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Security Awareness Training

Security awareness training is becoming a very important part of data security. Read on to make sure your organization is prioritizing this as they should be.
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Security Awareness Training

In general terms, security awareness training ensures that employees understand and implement particular procedures in order to protect an organization's security. Security awareness training has been present for a long time from this perspective, especially when considering the requirement for security in military applications.

Information security, particularly cybersecurity, is being emphasized in security awareness training. Rapid advancements in information technology (and parallel breakthroughs by cybercriminals) necessitate ongoing, customized training for employees and other end users on how to be secure online and safeguard their own and their employers' information.

This article will provide an overview of security awareness training and its significance. Why do businesses utilize it? How does it aid in the prevention of cyberattacks and other security breaches? Finally, we'll go through several tools for putting up a successful security awareness program. 

The Risks of Business

The key advantage of cybersecurity awareness training is that it protects against digital system assaults or data breaches. A successful cyber assault may financially bankrupt a corporation and drastically hurt its brand name, thus preventing such attacks is vital.

According to IBM and the Ponemon Institute's "Cost of a Data Breach Report" for 2021, the average cost of a data breach among the studied firms is $4.24 million per event, up from $3.86 million the previous year and the highest cost in 17 years. The number of attacks on businesses is also increasing.

According to Mimecast's "The State of Email Security Report," more than 60% of firms polled would experience a ransomware assault in 2020. In 2020, it predicted a 64% rise in email attacks, with 79% of businesses stating that a lack of cybersecurity readiness impacted them.

According to research, the mistakes made by human error (i.e. employees) are the main culprit behind more than 90% of organizational security breaches. Security awareness training can be used to reduce the overall risk of human error, preventing the loss or theft of personally identifiable information, intellectual property, cash, or brand reputation. The staff of an organization may make cybersecurity errors when using email, the web, and in the real world, such as incorrect document disposal, which may be addressed with an efficient awareness training program. Humans, according to most cybersecurity experts, are the fundamental cause of most cybersecurity errors and risks. Human error was found to be a factor in 95 percent of successful hacks and security incidents, according to a 2014 IBM Security Services report, "Cyber Security Intelligence Index."

Despite the avalanche of threats, businesses may help prevent incidents or mitigate the effect of successful assaults by training their employees on how to detect cybersecurity risks, avoid possible attacks, and respond appropriately in the case of a cyberattack. Security awareness training can help with this.

What is Security Awareness Training? 

Security awareness training refers to a form of cyber security learning that provides end-users with the information they need to safeguard personal data from cyber thieves. End users in this situation can include full-time and part-time workers, independent contractors, and anybody else who shares, stores, edits, or accesses organizational data.

Courses and subjects in security awareness training must complement an organization's overall cyber security goals by altering particular user habits that may increase risk. Clicking on a link or submitting sensitive information into a questionable webpage form are examples of these activities.

Phishing simulations or examples and other online communication and training tools are often used in security awareness training programs. They teach users to spot cyber threats and attack methods like ransomware, phishing, malware, and other threats by working in tandem with educational training courses.

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Why is Security Awareness Training of Increasing Importance?

Cybersecurity awareness training is very important in reducing the significant cybersecurity dangers posed to users via phishing and social engineering assaults. Password management, privacy, email and phishing security, online and internet security, and physical and workplace security are all common training subjects.

Technology alone isn't enough to safeguard your company from cyber threats and data breaches. Users are educated and empowered to recognize and prevent common cyber dangers through security awareness training classes, initiatives, and campaigns. In short, the strongest protection against cyber thieves is a human-centric cyber security strategy.

Security awareness training also fosters a security-conscious attitude and culture that places a premium on the protection of sensitive data. Security executives may be certain that their team can readily adjust to the ever-changing, complex world of cyber threats once this approach has become second nature.

Many businesses also require security awareness training to comply with industry or regional standards, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Payment Card Initiative (PCI), to name a few. While training on these and other requirements isn't needed for small-to-medium-sized businesses, a public commitment to information security may enhance revenue and public image.

How to Implement Security Awareness Training? 

Workers with diverse degrees of technical ability and cybersecurity expertise, as well as different learning styles, should be reached by an efficient cybersecurity awareness training program.

There are numerous important components to effective programs:

  • Simulated attacks, such as phishing attempts, questionnaires, and other assessments, are used to examine how effectively the corporate workforce complies with the organization's cybersecurity standards and to identify any person who falls short of best practices.
  • Measuring and reporting worker participation in training programs, as well as the efficacy of the organization's awareness training, may assist uncover program flaws and areas that need to be strengthened.
  • Written materials, interactive online learning, and gamification sessions can all be included in educational content so that workers may obtain knowledge in the media that best suit them, whether it's auditory, visual, or other.
  • Follow-up and continuing communications inform employees of the company's cybersecurity policy, provide brief refreshers on how to detect and prevent security risks and violations, as well as how to deal with any security issues, and notify them of any developing dangers.

If the company is not partnering with a third-party service that offers quality training, then the chief information security officer (CISO) and the organization's cybersecurity team should develop a cybersecurity awareness training program, enlisting the help of other executives to gain support and gain a better understanding of the most important risks that the proposed program should address. Those risks should be in line with the company's broader cybersecurity strategy, which CISOs design in collaboration with their C-suite counterparts.

To ensure that the firm has a well-formed and successful program, CISOs should collaborate with their human resources (HR) department, which is often in charge of workplace training and development. When establishing a training program, workers tasked with developing it should take into account the unique dangers confronting their sector and business, as they might differ between verticals.

Implementing security awareness training can be challenging and quite time-consuming, especially when it comes to creating regularly updated training internally. Luckily, Accountable HQ offers security awareness training services to make the process of training much more efficient and easy. Get in touch with the Accountable HQ team to learn more.

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