Security awareness training is an essential process aimed at educating individuals to recognize and avoid cyber threats. The primary objective is to prevent or minimize potential harm to the organization and its stakeholders, thereby reducing human cyber risk. Data breaches can be costly, with the average cost reaching a record high of $4.35 million in 2022.
Fast Facts about Security Awareness
- Surprisingly, only 11% of businesses provided cybersecurity awareness programs to non-cyber employees in 2020.
- Phishing remains a significant concern, being involved in one out of every three data breaches.
- Also, the rise in remote work has contributed to around 20% of organizations experiencing security breaches.
How Can Security Awareness Ensure Your Success Today?
Security awareness training is crucial for organizations for several reasons:
- Preventing data breaches and phishing attacks: Effective training can significantly reduce the risk of data breaches, which can save organizations from costly damages.
- Creating a culture of security: Building a people-centric security culture is a goal for cybersecurity professionals, and security awareness training plays a crucial role in achieving it.
- Bolstering technological cyber defenses: People’s input is essential for maximizing the potential of technological defenses against cyber threats.
- Reassuring customers and partners: Security-conscious customers and partners value organizations that prioritize cybersecurity, leading to increased trust and loyalty.
- Meeting compliance requirements: While compliance is necessary, good security awareness training goes beyond mere regulatory requirements.
- Uplifting social responsibility credentials: Security awareness training not only benefits the organization but also protects others in the network from potential cyber threats.
- Improving employee wellbeing: Security awareness training not only keeps employees safe at work but also protects them from cybersecurity threats in their personal lives, contributing to their overall well-being.
Topics to Cover in Security Awareness Training
Cybersecurity incidents often stem from human behavior, making security awareness training crucial. There are four main types of training:
- Classroom-based training – It allows immediate feedback but may not suit adult learning preferences and can be costly and infrequent.
- Visual aids – These are easy to understand and cost-effective but may be easily ignored or lack a feedback loop for reinforcement.
- Phishing simulations – These can be powerful in changing behavior, but some argue they can be unproductive or emotionally charged.
- Computer-based training – It offers dynamic content and the ability to adapt to emerging threats. It should focus on long-term behavior change and be provided by security specialists.
How Does Modern Security Awareness Training Compare Against Traditional Training?
While traditional training may be infrequent and focus on technical concepts, modern training engages people daily, prevents complacency, and integrates security into their daily routine. Unlike one-way and dry traditional training, modern security awareness training is interactive and engaging.
Also, modern training platforms prioritize long-term security behaviors and risk reduction, whereas traditional training often focuses on mere compliance without addressing the real security challenges.
Which Cybersecurity Certifications Should You Pursue?
Some common certifications include Cyber Essentials, ISO 27001, SOC 2, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. Each certification addresses specific aspects of security, ranging from protecting against cyber threats to managing sensitive information and complying with industry standards.
These certifications are valuable in showcasing an organization’s dedication to maintaining a secure and trustworthy environment.
What Offers the Best Cyber-Threat Protection?
A good security culture in organizations involves cultivating various features, such as encouraging the use of strong and unique passphrases, implementing multi-factor authentication, conducting phishing attack simulations, promoting limited online exposure, keeping software up-to-date, using virtual private networks, fostering long-term security behaviors, adopting good password habits, employing behavioral science in security strategies, ensuring regular backups, and managing risks in remote work environments.
A combination of technical measures, security awareness training, and behavioral changes help reduce the risk of cyber-attacks and enhance overall cybersecurity.