employee taking cybersecurity awareness training

Cybersecurity is a big priority for most organizations today, but the reality is that many have failed to implement fundamental cybersecurity policies and procedures, leaving their businesses exposed to potential cyber attacks.

Why Is Information Security Important?

A variety of massive cyber attacks have dominated the news headlines over the last few years, one of them being a serious distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that temporarily shut down a group of websites including Twitter, Spotify, Amazon, The New York Times, and other major sites across the U.S.

As businesses rely more and more on the internet as a way of storing valuable and sometimes confidential information, these kinds of attacks should serve as a wake-up call for those who have not taken the necessary measures to protect their data.

According to data found by IBM, the average total cost of a data breach is around $4 million, but only 29% of businesses have a cybersecurity expert on their IT team.

Hiring IT professionals and providing up-to-date cybersecurity awareness training to employees is a big priority for businesses now more than ever.

Cybersecurity Compliance Is a Team Sport

Think baseball, football, soccer, any team sport. Regardless of role, each player has a function to fulfill. Each is expected to work actively, with other team members, toward the ultimate goal.

Any failure to come through renders the team less able to execute its strategies and plans, and can be just the break the opponent needs to win the game.

Cybersecurity is like that.

Effective cybersecurity requires that every individual, and every part of the organization, be an active player.

High-performing IT departments can establish effective defensive and protective policies and processes. Device manufacturers can provide highly sophisticated security measures. But it takes only one mistake—at the wrong place, at the wrong time—to give a cyber opponent the opening needed to cause a possible, potentially disastrous breach.

Passwords are the first line of defense against hackers, which is why it is non-negotiable to have a strong gate of protection for your information.

The same IBM report referenced above had this to say about passwords: “The most common initial attack vector, compromised credentials, was responsible for 20% of breaches at an average breach cost of USD 4.37 million.”

Not Just the IT Department’s Problem

True cybersecurity teamwork requires that every group—not just every individual—within the organization assess and address its respective impact.

Take a sales team, for example. Let’s say the sales manager decides it’s time for all salespeople to use their personal mobile phones to connect with the organization’s CRM system while on the road.

The manager then configures the CRM system to give them access. A great boost to productivity? Could be. But what if she fails to coordinate this new practice with the IT security group? What if her salespeople’s mobile devices are not appropriately secured?

In that case, even if sales team individuals follow the security protocols they’ve been taught, their newfound connectivity could leave the organization, and its business contacts, extremely vulnerable.

That’s why communication with IT and ongoing cybersecurity awareness training (especially for managers, who have more control over various technology accounts) are critical to keep organizations and their clients’ data protected.

The Need for Cybersecurity Compliance Training

Clicking on links in phishing emails, opening attachments from unknown senders, using weak passwords—these are just the most obvious examples of how individual team members’ actions can create vulnerabilities.

Including cybersecurity awareness in your training program for all employees can be a simple and efficient way to protect your organization’s data and prevent costly breaches.

Cybersecurity awareness training can be easily provided through off-the-shelf microlearning content. Through microlearning, employees will have consistent and up-to-date information they can access at any point in time and will take a fraction of the time as a formal training session. Our Information Technology page offers video previews covering various types of cybersecurity threats, tips and the importance of educating your employees.

Educating employees and then regularly emphasizing their individual responsibility can go a long way towards reducing the organization’s risk.

Hackers are constantly on the hunt to find new ways to obtain your business or customer information, so its important to keep your staff informed about all the new techniques they use.

Explain to your staff what would happen to the company if information was put into the wrong hands. Severe consequences can be had if your employees don’t know or don’t care about the repercussions. Hackers can hold businesses at ransom or obtain your clients’ personal information, leaving the business in serious legal and financial trouble.

As our world of remote work has grown, that’s even more reason to hold regular meetings about cybersecurity and offer virtual office hours with your IT team.

Your people shouldn’t be your organization’s weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity. In fact, they can be your greatest resource when they are aware, knowledgeable, and motivated!

Our online training library can help you ensure all employees are up to date on cybersecurity awareness and best practices, along with other kinds of compliance training that are fundamental for keeping your company and staff protected. Check out the preview below and view more of our IT and compliance training videos here!

To make tackling compliance and risk mitigation easier, check out our ebook to help you find the right training solution for your organization’s needs.