The cyber threat landscape is vast and sophisticated.
From irritating spyware and adware to devastating malware and ransomware, danger lurks around every corner.
However, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the majority of these threats are disguised in the most rudimentary attack vector: social engineering attacks.
In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of information security awareness training, particularly as it pertains to social engineering attacks. As you’ll soon discover, employees who are unaware of these dangers are your organization’s biggest vulnerability.
Cyber Awareness Training: What are Social Engineering Attacks?
The goal of a social engineering attack is to psychologically manipulate an individual into sharing sensitive information. Examples include:
- Client/user data
- Login credentials
- Trade secrets
- Payment info
The most popular form of a social engineering attack is the phishing email.
While many people associate phishing emails with the classic “Nigerian prince” example, it’s important to realize that highly targeted and compelling phishing scams do exist.
4 Benefits of Security Awareness Training
According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average cost of a data breach in 2021 was an incredible $4.24 million, a 17-year high. This represented a significant increase over the 2020 average cost of $3.86 million.
That doesn’t account for the damage done to a company’s reputation. It’s no wonder that 60% of small businesses shut down within six months of experiencing a data breach.
The real question, however, is what can be done to avoid it? One solution is a cyber security awareness program, but this is just one of many.
Below, we discuss the five major benefits of implementing one in your business.
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1. Decrease Threats
Data breaches are caused by a unique array of cyber threats, from zero-day exploits and backdoor vulnerabilities to malware and insider threats. Yet 98% of these cyber threats are deployed through social engineering attack vectors. Why?
The answer is because leveraging human error is both simple and alarmingly successful.
While it’s essential to follow security best practices when it comes to your IT assets and infrastructure, cyber awareness is an equally important element of your security posture.
An awareness training program ensures that most threats are extinguished long before they pose any real risk to your organization.
2. Reduce Downtime
It’s estimated that each minute of downtime costs your business $5,600, though the exact amount can vary between $2,300 and $9,000 depending on several factors.
The key takeaway is that even if your business successfully thwarts an attack, it could still result in serious downtime.
By investing in your staff’s cybersecurity knowledge, you can drastically reduce the probability of experiencing a cyber attack and, by extension, costly downtime.
3. Build Consumer Confidence
Proactive efforts to improve your information systems security go a long way in reinforcing consumer confidence.
In fact, a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute demonstrated that 31% of consumers ended their relationship with a recently breached organization, while 65% reported that they lost faith in the breached organization.
Though the immediate danger of a phishing scam isn’t always felt, the long-term implications can be disastrous. Accordingly, including a security awareness program as a recurring part of employee training is an indispensable tool.
Bring the Benefits of Cyber Security Awareness Training to Your Business
Stay ahead of the latest cyber threats with security awareness training from TAG.
4. Adhere to Regulatory Compliance
With the number and complexity of compliance regulations on the rise, it’s more important than ever not to lapse.
A 2021 Hyperproof study showed that 63% of businesses intend to expand their compliance teams this year just to keep up with the demand.
So, if your organization handles any amount of confidential or sensitive data, then maintaining compliance standards is essential.
Infractions can result in hefty fines. For example, a HIPAA penalty ranges between $100 and $50,000. There’s also the possibility of other legal consequences, in addition to significant reputational damage.
As part of a comprehensive cybersecurity awareness training program, your employees will learn how to treat sensitive information in line with the latest regulatory compliance criteria.
Leverage the Benefits of Cyber Security Awareness Training With TAG
Now that you understand the many benefits of cyber security training, it’s time for your organization to minimize risk and empower employees.
As a leading managed service provider (MSP) for over 25 years, Technology Advisory Group understands the benefits & importance of cyber security awareness training. That’s why we offer the most comprehensive awareness training available in Rhode Island and New England.
Contact us today to learn more about the importance of security awareness training for your business.