Security Awareness Training : Is It Really the Best Tool in Preventing a Security Breach?

A cybersecurity breach refers to unauthorized access, disclosure, or manipulation of digital information or systems that compromise data security. With increasing amounts of confidential information associated with internal operations, there is an urgent need to curb such incidents. Organizations are resorting to multi-layered security systems, but technology can and will fail at some point. Ensuring cybersecurity awareness among employees is paramount to ensuring the protection of any organization in preventing and responding to a security incident.

What is Security Awareness?

Security awareness refers to the understanding and knowledge that any individual possesses regarding potential security threats, risks, and prevention practices within an organization. The goal of security awareness initiatives is to promote a security-conscious culture where individuals are proactive in identifying and mitigating potential risks, thereby protecting sensitive information.

What are the Benefits of Giving Security Awareness Training to Employees?

Human errors account for nearly 90% of all data breaches. A single uninformed employee puts an entire organization at risk. Establishments have become vigilant about spreading security awareness training among their staff members.

Several benefits can be derived from a well-designed security awareness training program:

1. Reduced Vulnerabilities

Human error, resulting from a lack of knowledge, is a primary cause of security breaches. Proper training of employees helps in reducing these vulnerabilities by helping them understand what to look for in systems and software to reduce the risk footprint. Assisting employees in how to recognize the anatomy of a cyberattack safeguards the organization from breaches caused by employee negligence or lack of system and software knowledge.

2. Minimized Downtime

Whenever a data breach occurs, getting things back to normal can be time consuming. If employees are familiar with the basic principles of cybersecurity, they can help in safeguarding systems by identifying a potential breach immediately and reporting the problem proactively to an accountable professional. Reduced downtime can save both data as well as prevent loss of revenue.

3. Higher ROI

The cost of training and educating the workforce may seem high, but when compared with potential risks, the cost is negligible to that of a data breach in not only lost revenue but company reputation. For an organization to safeguard its data and ensure customer confidence, bearing such costs for awareness should be seen as an investment rather than an expense.

4. Increased Customer Confidence

There’s a lot of buzz about cybersecurity threats and people are aware that such a mishap can occur without warning. Along with strengthening cybersecurity systems, it is imperative that organizations focus on training and educating their employees. Customers feel safe doing business with organizations that proactively empower their employees in the prevention of cyber threats.

The key elements to be included and the depth of training given to employees depend upon the nature, needs, and activity of the organization. However, a few key elements that are common to most industries are as follows:

  • Phishing Awareness:
    • To identify and report phishing emails including recognizing suspicious links, attachments, and requests for sensitive information.
  • Password Practices:
    • Create strong and unique passwords for each account and update them timely. Use of password managers and proper password security.
  • Social Engineering Awareness:
    • Informing employees about common social engineering techniques, such as impersonation, pretexting, and baiting, and providing guidance on how to verify requests and protect sensitive information.
  • Safe Browsing Habits:
    • Teach employees about the dangers of clicking on untrusted links, visiting suspicious websites, website security, and downloading software from unverified sources.

Given that cybersecurity threats are ever evolving, it is necessary that the training methods keep evolving as well. The rapid pace at which cyber threats are increasing has made knowledge and experience of cyber security of utmost importance for organizations and individuals. To counter cyberattacks, knowledge is key, and diligence is paramount.

Our team members at Etech Global Services are committed to ensuring the complete protection of data and sensitive information. Get in touch with us to learn about the methods and training we use to educate our employees on security awareness and how that benefits our customers.

Ronnie Mize

Ronnie Mize

Ronnie Mize is the Chief Security Officer of Information Technology for Etech Technical Services. Ronnie has been in the technology sector for 20 years and has held technology leadership roles with Microtech America, The Berry Company (a subsidiary of Bellsouth) and Etech. His entrepreneurial background includes extensive experience in technology development and deployment as well as implementation of business processes and defined methodology.

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