If you have not yet implemented a cybersecurity training program in your SMB or enterprise or are thinking of implementing one, this article is for you.

In this blog, we highlight the benefits and provide guidance on implementing a cybersecurity training program across your SMB or enterprise.

Does My Organization Need Cybersecurity Training? (Hint: YES)

Stephen,

Our company XYZ Inc. is acquiring an Indian company, ABC Limited. I need you to wire $12.5 million to an Indian bank account in the name of “ABC Limited.” Please make this a high priority.

Thanks,

William Montgomery

CEO

+1 226-797-9320

Does this look like a genuine email? It’s not.

This email is an example of a Business Email Compromise (BEC) attack. BEC impersonates a business email account after the account has been compromised – usually of someone high up in the organization, a scam known as CEO Fraud – to defraud employees.

In June 2014, an employee at Scoular, a 124-year-old US company, received a similar (scam) email. He believed it was from his CEO and followed the instructions in it.

Result – his company lost $17.2 million to fraud.

What about your employees?

Can they recognize BEC Frauds (which the FBI called a “$26 billion scam”) and other types of phishing attacks?

Do they know what to do if their computer is infected by malware? If strange ads start popping up on their computer? If their files are suddenly locked and inaccessible?

If you answered No to even one of these questions, cybersecurity training is vital for your organization.

Why Your Organization Needs Cybersecurity Training

By now, you know that one reason you must implement a cybersecurity training program is employee awareness.

Here are four other critical reasons:

#1: Cybercrime is a growing “industry”

By 2025, cybercrime is expected to cost the world $10.5 trillion. Bad actors – getting savvier by the day – rely on technology and human gullibility to defraud employees and organizations.

To fight them, you need to employ technology and human preparedness. And this always starts with cybersecurity training.

#2: Improve Asset and Data Security

If you already have a robust cybersecurity program, you’re on the right path. But it’s incomplete without a cybersecurity training element.

Are employees aware of the various processes and controls?

Do they know how they work?

Through cybersecurity training, you can bring employees up-to-speed on what they need to know to protect the organization.

#3: To Recognize and Prevent Attacks

According to the 2020 State of Privacy and Security Awareness Report:

  • Over 25% of employees cannot identify a phishing email
  • 60% or more did not know if their employer has to comply with privacy regulations
  • 1 out of 7 believed that malware spreads via physical proximity alone

Such misinformation or lack of information can be very dangerous to your organization’s cybersecurity health. A comprehensive cybersecurity training program educates users about threat actors and the threat landscape, data privacy laws, etc. It can also:

  • Set clear cybersecurity expectations
  • Train them on how to recognize attack vectors like phishing)
  • Teach them about safe cybersecurity practices around passwords, social engineering, etc.

#4 To Protect Your Customers and Organization

In 2020, IBM found that the average total cost of a data breach in Canada is $4.5 million.

This cost includes the cost of remediation as well as downtime. By implementing cybersecurity training across the board, you can reduce the likelihood of such costly cyber attacks.

Cybersecurity training is also an effective way to prepare employees and protect your:

  • business assets
  • Intellectual property
  • Business-critical information
  • Customer data
  • Reputation
  • Business continuity
  • Compliance posture

Now you know why your organization needs cybersecurity training.

Now the question is: how to implement cybersecurity training?

Strategies to Implement a Strong Cybersecurity Training Program

Every organization is unique, so your cybersecurity training program should be unique as well. If this seems like an overwhelming undertaking and you don’t know where to begin – begin here!

Here are some best practices to implement a cybersecurity training program:

  • Perform a risk assessment with penetration testing to identify immediate threats and prioritize where you need to focus your cybersecurity training
  • Make the  training interactive and hands-on
  • Give employees a way to practice what they learn
  • Implement simulated phishing penetration testing to test employees’ vulnerability
  • Schedule regular training and testing
  • Continuously evaluate employees’ cybersecurity skills, and update the cybersecurity training program as required

Conclusion

The Canadian Centre for Cybersecurity (CCCS) highlights the need for cybersecurity training because it’s an excellent way to educate employees on recognizing, avoiding, and reporting cyber threats.

If designed well and conducted regularly, cybersecurity training also helps create a strong cybersecurity culture where everyone takes responsibility for security and risk reduction.

Contact Packetlabs if you’d like to discuss more this vital topic.