The year 2020 has been the most unpredictable and tough year for each one of us. The first quarter itself included lots of mishappenings and unforeseen scenarios, leaving every country across the globe on alert mode! The pandemic not only affected many lives but also flipped day to day routines, bringing everything to a halt at a certain point where none of us were sure of how to bring things on track.
Although, eventually, everything started to change rapidly, including how we work, communicate, or even interact with one another remotely. The major impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was almost on every industry and its verticals, including private and public organizations. Every working individual was mandated to work from home, ensuring to prioritize their health security, but unfortunately, it resulted in leaving cybersecurity highly vulnerable.
After the coronavirus, cybersecurity became one of the significant topics of concern in the first quarter of 2020. With organizations adopting ‘work from home’ policy, cybercriminals found the situation as a golden opportunity to deploy cyber attacks more aggressively. Lately, many organizations have fallen victim to massive cyber attacks and high-end data breaches, resulting in the exploitation of confidential data and online theft of millions of users’ credentials.
In fact, hackers have been taking control of several networks, locking away data of the organization, and demanding an excessive ransom to return back their data. On seeing the criticality of the situation, it is impossible to set up a secure IT infrastructure like that of an office at home. But it is possible to stay proactive and cyber secure by taking preventive measures to mitigate future cyber risks.
Organizations must consider providing security awareness training to their employees in order to help them have knowledge of all possible cyber threats while working from home and how to combat them. Let us proceed further to learn more about security awareness training and how it is beneficial for employees.
What is Security Awareness Training?
Security awareness training is formal training to educate employees about computer security. This practice of training employees includes educating them about corporate policies and working procedures with information technology. The main purpose of this training is to help employees become familiar with cyber attacks, data breaches, and all types of social engineering practices.
But the ultimate purpose of this security awareness training for employees is to teach them about the value of data as a corporate asset in the organization. A proper and effective security awareness training keeps employees engaged and interested in following the directives. The motive is to ensure that employees do not get indulged handing over confidential information to any unauthorized person or do not commit mistakes which might help hackers to get unauthorized access into an organization’s restricted network.
More importantly, security awareness training helps in influencing the behavior of employees, reducing cyber risks, and ensuring compliance within the organization. This corporate security awareness training program is currently the best method to encourage cybersecurity awareness among employees while they are working from home.
According to a study security research lab, human error is the most common cause of 95% of cybersecurity breaches. It also stated that if somehow this human error is eliminated completely, 19 out of 20 cyber breaches might not happen at all in the first place. The Information Security Awareness Officers of every organization must consider planning and implementing proper security awareness training for employees.
How is Security Awareness Training Important for Employees?
While corporates are seeking for digitals assets to mitigate cyber threats, it is important to understand that the biggest threat lies within the organization itself. Humans are the most vulnerable resource and the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain. They are easy targets of hackers as they can be easily manipulated due to psychological flaws. Recently, 60% of UK businesses fell victim to cyber attacks and data breaches because of human error, resulting in bringing their business to a halt for days.
This is why implementing cybersecurity awareness training among employees is highly important for every organization. Just by strengthening the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain, an organization can mitigate up to 90% of cyber risks. Moreover, the following benefits of security awareness training will definitely make you understand the importance of the purpose:
- Cyber Resilient Working Environment
The security awareness training program develops a sense of responsibility within employees to work in a security-focused environment. When you offer training to employees, they automatically understand the importance of the topic being taught and learn how it has to be practiced in the future. Regular training helps in instilling better habits of staying cyber aware and secure.
- Prevent Breaches and Cyber attacks
Without this security awareness training, employees wouldn’t have stayed updated on cyber attacks and malicious activities of hackers. So when employees learn how to recognize and avoid these attacks, they start using preventive measures in order to keep the organization’s network secure and maintain the workflow.
- Robust Technical Defenses
Technological security defenses play a valuable role in safeguarding organizations from the reach of cybercriminals. But these defenses require manual labor to operate, update and upgrade security software which is only possible with proper security awareness training. These technological defenses become useless if they are being operated or updated without full knowledge.
- Proactive Employees
One of the biggest benefits of corporate security awareness training is to help employees become proactive and confident about working around data, without causing any incident. After all, human error is the leading cause of cyber attacks and data breaches. With effective training, employees become empowered to work in a cyber resilient environment, reducing the chance of human error.
- Gets Everyone in Sync
Every security practice must be followed in sync, keeping every employee on the same page in the organization. Without official training on cybersecurity, all different departments in the organization might be practicing different principles, keeping data on the verge of risk.
This is why official security awareness training sessions are important to remove all guesswork when it comes to security and make every working individual follow the suit to mitigate security threat postures.
Let us not stay vulnerable by encouraging cybercriminals to take advantage of pandemic and lockdown. Cybersecurity is a two-way street where we have to keep up with the advanced security tools to combat and mitigate cyber risks.
What do you think about the benefits of security awareness training in your organization? Do let us know in the comments below!