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By Alicia Norman on June 22, 2022 minute read

Why security awareness training is better for business

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Cyberattacks are at an all-time high. What are you doing to protect your firm?

The COVID-19 pandemic created its fair share of global suffering, including a spike in cybersecurity attacks. According to FireEye and McAfee, 81% of companies saw an increase in cyberthreats.

Why the spike?

Many experts cite increased accessibility as file and data sharing over WiFi have increased due to remote and hybrid work environments. And this makes perfect sense. As employees moved to home offices, what many businesses overlooked was the need to train staff on the risks of working virtually.

Woman surprised by attack
Don’t let a ransomware or phishing attack catch you by surprise

“It is imperative all businesses prioritize security technology to keep them protected…” said Bryan Palma, CEO of McAfee Enterprise and FireEye. “94% of IT professionals want their organization to improve its overall cyber readiness.” Business Wire

As people grew more reliant on the internet for work, shopping and online education, cyber predators found a fertile playground. Unsecured home WiFis, coupled with a lack of cybersecurity knowledge and training, further contributed to the spike in cyberattacks.

And who got hit the hardest? Not surprisingly, it was small to mid-sized businesses falling victim to frequent data security breaches. In fact, according to Forbes, most suffered 50% more cyberattacks per week in 2021. And ransomware and phishing attacks were the primary modus operandi.

In this post, I’ll be sharing how your business can bolster your first line of security defense—your employees—via security awareness training. I’ll also be sharing a few cybersecurity tips throughout the article.

If you want to start protecting your business or enhance your existing security measures to combat cybercriminal activity, keep reading…

Why security awareness training is essential

No matter the size of your organization, where you’re located, or how strong you think your security is, every business is susceptible to a multitude of cyberscams. This includes phishing, smishing, ransomware and other data breach methods.

Unfortunately, even very small businesses (those with 10 employees or fewer) are highly prone to attacks. According to the Verizon DBIR (Data Breach Investigations Report) of 2022, 80% of very small businesses fell victim to ransomware attacks. IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021 also identified that the average cost of these breaches was around $4.24 million.

When you weigh these statistics, it is obvious that security awareness training is essential for your business. And when you also consider that your security is only as strong as your weakest employee, the need for regular security awareness training becomes even more critical.

Smishing expeditions lead to massive security breaches
Smishing and phishing attacks can lead to the theft of personal information

Think about it. It only takes one employee clicking one malicious link in a single email to bring your business to a screeching halt, ruin your reputation and cost your firm thousands of dollars to correct the breach.

In fact, the Verizon DBIR (Data Breach Incident Response) report reveals that nearly 85% of data breaches are caused by human error. So, if you truly are only as strong as your weakest (or rather, least trained) employee, educating your frontline staff becomes imperative.

Accountants are particularly at risk

Accounting firms are one of the highest-risk professions. Cybercriminals are drawn to firms because of the access to volumes of highly sensitive, personal client data. In other words, accounting firms represent a goldmine for hackers. Safeguarding clients’ personally identifiable information (PII) across the board—including tax, accounting and demographic data—is paramount.

Cybersecurity tip: Small-to-moderate-sized business professionals should always protect their business and their clients by enacting security awareness protocols.

Security awareness protocols include:

  1. Update your computer often and install reliable antivirus software.
  2. Enable computer firewalls—Both Windows and MacOS systems have built-in security system protections.
  3. Use disk encryption—If your computer is stolen, disk encryption will keep cybercriminals from accessing your info.
  4. Use strong passwords and change them often.
  5. Pay attention and report any suspicious activity.

Why security awareness training is the best frontline defense

The best security program puts people at the center—especially when you consider that nearly 85% of data breaches are caused by human error.

More broadly, your overall security solution must also incorporate the cloud and secure endpoint setup. In simple terms, this means that people (you and your employees), the cloud and local (workstations/endpoints) make up the perfect three-pronged security approach. The combination of these three elements represents a fortified line of defense against cybercriminals.

As one of the principles of this tiered approach, a security awareness training program, like Right Networks Security Awareness Training, can greatly reduce the cybersecurity risk to your business.

Program highlights include:

  1. Ongoing education: Security awareness training offers ongoing and frequent training that informs business owners and their employees of cybercriminal tactics, helps you spot suspicious activity and, ultimately, prevent breaches.
  2. Spotting bad actors: Oftentimes, phishing attacks mimic IT and patching updates. Training enlightens all employees on the importance of keeping company-managed computers updated…and how to spot the difference between a real notification and a bad actor posing as an administrator.
  3. Password hygiene: Compromised passwords are present in 80% of data breaches. It’s important that everyone properly secure software and applications with strong, unique passwords. Security training teaches everyone how to create strong passwords and emphasizes the importance of multi-factor authentication.
  4. Regular security tips and tactics: You and your team will be exposed to a variety of critical topics like staying secure while working from home (or on the road), tips about keeping your mobile devices secure, how to spot social engineering tactics, and how to respond if a data security breach occurs.

Cybersecurity tip: Do you find it challenging to keep track of your unique passwords? Check out password managers like LastPass and Dashlane, which only require you to remember one master password.

Adopt a comprehensive secuirty training awareness program
Security awareness training reduces cybersecurity threats and protects data

Ongoing testing further strengthens your frontline (people)

In a world where cyberattacks are becoming more frequent, most businesses could not survive without ongoing education focused on data breach prevention. Unfortunately, many businesses have been forced to shut down—unable to bounce back from the crippling effect of a cyberattack.

The fact is that a well-trained team is the main differentiator between a highly secure business and one that is hackable. So, knowing that cybersecurity education is essential, the big question is: What’s the best training program for your business?

In general, you need security awareness training that is comprehensive and uses a combination of training, testing and reporting. This ensures employees aren’t just taking courses to “check the box.” Rather, they are consistently being tested throughout the year and applying what they’ve learned via real-world cyberattack scenarios.

Consistent, frequent education is the key because security training is never complete. It’s an ongoing, must-have element of your business.

Right Networks understands the necessity of regular, dynamic security awareness training, which is why our product covers all the bases:

  • Employees get training: We provide a gamified approach to learning real-world cyberattack tactics with user-friendly and engaging training modules that vary in subject matter month-to-month.
  • Employees get tested: Within training modules, brief quizzes reinforce lessons. Each month, employees receive simulated phishing emails that train them on how to identify threats.
  • Administrators get the results: See how your employees are managing their training and tests, including how many simulated phishing attacks they’ve blocked and reported.

Security awareness training protects your future

There is a lot your firm can do to mitigate cybersecurity threats and bolster your team’s ability to defend client data. It starts with comprehensive security awareness training.

Right Network’s security awareness training program offers a multitude of benefits beyond the actual instruction, starting with peace of mind in knowing your business data is safe and secure. Should the unthinkable occur, the security team at Right Networks will know immediately and be able to assist you and your company in determining the best course of action moving forward.

Contact Right Networks to learn more about implementing a strategy to reduce cybersecurity risks and protect your company’s future, today.

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