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Security awareness training and education: why you need it

In today’s technology-reliant world, malicious actors and security threats do not wait for organizations to protect their systems—cyber-attacks strike from any time and direction, making companies more vulnerable than ever.

Luckily, security breaches are avoidable if you have the knowledge and skills to avoid them or reduce the damage they inflict. Companies can attain this with formal training offered by cybersecurity trainers and their companies.

What is security awareness training?

Cybersecurity awareness training (or security awareness training) is a process of receiving knowledge, advice, and practical digital security skills from certified instructors. These initiatives are designed to translate the often-complex world of cybersecurity into something that is relatable and easy to understand for businesses and individuals.

Security training programs aim to:

  • Educate audiences on the dangers of threats and vulnerabilities.
  • Create awareness of security best practices.
  • Foster a more secure environment by uplifting an organization’s cybersecurity culture.
  • Help businesses become more resilient to malicious entities by educating their staff on how to identify threats and the ways to mitigate their effects on the business.
  • Help companies reduce costs by ensuring their data cannot be reached and exploited by threat actors.

After completing cybersecurity training courses, business owners can feel at ease knowing that they and their employees received relevant, high-quality information from experts who understand business and cybersecurity.

Is cybersecurity training for employees worth it?

The chances of organized cybercrime entities being detected is believed to be as low as 0.05%. Educating employees on cyber safety best practices can help businesses reduce the risk of a data breach and its costs.

While it is understandable to believe that you and your staff would not willingly do anything to undermine your organization’s systems, the reality is cyber threats can be internal and external. Companies that invest in their security awareness and training programs can better protect themselves from:

  • Malware
  • Ransomware
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks
  • Distributed denial-of-service attacks
  • Social engineering/phishing
  • Human error 

Information security is a team effort. Training employees and providing them with the skills they need to manage cyber risks results in protected IT networks and fosters a more productive workforce that understands the value of digital safety and the ramifications of a poor security posture. 

What are the benefits of security awareness training for businesses?

The most obvious benefit organizations gain from investing in security training is a more robust and responsive cybersecurity framework. However, by increasing employees’ understanding of the risks associated with inadequate security measures, your company can also benefit from other outcomes that coalesce into a more dynamic business with a heightened competitive edge.

Digital security training can help your company by:

  • Improving employees’ attitudes regarding the security of their devices and the organization’s data.
  • Instilling a natural sense of skepticism towards suspicious emails, messages, etc.
  • Updating your company’s cybersecurity policies into protocols suitable for the modern threat landscape.
  • Reassuring your customers and stakeholders that their personal information is secure and that you take their wellbeing seriously.
  • Ensuring that your business is compliant with industry and government regulations.
  • Building a secure IT network that gives your staff the ability to focus on their projects. 

Your company’s digital security is not the sole responsibility of your IT staff. It is an ethos that covers all authorized personnel in your systems and needs to be treated seriously.

What is included in a security awareness training program?

The best security training initiatives are informative and engaging. They cover current and emerging cyber threats, while demonstrating their relevancy to participants. 

Cybersecurity awareness training should address the following:

  • Real-world (physical) security: Security practices that can be implemented in a physical environment, such as an office building and its hardware.
  • Digital security: Present and future cyber threats, including the latest malware, hacker trends, etc. This can also cover security practices surrounding emails, Internet browsing, and more.
  • Hybrid and remote work: The security policies surrounding your company’s off-site employees and working arrangements.
  • The consequences of subpar security frameworks: The outcomes of security breaches, weak passwords, and other threats based on data and real-world events.

Training programs should include:

  • Training materials: A combination of text-based, audio, and video materials that present critical information in ways that appeal to all learning types.
  • Exercises: From phishing simulations to gamification, exercises are a great way to ensure that employees can apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios.
  • Objectives: A set of milestones participants and their companies can use to track progress and the training’s efficacy. 

Educate your employees and become cyber safe

Organizations that invest in their cybersecurity are less likely to experience cyber-attacks and data breaches. Disasters can happen at any moment and cybersecurity training programs give companies the ability to successfully circumnavigate them.

To empower your staff with the latest cyber threat knowledge, you need to have the best training solution at your disposal. ThreatAdvice Cybersecurity Education, a component of the ThreatAdvice Breach Prevention Platform, is an all-purpose, comprehensive security solution that leverages education materials, employee tracking, a policies library, and more, to provide businesses with the tools they need to boost their cybersecurity posture.

Contact the security experts at ThreatAdvice today to begin your organization’s journey toward digital resilience.