Here’s a question: If your business had to shut down its IT infrastructure for five business days, how much would you lose? Here’s another one: Do you have the liquidity to pay a large GDPR fine if your customer data winds up in the wrong hands?
These are just two examples of nightmare scenarios that can happen if your employees have insufficient knowledge about cyber security. Contrary to what most people think, most cyber security attacks don’t involve someone using brute force to hack your servers. In reality, they use something your employees depend on every day — email.
According to a 2018 study by Cofense, 92% of all cyber attacks on organisations happen through email. Around half of these incidents involve a “phishing” scam.
This is when an attacker embeds a malicious link to a fraudulent website and gets the user to use their login credentials in that portal. The dummy site logs the user’s username and password, giving them access to their personal or work email.
Human error is perhaps the biggest reason why employees fall for phishing scams. This is where cyber security training comes in. Below are a few reasons to invest in it.
<h2>Training Protects Your Business From Attacks</h2>
Let’s start with the obvious. Cyber security training addresses the weakest link of your organisation’s cyber security framework: people.
According to an analysis of data from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), 9 out of 10 cyber breaches reported to the ICO in 2019 were attributed to end-user error.
Human error is bound to happen at some point — that’s just how people are wired. But with sufficient cyber security training, you can at least improve your employees’ cyber security awareness and prevent common mistakes, such as:
- Clicking on links in questionable emails
- Using weak passwords
- Careless handling of sensitive data
- Ignoring software updates
- Using personal devices for work-related matters.
It Prepares You for the Future of Work
While many UK employers are campaigning for a return to the office, the future of work is likely to be some form of a remote or hybrid setup, with employees spending less time in the traditional workplace. A 2021 survey by RADA Business shows that close to half of professionals in the UK are looking to continue some form of remote work in a post-pandemic world.
For better or worse, it seems remote work is here to stay. But as the lines between work and personal life blur, companies will have to be more mindful of managing their remote teams’ use of mobile phones and personal devices. This is something 52% of organisations struggle with, according to the Cisco 2020 CISO Benchmark Report.
Cyber security training will help ensure that your employees follow best practices for processes like two-factor authentication involving approved mobile devices and using mobile app versions of tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Employees Can Add Training to Their Credentials
Cyber security training benefits employers, and can also contribute to your workforce’s career growth and personal development goals.
Providing access to training courses is a convenient way for your employees to pick up new skills and enhance their professional credentials — something they can add to their CV for more senior roles or other career opportunities in the future.
Cyber security training is a particularly valuable credential, as organisations face increasing difficulty finding qualified information security professionals. It’s estimated that in 2021, there are 3.5 million unfilled cyber security roles around the world. Even the most fundamental of cyber security training should put employees on a path to career growth.
Training Helps Ensure Compliance With Data Protection Laws
Global data protection laws such as the UK’s GDPR and the USA’s CCPA have strict data management provisions. While these laws don’t mandate cyber security training, their rigorous compliance requirements nevertheless emphasise its importance.
GDPR, for example, doesn’t just apply to your company’s IT department. Everyone in your organisation must know how to manage their passwords and handle sensitive data to prevent breaches. This not only leads to expensive fines but can damage your brand’s reputation — the price of which can be difficult to quantify accurately.