Why Cybersecurity Awareness Training is Important for All NYC Organizations

Why Cybersecurity Awareness Training is Important for All NYC Organizations

Today’s organizations depend heavily on network functions for things like email, cloud computing, and hybrid or remote work. Sadly, cybercrime continues to grow more common around the world, and it impacts internet-connected businesses of all sizes across all industries by exploiting network security vulnerabilities. The processes involved in educating your employees about cybersecurity threats that can impact your organization’s network, data, and devices is known as cybersecurity awareness training.

Learning more about why cybersecurity awareness training is important is an incredible first step toward protecting your organization from downtime or financial losses due to attacks. Tech Alliance, a NYC-based provider of network security and managed IT services, offers interactive cybersecurity awareness training that can help your employees understand, detect, and avoid potential attacks.

Security Awareness Training Statistics

According to the SANS 2023 Security Awareness Report, human risk is the leading cause of cyberattacks within organizations across all industries. In fact, social engineering, which consists of phishing (fraudulent emails), vishing (fraudulent voice calls), and smishing (fraudulent SMS text messages) presented more than double the risk of the next highest factor, which was passwords and authentication.

Furthermore, organizations reported that the primary challenges associated with their security awareness training programs were time limitations and budgetary constraints. According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023, about 51% of organizations are planning to increase their security spending to cover things like incident response, training, and threat detection.

IBM also listed employee training as having a significant impact on reducing the total cost of a data breach. Average savings totaled $232,867, second only to Development, Security, and Operations (DevSecOps) implementation, which saved an average of $249,278.

The Importance of Cybersecurity Awareness Training

The average cost of a data breach in the United States in 2023 topped $9.48 billion – the highest in American history. In that same year, American organizations allocated an average of $27.3 million to their cybersecurity budgets. Because human error is the common denominator in so many cyberattacks, it becomes easy to see why cybersecurity awareness training is important. Employees can effectively become human firewalls by staying alert and blocking outside threats.

Cybersecurity awareness training teaches employees how to spot existing and potential threats, understand the most common vulnerabilities, and recognize signs of an attack. It also provides employees with a framework for taking accountability for their mistakes and reporting them to the proper personnel. Finally, cybersecurity awareness training helps to build a security culture within the organization.

Benefits of Cybersecurity Training

The benefits of cybersecurity training transcend financial protection to include reputation management and even customer or client satisfaction. The following benefits improve an organization’s security posture:

  • Mitigating Risk: By training employees and engaging them in a cybersecurity risk management plan, employees learn how to spot potential risks such as phishing emails and fraudulent phone calls or texts.
  • Improving Overall Security: Cybersecurity training teaches employees how and when to change their passwords, how to avoid unsafe websites, and how to handle their email messages safely.
  • Reducing Weak Points: Human error is the primary vulnerability in most cyberattacks. Teaching employees how to avoid social engineering and malware makes the organization’s security stronger.
  • Ensuring Compliance: Regulatory compliance is critical for any organization’s success. Cybersecurity training teaches employees how to adhere to these regulations as well as any internal or local guidelines.
  • Responding to Incidents: If a cyberattack incident should occur, trained employees can implement an immediate response, thereby minimizing damage and downtime.
  • Saving Money: On average, mid-sized companies realize a 69% ROI after cybersecurity awareness training. The figure is based on lower costs associated with scrubbing computers and networks as well as the financial losses associated with lost customers and reputation damage.
  • Promoting a Cybersecurity Culture: Regular cybersecurity training keeps security at the forefront of employees’ minds. As a result, each employee participating in training becomes an active participant in network security.

Implementing Cybersecurity Awareness Training Across Your Organization

Cybersecurity awareness training implementation looks different from one organization to the next depending on their budgets and current security measures. Most organizations can follow a simple eight-step process.

  • Start at the top of the organization. To avoid potential pitfalls down the line, it is important for the top executives in an organization to understand why cybersecurity awareness training is important. Leadership must set a budget and agree to a timeframe, and when that leadership adopts new policies and participates in training, employees will follow suit.
  • Perform risk assessments and generate reports. Risk assessments are critical to the success of any cybersecurity training initiative. Understanding the most likely and most immediate risks can direct the training toward better overall security.
  • Provide interactive training courses to employees. Hands-on, interactive training is far more effective than a classroom- or lecture-based setting when it comes to teaching employees about cybersecurity. It gives them the opportunity to practice what they learn in real time, which can make training faster and more productive.
  • Schedule simulated attacks to test responses. Simulated attacks can help organizations understand whether their employees have learned what they need to know during their cybersecurity awareness training. Simulated phishing emails and other social engineering attempts are excellent.
  • Analyze the results of simulated attacks and make plans to improve. After a simulated attack, analyze the results for reporting, then determine which employees or departments need additional training. The analysis may also show organizations that they should adapt their training to be more effective.
  • Design, implement, and enforce new internal policies. Once an organization understands its vulnerabilities and its employees’ ability to thwart attacks, the next step involves implementing and enforcing a series of internal procedures and policies that outline expectations.
  • Retrain employees on an ongoing basis. Cyberattacks are dynamic and always evolving. Employees should refresh themselves on the company’s policies and participate in training regularly. Many organizations opt for a few hours of training per employee each quarter.
  • Maintain a consistent cybersecurity culture. It falls on leadership to develop and maintain a cybersecurity culture that ensures network and data safety. Leaders should update their cybersecurity awareness training frequently and stay up-to-date with the latest threats and trends.

Propel Your OrganizationToward a Positive Cybersecurity Culture

Building a positive cybersecurity culture is important for keeping your organization’s network and systems safe. Understanding why cybersecurity awareness training is important can be an excellent first step, but without implementation, human error can lead to catastrophic attacks and breaches.

Tech Alliance is committed to helping organizations train their employees to avoid cyberattacks in ways that are interactive, effective, and affordable. Learn more about our Cyber Security services – including cybersecurity awareness training for employees.