the company safe and secure.
5. Encourage Organization-Wide Reduction Of Human Error
Human error has long been recognized as one of the top contributing factors to cybersecurity breaches. Although it is impossible to completely diminish the risk of human error, creating cybersecurity awareness within an organization can help drastically reduce the likelihood of a cybercrime caused by an employee mistake. Cybersecurity awareness training should focus heavily on prevention.
6. Reduce The Likelihood Of A Successful Breach
Every organization faces unique risk factors based on location, industry, and technical and regulatory circumstances. However, businesses can reduce the odds of experiencing a successful data breach by teaching employees how to recognize signs of suspicious activity and how to react to a potential breach. Companies should have a plan to assess privacy incidents and put together a breach response team and process with clearly identified roles and responsibilities.
7. Improve Employee Confidence
A recent Kaspersky Lab study revealed that 69 percent of people reported feeling stressed by data breach news. When employees are kept up-to-date about the latest cyber threats and attacks, it can help mitigate anxiety caused by cybersecurity uncertainty. Security training can also help employees feel confident about their abilities to protect against potential cyber threats and keep sensitive information secure.
8. Save Money On Potential Penalties And/Or Lawsuits
Cybersecurity events do not just hurt a business’s reputation but also its bottom line. According to the 2020 “Cost of Data Breach Study” by the Ponemon Institute, the global average cost for a data breach is about $3.83 million. However, in the U.S., the average cost of a data breach has reached an all-time high at $8.64 million. Creating cybersecurity awareness within an organization can help businesses save money on potential penalties and lawsuits related to cyber crimes.
Adopt Cybersecurity Awareness For Your Workplace With Hartman Today
Although most businesses know the importance of creating cybersecurity awareness within an organization, few have the proper processes and training programs to ensure that employees understand their information security responsibilities. Contact Hartman Executive Advisors to find out more about our cybersecurity and IT consulting services.