Cybersecurity Education: 3 Reasons to Provide Awareness Training

It's important to hire people you can respect and trust. After all, you will be working with these people every day and your successes rely on their successes. Still, even the best employee can make mistakes when it comes to staying safe online.

According to the cybersecurity-focused publication Dark Reading, 60 percent of businesses mistakenly sent out sensitive material, with another 43 percent admitting they just don't have the training necessary to prevent things like this from happening. With findings like these, it's clear that cybersecurity education is vital in creating a safer and happier workplace environment.

While some cybercriminals are actively exploring cunning new exploits, most hackers use methods tried and true. By improving a few online habits, your team can drastically reduce the chances of digital incursion. Below are a few reasons to provide awareness training ASAP.

#1: Employee Negligence Is the Leading Cause of Data Breach
Believe it or not, employee negligence is the number one cause of data breach. This includes mistakenly forwarding important documents to digital phonies, relying on weak sign-in credentials or simply not taking the time to update glaring software security gaps.

Thankfully, these problems are easy to remedy. For example, password exploits like brute force attacks and credential stuffing can be stymied with robust password protocol. Advise your workers to choose unique passphrases for each of their accounts.

Take things to the next level with two-factor authentication (2FA), which requires a second step to access an account or service, such as a soft token sent to your mobile phone. This is especially helpful since hackers will likely not have access to these devices.

Additionally, you'll want to train your staff to sniff out suspicious emails, attachments and downloads that could compromise their security. Phishing emails have been around for ages, but hackers have updated their techniques. To avoid getting hooked, remind your employees to: avoid opening links and attachments, never share their password (especially via redirect link) and to never send important documents over email.

Keep in mind that cybercriminals are always up on the latest news and know all about the latest exploits and security flaws. Developers regularly patch these gaps, but it's only helpful if people update their programs. Inattentive employees may fall into easily avoidable traps by not keeping their software or add-ons up to date.

#2: Cyberattacks Are Bad PR
While it's often said that "all publicity is good publicity," the truth of the matter is that data breaches and cyberattacks are never good for an organization's reputation. Need some examples?

  • Target faced a class-action lawsuit for a 2013 data breach which impacted their Black Friday sales years later.
  • Ashley Madison has become synonymous with the data breach that ultimately sunk the company.
  • Dropbox is still reeling from a data breach that occurred in 2012.
  • Yahoo lost $350 million in their anticipated merger with Verizon following several news stories about years-old data breaches.
  • The Democratic National Convention was harmed during the 2016 presidential election after Russian cyberattackers pilfer emails from John Podesta.

The sad thing to remember is that all of these incidents could have been avoided. Don't let this happen to you.

#3: Cyberattacks Are Expensive
Finally, you should employ cybersecurity education in your workplace to escape the costly damages of a cyberattack. Research shows that 60 percent of small businesses close within six months following a data breach!

It doesn't have to be this way. Protect your company's most valuable assets by investing in cybersecurity insurance from CyberPolicy today. You won't regret it.

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