Does Your Business Have Cybersecurity Training? It Should.

Cybersecurity is a complicated issue that requires excessive planning and investment for companies. When it comes to keeping your data and infrastructure safe, there is no better approach than preemptive monitoring and management. However, it may surprise you to hear that the biggest risk to your security may not even come from your technology—most often, the biggest risk to your cybersecurity is your team.

According to a Shred-It report, 47% of business leaders say that human error caused a data breach in their company. It’s essential to clarify that the report focuses on accidental mistakes that have facilitated a breach rather than intentional damage. Opening a phishing email, losing a device or a document, or downloading malware disguised as software are frequent incidents that can give hackers access to your data. While it might seem inconsequential at first, these small mistakes cost, on average, $3.6 million globally, according to research by the Ponemon Institute. Even scaled down to an equivalent cost for a small business, such a financial loss can be devastating for an organization.

Unfortunately, data breaches caused by human error show no sign of slowing down. According to a recent Egress report, 60% of business owners believe one of their employees will accidentally cause a data breach in 2020. It’s an alarming fact that not only are employees one of your biggest cybersecurity threats, but the consequences of their mistakes are growing exponentially.

Small everyday habits that are left uncorrected can be some of the most significant threats to your IT infrastructure because employees don’t think of them as being dangerous. Our culture of information sharing reinforces one of the most common issues. Workers aren’t cautious about bringing data from their previous employment into their new workplace, with 63% admitting to sharing confidential data in the new office. Employees feel entitled to keep data that is linked to their previous work and fail to consider how it could expose a company to cyberthreats. Most data breaches are the result of careless mistakes that employees make with no intention or knowledge of causing damage.

Companies are trying to take the matter into their own hands with the creation of guidelines about phishing or data security checks in the office. But guidelines are not enough. The impact of the human factor on your IT security means that thorough cybersecurity training could bridge the gap between people and security measures.

Cybersecurity Training Helps Detect Phishing

Phishing emails are behind no less than 70% of cybersecurity breaches. The reason why they seem to be so successful is that hackers are relentless. Phishing attempts are persistent. In fact, according to the Phishing Box, almost two-thirds of businesses experienced a phishing attack last year.

Warning your employees about phishing emails isn’t enough to protect your company. Dedicated cybersecurity training can help them to detect cyber threats and avoid becoming a phishing victim. The training needs to expose employees to examples of phishing emails to develop their cybersecurity awareness. The typical phishing email includes:

  • A fake sender that looks real 
  • A misspelled domain name
  • A suspicious attachment such as an invoice
  • A URL link that doesn’t match the context
  • Automated and often grammatically incorrect wording

Cybersecurity Training Provides Guidance In Case of Disasters

Because guidelines aren’t enough, your team requires cybersecurity training to practice worst-case scenarios. As panic is the most common cause of disruptive IT disasters, it’s essential for employees to practice the best response to a variety of cyberattacks.

It is especially helpful for training for IT disasters to include live simulation exercises. These can help businesses learn what their weaknesses are and then teach employees the appropriate response process.

Using an ABM (Attacker Behavior Model) and COI model (Capability, Opportunity, and Intent), a live simulation can create a knowledge base for the team that addresses multiple cybersecurity attacks.

Cybersecurity Training Supports Comprehensive Cybersecurity Planning

An experienced managed IT company can not only help train your personnel to become an efficient first line of defense, but they can also help your business design a robust cybersecurity plan to protect your systems from threats.

An effective cybersecurity training plan needs the three following components:

  • Understanding of your business vulnerabilities. What assets need protection? Who has access? What security measures are in place? What are the likely threats? Cybersecurity training can dissect vulnerabilities, raise awareness, and improve response rates. It also highlights potential new risks and optimizes your proactive strategy.
  • The right tools. Training is a collaborative process that lets you engage with all departments to measure their unique needs. As a result, your business can determine the optimal tools required for each department.
  • Promoting operations continuity through recovery and backup plans. Your recovery plan is a large part of your cybersecurity training to prevent outage and prolonged downtime. Make your employees aware of backup plans so they make sure to back their data up correctly.

Every business should invest in cybersecurity training, not only to increase staff awareness but also to optimize their cybersecurity understanding throughout the business process. The only way to reduce the human risk factor is to turn your staff from a weakness into a strength by equipping them with the training and knowledge they need.

Chris Turn

Chris has experience covering the latest trends in the small business world, and has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, creative and strategic blogger. He has a deep understanding of marketing and branding principles and how they can be applied to small businesses, and is able to provide actionable advice and strategies for success. Chris has interviewed industry experts and covered major marketing events such as the SXSW Interactive conference and the Advertising Week conference. He is also a successful small business owner himself, which allows him to bring a unique perspective to his blogging and writing. His blog is known for providing valuable insights and tips on how to effectively market and brand a small business.