In 2023, the average cost of a data breach is expected to reach up to $5 million. And with data breaches becoming more and more common these days, it’s best to prioritize cybersecurity to prevent such costly incidents from happening in the first place.
One of the easiest but most effective ways to minimize the risk of data breaches and other cyberthreats is to conduct cybersecurity awareness training for your employees.
What is cybersecurity awareness training?
Cybersecurity awareness training involves educating employees about common cyberthreats and how to recognize and properly respond to these. It also involves training employees in the company’s IT security policies and good cybersecurity habits, such as:
- Using strong and unique passwords
- Running antivirus scans on their devices regularly
- Being wary of suspicious or unsolicited links and attachments in emails
- Applying software patches as soon as they’re available
- Backing up critical files regularly
|Related reading: Factors to consider when buying antivirus software|
Why should businesses invest in cybersecurity awareness training?
There are many reasons to provide employees with cybersecurity awareness training.
Security technologies can be compromised by poor practices
Security technologies, such as virtual private networks (VPN) and antivirus software, help keep cyberthreats at bay. Unfortunately, users can unwittingly compromise these technologies. For instance, they may skip using a VPN or disregard their antivirus program’s security warnings when these appear on their screens. They could also delay and then completely forget about applying software updates.
By investing in security awareness training, organizations can combine human knowledge with technical security measures to bolster their security posture. This helps ensure that your employees will follow cybersecurity best practices, and that they will use your company’s cybersecurity measures properly.
|Related reading: Picking the right VPN for your business|
Cybercriminals target the human element
Rather than attempting to breach IT systems through technical means, cybercriminals are increasingly targeting the human element. After all, people are often regarded as the weakest link in the information security chain.
In fact, Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report found that 82% of breaches involved the human element, which includes employees having poor password practices, visiting malicious websites, and falling for phishing scams. This means that the key to preventing most data breaches is strengthening the human element, which is where cybersecurity awareness training comes in.
Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility
Your IT staff shouldn’t be the only ones concerned about your company’s cybersecurity. Instead, all employees — from the rank and file to C-suite executives — must be involved. After all, anyone, even the CEO, could fall victim to a cyberattack and potentially endanger the company’s data and IT systems.
With regular security awareness training, your employees will become your company’s strong first line of defense against cyberthreats.
Customers trust security-conscious businesses
When customers decide to do business with you, they entrust you with their personal and financial information. However, that trust can be irreparably broken if your company suffers a data breach that exposes your customers’ data. In fact, according to Ping Identity’s 2019 Consumer Survey: Trust and Accountability in the Era of Data Misuse, 81% of consumers will no longer engage with a brand online following a data breach. Moreover, 25% of them would completely sever ties with the brand.
To improve customer confidence, you must have strong, transparent data protection measures — and conducting security awareness training is vital to successfully implementing these measures.
For comprehensive cyber protection, leverage predictiveIT’s managed cybersecurity services. This gives your company access to enterprise-grade cybersecurity tools and solutions without breaking the bank. You can also rest easy knowing that our team of IT security experts will conduct gap assessments, recommend the appropriate security measures, and constantly monitor your systems. Book an appointment with us today.