The Benefits of Cybersecurity Awareness Training

We are not stating anything that most of us aren’t already aware of when we say that cyberattacks and the sophistication of these attacks has grown at impressive rates over the last several years. As managed service providers (MSPs), we spend a lot of our time educating and providing solutions to our clients for preventing, protecting, and yes, planning for recovery after an attack because we know that there are no guarantees when it comes to cyber attacks. The only thing you can do as a business is mitigate the risk and plan for the recovery.  

One of the areas that is often overlooked or not given enough thought by businesses when creating a cybersecurity strategy, is cybersecurity awareness training for their employees. With human error being a major cause in 95% of data breaches, there can be no doubt that educating employees is a very important part of a strong cyber security strategy.    

Benefits of Cybersecurity Awareness Training

Cybersecurity Awareness Training is the mechanism used to educate employees on the various cyberthreats, how to recognize them and the steps to take to protect themselves and their companies. The benefits and advantages are numerous. Here are a few of the major ones. 

Awareness 

Human error plays such a significant role in cyberattacks. Adequately trained employees are key to effective security. A solid security awareness training program will drive cybersecurity awareness and instill the knowledge and confidence in employees to recognize security threats when they’re presented and how to properly respond and escalate issues.   

When cybersecurity awareness training is offered on an ongoing basis, it reinforces the importance of user technology security education within organizations and builds a security aware culture. The more your employees know, the better they can serve as a defence mechanism for your business and the more proactive you will be with your cybersecurity measures. 

Threat Reduction 

A cybersecurity awareness program plays an important part in reducing the risks that could potentially lead to data breaches and other cybersecurity threats. 

With a cybersecurity awareness program, employees will be mindful of information security best practices, applications, and technologies regularly used in the workplace, including social media, email, and websites. Cybersecurity awareness training educates employees to understand common types of social engineering attacks like phishing and spear phishing.  

This can be taken one step further by conducting phishing simulations. This is where deceptive emails that are indicative of malicious emails are sent to employees. This tool can be used to determine their awareness of cyberattacks and how they respond when a phishing email is received, prompting further training for certain individuals when needed. 

Avoid Downtime 

Breaches or other security incidents can be costly and take time to repair and to reinstate normal business operations.  

When employees are familiar with cybersecurity principles and understand their role in keeping your business secure, there is far less likelihood that a cyberattack will take place and critical business systems can remain functional. 

Compliance 

The amount of regulations businesses must adhere to continues to increase. In a recent study on IT compliance, 83% of respondents plan to evaluate/purchase new tools to streamline and automate their risk management and compliance processes in 2021. That same study also showed 61% of the respondents have experienced at least one cybersecurity incident or compliance lapse in the last three years.  

If your business handles personal, sensitive, or classified information, regulatory compliance violations are not an option. If you mishandle records, it could have a detrimental impact on your business both from a reputational and financial perspective. 

Adopting a cybersecurity awareness training program will ensure employees are familiar with compliance policies and understand how to handle sensitive data and information, adding another layer of security to your business and aiding your compliance efforts. 

Increase Customer Confidence 

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware and concerned about cybersecurity risks. As consumers become more knowledgeable businesses need to respond by implementing tools and solutions that prove their cyber resiliency to increase customer confidence. 

Ponemon study showed that 31% of consumers said they discontinued their relationships with the breached entity following a data breach. In addition, 65% said they lost trust in the organization after being affected by one or more breaches. These statistics highlight the importance of maintaining a strong security posture. 

One tool that should be in every business’s toolbox is cybersecurity awareness training.  It will help to ensure that employees follow best practices to mitigate cybersecurity threats. If customers know that the business is taking a proactive approach with cybersecurity, their confidence in that business will increase and they will be more likely to do business with them. 

Conclusion 

There is no doubt that a security awareness program is a good move for your organization. All of the Cybersecurity awareness training programs (along with a layered approach to cybersecurity) will help minimize risk and enable employees to make better and more educated decisions. 

Contact us today to discuss your cybersecurity awareness training needs and your overall cybersecurity strategy. 

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With a growing Network of independently owned locations (currently at 41) from coast-to-coast, MicroAge is Canada’s leading IT solutions and service provider focused mainly on small and midmarket businesses.

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