Many organizations have taken critical steps to secure their information technology (IT) systems, realizing the substantial financial losses resulting from a data breach. However, with cyber threats and risks changing almost daily, keeping employees educated and aware of what to look for is more important than ever.
What Is Cybersecurity Awareness Training?
IT security awareness training is a formal program created to educate employees on:
- The various cyber risks their organization faces, such as password theft, phishing, hacking, malware, and ransomware attacks
- How to recognize these threats
- What is required of each employee to protect their organization’s data
- What to do after an attack or attempted breach
Why Do Employees Need Awareness Training?
Many IT experts agree that employees not up-to-speed with their cyber awareness can be a weak link in an organization’s cybersecurity defenses. Some examples of vulnerabilities are:
- Being a prime target for phishing emails can lead to incidences like data theft, fraudulent transactions, or denial of service attacks
- Bring your device (BYOD) policies make employees’ devices like smartphones and tablets potential attack surfaces
- Employees that access company networks remotely are increasingly being targeted by hackers
Benefits of Cybersecurity Awareness Training for Your Workforce
Training empowers your workforce to play a more significant role in mitigating or thwarting IT threats in your organization. It helps your business in many ways, including:
- Helping to Prevent Cyberattacks
Your employees must have a solid grasp of password safety, multi-factor authentication, and other IT security concepts. Together with a proper understanding of cybersecurity breach protocols, knowledge of these issues can help your staff prevent attacks or at least play a meaningful role in breach containment.
- Establishing a Culture of Security
Asking non-IT staff to observe proper cyber hygiene practices without educating them on the same won’t work. To generate organization-wide support for your various cyber security programs, start by creating awareness and imparting the necessary skills. As more people come on board, you can eventually realize a deeply entrenched cyber hygiene culture in your company.
- Reinforcing Your Other Cybersecurity Measures
After investing in advanced IT defense technology, taking “human error” out of the equation is the next critical step. The people responsible for activating or upgrading firewalls, antimalware tools, or software security fixes play a significant role in ensuring these defenses work as intended. With cyber-attacks growing in frequency and sophistication day by day, security awareness for these employees is virtually a no-brainer.
- Boosting Customer Confidence
Cyber attacks that involve the theft of customer data may result in identity fraud or exposure of sensitive personal data. None of these scenarios is pleasant to customers. Therefore, it is crucial to demonstrate that the people handling or processing your customer data are competent enough to protect it. This assurance can help generate consumer trust in transacting with your organization.
- Increasing Data Compliance
IT security awareness training can help improve compliance with data protection laws. In addition, in some industries, such activity may be legally required.
- Social Responsibility
Your partners and other stakeholders whose IT systems interface with yours can benefit from your cyber security improvements. These may include online payment providers and suppliers.
- Lowering Cyber Insurance Costs
Building robust IT defenses with the active participation of informed employees can help lower your cyber liability insurance costs. In addition, these measures can help minimize data breach frequency, making your organization a low-risk client.
With the ever increasing sophistication of attacks, ensuring that employees are well trained and knowledgeable about cyber security is of the utmost importance. So is having the right coverage. Contact our experienced team at Tompkins Insurance Agencies today to find the right policy for your business.