The rapid proliferation of digital applications and services offers businesses a vast opportunity for growth and innovation, but it also creates an array of new IT security risks.
Statistics reveal that most data breaches are the result of human error. Cybercriminals are well-aware of this fact and continue to exploit this weakness.
While implementing the right technology, like strong access controls and user authentication methods, is important, it’s not the whole solution. The users who interface with IT systems must also be educated and instructed in how to perform their tasks. And, the policies and procedures that define the actions must be properly designed and consistently enforced.
Today’s cybercriminals have a toolbox of techniques at their disposal to exploit weaknesses in applications and infrastructure. The good news is that with the right mix of technology, preventative measures, and smart policies, robust security is possible.
Achieving a truly secure IT environment network has always been about being proactive. One of the best places to start is with security awareness training. With a well-planned, proactive approach, security awareness training can provide a number of important benefits.
Bolster Your Defenses
Security training efforts can provide an important additional layer of defense as part of a comprehensive security strategy.
Because security tools and techniques require operation and responses from people, training your staff on proper procedures, protocols, and methods of operation is vital.
With proper training, your staff will know how to identify potential threats, respond to security warnings, and implement access controls, helping to create a more robust security environment. Technology plays an essential role, but the need to create a security-focused company culture cannot be overlooked.
Protect Your Assets
Safeguarding your mission-critical IT infrastructure is not just a security concern; it’s a fundamental business issue. A single breach could have devastating consequences in terms of loss of data, downtime, and costly repair.
That’s valuable time that could be used for more productive purposes.
The financial impact can be much higher, depending on the attack; ransomware attacks can set companies back hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
Besides the financial cost of the attacks, though, hacking can be devastating for a company’s reputation, as consumers become fearful that a company could expose their private data.
Likewise, partnerships with other companies can become more complicated once your network has been breached, which is understandable as no company wants to work with a business that has a track record of poor security.
Comply With Regulations
Businesses today are under increased pressure created by an ever-increasing number of security and data privacy mandates.
Regulations like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) define rigid requirements for safeguarding data and carry stiff penalties for those who fail to conform to the regulations.
As threats continue to intensify, more regulations are requiring specific industry sectors to implement security training.
These requirements emphasize the need to not only develop security policies but also ensure that all users are fully trained in security policies and protocols and understand the responsibilities they hold.
Your employees don’t need to become experts on these rules, but they do need to know how they apply to your organization.
Even if your company does not currently fall under any compliance requirements, security awareness training is simply smart business practice.
Be Socially Responsible
Cyberattacks can spread at remarkable speeds, wreaking havoc on any unprotected system or device in its path. Once a network is breached, all of the connected systems and devices become instantly exposed to the same risk.
Organizations with weak defenses, poorly defined policies, or inadequate security training place any other organization linked to them in harm’s way. In the event that your suppliers, customers, and other third-party organizations are connected to your network, implementing effective security training benefits not only your business but anyone else connected to your network.
Security awareness training not only provides important business advantages but benefits employees as well.
The more employees are empowered and confident in their ability to handle sensitive information, the less likely they are to make costly security mistakes that can give cybercriminals access to your systems and data.
With proper training, your employees gain more confidence in performing their duties and following assigned procedures and protocols. Usage policies define what behaviors are and aren’t acceptable.
As part of your awareness training, it’s important to work with your internal team to define policies and practices based on your usage preferences and requirements specific to your market. The more engaged and confident in their abilities, the less they’ll worry about making mistakes.
Confidence of Customers
When customers know that you’ve made security a priority, they will feel more comfortable doing business with you. This holds true for your business partners as well as your clients.
If your business operates in a regulated market, security awareness training is one investment you can’t afford to skip.
In many cases, you are not going to be considered for a high-profile contract if you have not included cybersecurity precautions in your proposal and can document that security protocols have been following, including personnel training.
Most contracts and partnerships today require that organizations at least show some achievement of a standard in cybersecurity training that’s universally accepted.
Strengthening Your Frontline Defenses
Cybercriminals are continuously refining their techniques and approaches to take advantage of any vulnerability they can find, so your business must be equally diligent and consistently improving its ability to stay ahead of hackers.
Every IT environment is different, and cybercriminals are constantly refining their techniques. Therefore, it’s imperative that you stay up to date on the latest techniques and remain diligent in your effort to shield your business and safeguard your infrastructure from today’s relentless barrage of cyberattacks.
Not treating cybersecurity training seriously will result in employees doing the same. Implementing security training that is interactive, engaging, and covers relevant subjects like, ransomware, phishing, insider threats and mobile computing is the most effective way to equip your personnel with the knowledge they need to effectively defend against today’s evolving cyber threats.
Building a solid framework for effective security requires robust tools and technologies and organizational culture that is not only focused on preventing mitigating risk but helps create a more responsive, agile, and transparent business.
While there is no silver bullet to protect against all threats, new security techniques and proactive measures like ongoing employee training can help safeguard your digital assets without hampering productivity or mobility.
For assistance with your network security solutions and for promoting IT security awareness, contact Wooden Spoon.