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April 28, 2022 | By stephen
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Employee Training: Cultivate a Culture of Cybersecurity Awareness

Typically, executives may imagine deploying sophisticated intrusion detection, and prevention technologies as the ultimate recourse to malware and supply chain attacks. Employee cyber awareness training is still the most effective strategy. Cybinit estimates that 95% of cyberattacks originate from human error. That means that a cyber-informed staff can catch 90% of data breaches.

Here’s the thing—your employees are the most vital defense line against cyber attackers and inarguably also the weakest link. So, as you invest in those complex data security and technologies, you should always ask yourself: How well can my staff understand and use these technologies? Otherwise, you might deploy expensive, sophisticated systems and remain vulnerable.

Cyber Attackers Are Increasingly Targeting Employee Negligence

A few years ago, cyberattacks were non-issues to businesses. They involved simple hacks on personal gadgets where the bad guys solicited a few dollars ransom. Fast-forward to today; data breaches are every executive’s headache.

Cybercrime costs the global economy over $6 trillion annually

According to Accenture, cyberattackers have increased by 67% since 2014. But it’s not the volume of breaches that is the gravest concern; the attacks have also become increasingly expensive. IBM approximates that a full-scale data breach can cost your business up to $3.86 million per incident. Cybersecurity Ventures further estimates that cybercrime costs the global economy over $6 trillion annually. The U.S. government and individuals have lost over $97.39 million to stimulus checks and COVID-19-related scams.

These figures explain why most organizations and governments have increased investments in researching and mitigating cybercrime. According to Atlas VPN, the government allocated approximately $18.78 billion for combatting data breaches last year. A projection by Gartner forecasts that the global data security market will reach an all-time high of $170.4 billion by the end of this year.

Everybody is allocating more money towards combating cybercrime. The bad guys have redefined how they attack. They’re now going after negligent staff.

Employee Cybersecurity Mistakes You Can Mitigate Through Training

According to PurpleSec, over 90% of data breaches rely on social engineering. These are cyberattack vectors that dupe users into revealing critical data. Some of the typical employee negligences include:

  • Password-related errors: Several organizations don’t have password expiration and complexity protocols. For instance, a 2019 study by the National Center for Cyber Security shows that “1234” is still the most popular password worldwide. When employees use such easy-to-crack basic passcodes, they expose your systems to unauthorized access.
  • Misdelivery: According to Verizon’s 2018 Breach Report, misdelivery is the fifth most common cause of data breaches on corporate systems. The bad guys can use this tactic to trick users into exposing their logins or for direct financial gain. For example, the internet was recently abuzz with news about Barbara Corcoran, the bookkeeper who unknowingly sorted a malicious invoice and paid over $400,000 to a fake account. Training employees how to spot these tricks can prevent accidental wire transfers or ACH payments that result in huge monetary loss.
  • Skill-based negligences: These slips may occur when employees perform routine activities. They can be because of ignorance or tricks from cyber actors. A perfect example is the opening of malicious links, which 78% of American employees still do despite understanding the underlying threat.

Cybersecurity Awareness Training Topics for Your Employees

A thorough staff cyber awareness training program should prepare your staff for intrusion detection and prevention. Some areas you can focus on include:

  • Threat identification: Train your staff on monitoring the system and how to spot abnormal activities that may show underlying dangers. The earlier your employees can identify threats, the faster you’ll thwart them, resulting in less destruction and downtime.
  • Common cyber tricks: The bad guys continually advance their tactics to target emerging vulnerabilities. Occasional training can train your staff on these tricks and how to avoid them.
  • Fast-response protocols: The IT support team’s job is to develop a fast-response protocol. But what good is it if your employees can’t follow it? The cyber awareness training program should also include coaching the staff on how to act during a breach.

Cyber awareness training shouldn’t be a onetime thing; you should occasionally retrain your staff to keep them current with emerging threats. Launching simulated attacks occasionally might also help measure readiness levels and identify areas that need more training.


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