Why is Cybersecurity Awareness Training So Important?

Why is Cybersecurity Awareness Training So Important?

All it takes for a hacker to breach your company’s network is one of your employees opening a phishing email and clicking a link.

This means that before your IT team focuses on advanced measures like vulnerability testing and encryption, they need to strengthen their first line of defense by training your employees to identify, prevent, and combat cyberattacks.

This is why cybersecurity awareness training is so important. Security awareness training helps to educate employees in your organization on the different types of attacks, how hackers launch them, and what they can do to detect a threat. Making all your employees aware of cyberattacks significantly reduces the chances of hackers taking advantage of human errors.

Let’s explore the importance of cybersecurity training for employees, the direct benefits it provides, and the topics you should make sure to cover in your training program.

Benefits of Cybersecurity Awareness Training

Conducting comprehensive cyber security awareness training for employees will significantly reinforce your organization’s cybersecurity posture. Here are some of its key benefits:

  • Prevent Data Breaches
    In regular, online training cybersecurity awareness training from a reputable provider, your team will learn about the latest techniques that hackers are using to attack businesses, including infiltration techniques attackers use, such as phishing and social engineering, and even more complex attacks like brute force attacks and business email compromise. The goal isn’t to make everyone an expert on complex cyber threats; it’s to arm them with the skills to detect the telltale signs of infiltration like suspicious email addresses and awkward phraseology, while also teaching them how to prevent disclosing confidential info to outsiders. By arming them with that knowledge, you enable them to play a major frontline role in preventing data breaches, 85% of which have a human element.
  • Minimize Damage from Attacks
    If an outsider breaches the company’s system, the top priority is to contain the breach swiftly and minimize its impact. Cybersecurity awareness training teaches employees what they can do to contain the damage of an attack. By allowing them to practice how to communicate with senior leaders, how to report unauthorized personnel or access within the organization, how to log out of their systems, and following advanced instructions from your security provider, you empower them to be more than just defensive actors but play a proactive role in your security.
  • Build a Culture of Security
    A quality cybersecurity awareness training program will go beyond imparting knowledge, it instills a culture of security preparedness in the organization. Regular education and discussion among employees about the importance of cybersecurity and their role in safeguarding sensitive data helps them stay an alert and ingrain a more conscious mindset about company security. Over time, your staff gradually develop a collective sense of responsibility toward keeping their workplace safe, which helps keep morale and teamwork high.
  • Meet Cyber Insurance Requirements
    Organizations now rely on cyber insurance policies to them protect themselves against the direct financial losses from cyberattacks and recover from data loss events without huge expense. To mitigate the rising payout of insurance claims, most cyber insurance providers now require your businesses to demonstrate a commitment to cybersecurity best practices, which includes cybersecurity awareness training. Conducting training regularly not only assures your insurers that you’re doing everything to minimize risk, it may also reduce the insurance premium and ensure your claim is paid out as expected when an attack occurs.

What Topics Should Cybersecurity Awareness Training Cover?

A security awareness training program must be specialized and even a bit enjoyable to be effective. Thankfully, that no longer means dry, day-long training seminars that ask your teams to memorize and retain dense information all year.

Instead, businesses should be looking for regular, engaging online sessions that explain advanced technical topics in simple terms that everyone can understand, regardless of their technical expertise.

The focus should be on practical, specific measures for employees to put into action and periodic testing to test their real-world ability to manage various threats. Here are the essential topics that must be covered in a security awareness program:

Phishing Training

Because phishing attacks are so commonplace, this is one of the most important aspects of any training program. Employees must be trained to identify phishing emails and spoofed domains in the training. Misspellings and poor grammar used to be dead giveaways for phishing emails, but with ChatGPT, hackers can easily create grammar-proof emails.

Still, there are other ways that employees can be taught to detect signs of phishing, such as generic greetings, fake sense of urgency, analyzing the overall tone of the email, and avoiding clicking any links from unknown senders. As mentioned, it’s not just education but practical phishing simulation with company-wide reporting that will move your needle here.

Social Media Hygiene

Despite the fact that nearly half of U.S. employers block access to social media sites, most people still use social media while at work, either on company-owned or personal devices. This has major implications for your business’s security.

You must not only set clear guidelines for employees on what they should publicly on social media, then train them on how to use social media responsibly. Even if no one shares confidential information or user credentials on social media, seemingly harmless information can become useful for hackers.

Hackers can easily use the name of new software your company is using, or casual mention about their company’s technology, into leverage to gain access to your network.

Data Handling

Most industries are now struggling with compliance standards on data handling, which makes it a must-have feature of your cybersecurity awareness training. Staff must be informed of the rules and practices laid down by the regulatory bodies governing your industry and thoroughly trained on the best and safest practices for handling, storing, and sharing data within your organization.

Malware and Attack Response

All cybersecurity awareness training must instruct your team on what to do when malware strikes. There are crucial moments right after an attack that can make the difference between a few PCs being affected and a company-wide infection.

Training in this area teaches them specific actions to take an attack, such as how to properly disconnect a device from a network, safely shut down an affected computer, and how to preserve all the evidence of an attack, such as phishing emails, for future forensic work.

Mobile Device Security

Mobile devices have become a major part of many businesses, but they are are also a common target for attackers. All employees (especially those working from home) should be trained on proper mobile device usage, including safeguarding devices with strong passwords, utilizing encryption and two-factor authentication, and being cautious of public Wi-Fi networks.

This includes familiarizing your staff with which mobile device management (MDM) you’ve deployed in your network, so they know what data is safe to store on their mobile devices and how.

Remote Work Security

More and more companies are adopting the remote work culture and its many benefits without having fully accounted for the unique security risks it poses. Businesses with remote workers must provide cybersecurity awareness training that touches on these topics.

This includes how to avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi, how to properly use virtual private network (VPNs), ensuring that security software antivirus is up to date, working with multi-factor authentication systems (MFA), and a wide range of other critical security topics.

How Often Should I Conduct Cybersecurity Training?

In the past, cybersecurity training programs were infrequent and in-person, conducted a few times each year for days at a time. That approach simply doesn’t meet the needs of businesses now, who face attacks that change and evolve on a daily basis.

The most effective approach to security awareness training is to conduct regular online training all year round in short and targeted modules. Not only does this approach give your employees information on the latest cyber threats, conducting sessions online also gives your leadership access to metrics and dashboards that quantify your cyber readiness into improvable metrics.

Florida’s Cybersecurity Team

For over 30 years, the LNS Solutions team has been helping companies in Tampa defend themselves against cyber criminals and malware. If your business is struggling to achieve the resiliency and confidence you need, contact our helpful team any time at 813 393 1626 or info@LNSSolutions.com. We look forward to speaking with you!


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