The importance of cybersecurity training for employees

When you’re working flat out every day, the thought of taking time out of your schedule for training is one less hassle you could really do without. But the consequences of not attending training, particularly cybersecurity awareness training, don’t even bear thinking about. Here, we explain the importance of this training for employees and the implications of not investing in it.

 

Why businesses need cybersecurity awareness training 

Cybersecurity applies to all organisations, regardless of size, scale or sector. In today’s digitally-driven era, every business is susceptible to falling victim to a cyber attack. Not only can these attacks cause disruption on multiple levels, but they can also result in hefty penalties and irreparable reputational damage (more on this below). Nobody wants to find themselves in this situation, which is why businesses need cybersecurity awareness training.

 

Increase in cyber crime 

Unfortunately, there’s no getting away from the fact that cyber crime is a major 21st century threat, to individual and businesses. These key stats, published by the Government, reveal the true scale of the issue:

 

  • Cyber crime alone costs the UK a staggering £27billion a year.
  • £21billion of this loss is experienced by UK businesses.
  • The aerospace and defence; chemicals; electronic and electrical equipment; software and computer services and healthcare, pharmaceutical and bio-technology sectors are repeatedly counting the cost of cyber crime:
    • Aerospace and defence - £0.4billion a year 
    • Chemicals - £1.3billion a year
    • Electronic - £1.7billion a year 
    • Software - £1.6billion a year
    • Healthcare - £1.8billion a year

According to the Office for National Statistics’ Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021, half of businesses experience attacks once a month or more. More specifically, phishing attacks have risen from 72 to 83% over the last four years alone. Meanwhile, impersonation (63%) and unauthorised computer/network use by staff (15%) has become an increasing issue for larger companies. This is only a mere snapshot of the scale of the issue.

 

Data security compliance 

In recent years, the combination of increased cyber crime and implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), has resulted in more businesses tuning into the importance of robust data protection.

 

Introduced in 2018 to replace The Data Protection Act, the GDPR has transformed the data protection landscape. Organisations are now under increased scrutiny to govern the security and management of their employees’ and customers’ personal data, with many being required to completely overhaul their existing systems to futureproof themselves against data security risk.

 

Failure to comply with the legislation comes with considerable consequences, including fines of up to £17.5million or 4% of a company’s annual global turnover (whichever is greater).

 

Cost savings 

In addition to potentially being fined for non-GDPR compliance, cybersecurity breaches themselves are costly experiences – not just in terms of the resource involved in putting things right, but the cost of being out of action. Resource and downtime costs aside, there is, of course, the financial impact of investing in new systems and implementing new ways of working to add to the equation.

 

But that’s just the financial impact, which is the cost most businesses immediately associate with cyber attacks. However, let’s not forget that being linked to data leaks, breaches etc. can leave a negative imprint on a company’s reputation that can adversely impact customer confidence. Ultimately, organisations can wind up paying the price for cyber attacks in so many ways, which is why it’s crucial they take a proactive approach to being cyber secure from the outset.

 

What is cybersecurity awareness training?

The aim of this article isn’t to scare you, but it is designed to show you how you can avoid becoming the next cyber crime statistic. One of the most effective ways of battening down your cybersecurity hatches, is to invest in training that enables you to: 

 

  • Make sure everybody within your organisation is aware of the threat of cyber attacks
  • Show them the cybersecurity dangers to look out for (e.g. phishing or ransomware) 
  • Reinforce the importance of password security and best practice methods (e.g. changing passwords periodically and using a combination of numbers, letters, upper and lower case and special characters)
  • Share cyber-savvy methods for using email, social media and secure browsing 
  • Highlight proactive, best practice way tactics to protect company data 
  • Demonstrate what should be done in the event of any suspicious activity being detected
  • Maintain GDPR compliance in a way that’s fundamental to the inner workings of the company
  • And much more…

Each and every company is responsible for their cybersecurity defences, which they can choose to implement however they wish. But with the right cybersecurity awareness training, there’s no reason why you and your team can’t be on the front foot in relation to monitoring and tackling this rapidly-evolving threat.

 

Why cybersecurity training for employees is essential

Given the rate at which cyber crime is developing, it’s essential companies (entire workforces included) aren’t just up to speed with the threat of cyber attacks, but stay up to speed. On-going cybersecurity training is central to learning and responding to new cyber threats as they emerge. This is even more prevalent, given the fact that 95% of cybersecurity breaches are reportedly caused by human error.

Regardless of how large or small teams may be or where they are located, cybersecurity awareness training will ensure they: 

 

  • Are aware of the threat of cyber attacks
  • Can recognise these attacks (e.g. phishing, malware, cross-site scripting, SQL injections and ransomware)
  • Have the knowledge to manage their accounts (e.g. usernames and passwords) securely
  • Are aware of the company’s approach to dealing with cyber crime and handling all data with the utmost security
  • Know what to do in the event of there being a cyber attack
  • Provide customers with peace of mind their data is being handled responsibly and safely 
  • Overall, help form a united front against cyber crime, which can come at companies at any time, and from any angle

 

Investing in cybersecurity awareness training can also boost employee wellbeing. Not only will staff be able to apply the learnings to their day job, they can also take the insight and make sure they stay safe when it comes to their personal online activity too.

 

39 seconds is all it takes…

 

Cybersecurity awareness training is no longer something certain companies used to do. What’s more, the responsibility for preventing it lies with everybody, not just certain employees. With hacker attacks taking place every 39 seconds, the risk is real. How confident are you that you can detect an attack the moment it happens? Is cybersecurity on everyone’s radar? Or are there some chinks in your armour?


If you would like to find out more about how cybersecurity awareness training can save you time and money, and protect your company reputation, contact us on 01252 917000 or enquiries@bluefort.com. Alternatively, you complete our short contact form.