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Cybersecurity Awareness Training: The #1 Best Defense Your Company Needs

Did you know that human error is the leading cause of data breaches and cybercrime?

According to a 2019 study by IBM, it reported that 95% of IT security breaches are the result of human error. The result? Losses of $3.92 million on average!

So let me tell you something very important: cybersecurity training for employees is as important as training any other function of their job. If a business closes due to a cyber-attack, there will be no tasks for employees to handle in the first place.

So take a second to think – is your workforce up to date on the cybersecurity standards? If you do not know, well then, chop chop curry pop, it is time to get moving!

Because, while you may not like me pointing this out – it is on the organizations to ensure that their employees have been trained on cybersecurity best practices, not the other way around.

So what is cybersecurity awareness training for employees?

The first thing you need to be aware of is that cybersecurity training is not only for beginners. Even the most tech-savvy need occasional training. This is because technology, cyber threats, and vulnerabilities all change quickly.

The goal of cybersecurity training is to teach your team how to secure your company’s most important data. When completed, employees should be able to understand what is at risk, where issues arise. They should also be capable of identifying risks, as well as a successful response.

Required training combats many kinds of attacks. But in time, new types of attacks develop, and thus new kinds of training become necessary. Hence, cybersecurity programs should be ongoing within a company. Developing new knowledge is as important as retaining previous knowledge.

Why is cybersecurity training important?

Data is the secret sauce for your business.

A data breach releases key information to the public. Worse, they divulge personal information like customer social security numbers and bank information.

Losing customer information comes with an almost insurmountable knock against your reputation. You are likely to never regain the customers you lose. The financial repercussions don’t end there. Any governing compliance body may levy more fines against your business.

Compliance-specific training is integral to understanding what employees must do to meet industry standards. Many training offerings offer many programs tailored to numerous, common compliance standards.

Any company that handles data should deploy annual cybersecurity training. That includes customers’ personal data or any proprietary data.

Consider the staggering losses combined with how often user error leads to a breach. The need for cybersecurity training becomes abundantly clear. These numbers apply to ALL businesses, not only enterprise companies.

Therefore, having employees who will not put you at risk of a data breach will limit your risk of financial ruin.

What are some cybersecurity policies then?

Enforcing strict cybersecurity policies essentially serves as long-term training. By enforcing cyber best practices, employees and managers grow their knowledge through action.

Of course, the primary function of cybersecurity policies is to keep your business protected in the present. If built out the correct way, your policies should be a win-win situation for everyone.

All companies should thus institute certain policies. Here are a few to consider implementing immediately.

#1: Password Storage and Best Practices

Passwords are our gateways to information and places that we are authorized to access. Unfortunately, they can provide an avenue for others to access these things as well. Only if they are not properly attended to.

The first step to password safety is enforcing strong passwords. Enforce criteria like numbers, special characters, and length. If employees are forced to use using long, unique passwords, they learn what a secure password looks like.

Passwords should be changed regularly and not shared with others.

With all the passwords, people must remember, consider a password manager. This allows employees to store secure passwords across different platforms. No memorization required. Some password managers will also alert you if your passwords are not secure or appear in a data breach. They will also send an alert if they notice passwords being repeated too often.

Keep in mind, saving passwords in your browser is not recommended. Consider using a password manager instead!

#2: Multi-Factor Authentication

The best defense against password loss is multi-factor authentication.

Often, multi-factor only consists of two factors: Something someone knows, and something they have. The thing they know can be a password or a security question.

The thing they have is likely to be a smart device that pushes a unique, rotating authentication code. It can also be biometric data, like a fingerprint. Bonus points for needing biometric data to open the authentication app.

By adding a single authentication factor, the chance of fraudulent access decreases immensely. This serves as more education simply through action.

#3: Secure browsing

The pages you and your employees visit are important to consider when it comes to cybersecurity. Luckily, most browsers will flag unsafe sites and point you away from them when you attempt to navigate there.

Unfortunately, cyber literacy is still not 100% among the workforce. Sometimes employers need to set boundaries for what sites employees can access from work devices.

It is important to teach employees what sites are not acceptable to access at work, and why. This may seem like a tedious task, but it remains necessary.

Additionally, teach employees to check for website security certificates. This can be done by double-clicking the padlock icon on the address bar of your browser. If no certificate or an unmatching certificate pops up, that site should be skipped.

You can also ensure you are visiting a secure site by checking the site’s URL begins with “https://” and not just “http://”.

Want to invest in cybersecurity for your business today? Click the green button below to find out more.

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