Cybersecurity is a top priority for all organizations today. Still, the rapidly changing security landscape introduces unique challenges that require users and cybersecurity professionals to stay informed and adopt best practices. Security awareness training educates employees, third-party partners, contractors, and other relevant stakeholders concerning the current cyber threats, cybersecurity responsibilities, procedures, and policies. It is a critical program that helps inform the necessary threat prevention measures and assists in complying with industry-standard data privacy and security regulations.
Unfortunately, according to Proofpoint’s 2022 State of the Phish Report, only 25% of companies train their employees for two or more hours annually. Yet, a Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report shows that eight out of ten, approximately 82%, data breaches are due to exploitable human vulnerabilities. In addition, untrained and unaware employees account for the largest number of social engineering attacks, stolen credentials incidents, and phishing scams.
Importance of Security Awareness Training
While 99% of IT professionals involved in the Proofpoint survey said that their organizations have security awareness training programs for their employees, how they implement them leaves little to be desired. Consider the following statistics:
- Less than 60% of companies implement organization-wide security training and awareness programs.
- Less than 50% of companies include email phishing, and only 43% cover ransomware, yet phishing attacks and ransomware infections have affected 80% and 70% of companies, respectively.
- 81% of companies permit their employees to work remotely full-time or part-time. Still, only 37% expose remote workers to security training and awareness of the best cybersecurity practices for remote workers.
These statistics show that many companies have an extensive security training and awareness gap, yet it is crucial to countering and preventing modern cyber threats. Security awareness training helps reduce security risks, breaches, and attacks, thus protecting sensitive personal, financial, or business data from loss. In addition, training and awareness further address the common cybersecurity errors that users make to reduce security incidents resulting from human mistakes. The following reasons underscore the essence of cybersecurity training and awareness:
1.Nurturing a Cybersecurity Culture
Nurturing and maintaining a cybersecurity culture is the hope of every CISO, but it is often hard to achieve. Building a security-conscious workforce reduces cyber risks by developing a mindset that cyber risks are real and that employees’ daily practices impact the risks. A cybersecurity culture must be part of the broader corporate daily activities that encourage employees to align best security practices in all their system, network, and data interactions. It helps employees understand the impacts of various cyber risks and processes for avoiding them. Unfortunately, many companies incur huge costs on security software and hardware but neglect to train their employees to recognize security threats, curb poor security behavior, and adhere to basic cybersecurity habits, which exposes them to multiple threats.
2.Gaining Customer Trust and Confidence
A recent survey revealed that 70% of customers feel that most organizations are not doing enough to strengthen their cybersecurity policies and postures. The same study found that two out of three customers are reluctant to do business with a company that has been an attack or breach victim. For instance, phishing attacks, Business Email Compromises, and social engineering scams raise red flags that a company cannot protect confidential information from breaches or unauthorized access, resulting in lost business opportunities. A comprehensive security training and awareness program demonstrates a company’s commitment to strengthening data security and identifying and mitigating cybersecurity risks.
3. Protecting Credentials
At least 61% of all breaches are due to compromised credentials, and 74% of phishing incidents involve credential theft. Therefore, protecting credentials is essential to strengthening a company-wide cybersecurity posture. Security training and awareness programs educate employees on how to secure their credentials. For example, training focused on password security ensures that employees are aware of the risks of creating weak passwords, sharing credentials through unsecured means, and failing to store passwords securely. Training and awareness programs also help employees know how to identify, prevent, and report phishing scams. The training offerings can help companies protect staff credentials from theft and compromise, significantly reducing data breach risk.
4. Educating and Supporting Employees
This is one of the most important reasons you should roll out security training and awareness programs. Employees are often known to be the weakest link in company cybersecurity defenses, a fact that hackers are only too happy to acknowledge and exploit. However, the organization’s sole responsibility is to educate and support employees to ensure data, network, application, and system security. Specifically, every organization must educate and inform employees of the security risks associated with deployed technologies and their security expectations to prevent breaches, intrusions, and malware attacks.
Besides, expecting employees to work in a volatile cyber world without the requisite training on existing threats and the best prevention measures exposes you to many online and cyber threats. With proper training, you can help employees navigate the numerous cyber threats and educate them on the best security practices for ensuring the safety of critical data and systems. Implementing a holistic training and awareness program can help support employee development in matters relating to proactive cybersecurity.
Security Training and Awareness with Sentia
Sentia recognizes the need for our clients to bolster their cybersecurity defenses with robust security training and awareness. Therefore, we have partnered with the leading security trainers and educators from Proofpoint to deliver training programs tailored to empower your organization’s employees to comply with best security practices, such as not clicking malicious links or opening phishing emails. In addition, we provide holistic cybersecurity education, awareness, and a proven framework for driving employee behavioral change.
Also, our security training and awareness programs are customized to your employees’ competencies, roles, and vulnerabilities to ensure the adoption of sustainable cybersecurity habits. Thus, our security training and awareness programs ensure that your employees can respond appropriately to sophisticated threats and attacks.
We also track all the necessary metrics to monitor how your employees respond to training and determine areas of improvement or the need for additional training and awareness programs.
Contact Sentia today to learn more and to schedule a live, complementary demo.