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  • BTI Communications Group

What is Security Awareness Training? | Benefits, Importance & More.


Security Awareness training, BTI promotional image.

Feeling bombarded by cyber threats? You're not alone. Businesses of all sizes face a growing security challenge where one employee click can cause irreversible damage. But there's a simple and powerful weapon you might be missing, Security Awareness Training. 

 

Let's dive in and see how it can make your business a cybersecurity fortress! 


Table of Contents:


What is Security Awareness Training?

Security awareness training is the process of training your employees on how to identify and respond to cyber threats. Conducting security training for employees regularly allows your team to properly identify, mitigate, respond to, and eliminate cyber-attacks.


Why is Security Awareness Training Important?

Cyber threats are constantly evolving with hackers devising more sophisticated methods to steal data, disrupt operations, and wreak havoc making the implementation of efficient cybersecurity solutions crucial for businesses of all sizes.


Even the most robust security measures can be rendered ineffective by human error. In fact, research from Stanford University has found that 88% of data breaches are caused by human error.


Organizations that have successfully adopted security awareness training as part of their cybersecurity strategy experience:


  • 60% lower chance of their IT systems being disrupted within a year 

  • 68% higher chance of identifying phishing scams 

  • 63% increase in the ability to detect targeted emails  

  • 57% increase in detecting social media and web scams  

But that’s not all, according to Osterman's research small businesses can achieve 69% of ROI from employee security awareness programs and enterprise level organizations achieve up to 562% ROI.  


Key Elements of an Effective Security Awareness Program 

There are many options out there when looking for IT security awareness training, however, effective employee security awareness training must be:  

  1. Entertaining 

  2. Planned 

  3. Continuous 

  4. Tested

  5. Measured 


Dynamic 

Good security awareness programs must include diverse types of content and activities to provide the appropriate training for every person within your organization, regardless of their role or knowledge in security threats.

 

Having dynamic and diverse learning materials that fit different learning styles and roles is crucial to ensure your IT awareness training success.

  

Planned  

Effective planning is crucial to ensure the effectiveness of cybersecurity awareness training. Having an effective security awareness training plan will allow you to keep track of your progress and measure the effectiveness of your current security strategy.  


In addition, a well thought out plan will also allow your organization to demonstrate you are following your industry compliance requirements, if needed.


Continuous 

Cybersecurity awareness training is not a set it and forget it activity. To ensure the best results, security awareness training must be an on-going and entertaining task that presents the information in a way that is understandable and applicable in your daily life.  

 

Tested 

Good security awareness training includes simulations and tests as part of training. These simulations consist of sending false attacks to your employees to ensure they respond correctly.

  

For example, a simple exercise can be sending a phishing scam to your employees to ensure a correct response in case of a real attack. These simulations are designed to allow your employees to experience a real attack and have a deeper understanding of how the several types of cyber scams work. 

 

Measured 

A security awareness training program that is closely measured and reported will allow you to identify what security gaps need to be addressed and optimize your training to ensure every member of your organization has a deep understanding on how cyber-attacks work and what’s the best way of combatting them.  


What Topics Should Be Covered in Security Awareness Training?  

As we mentioned earlier, effective security awareness training must regularly launch new modules to keep your content fresh and align with the latest security challenges your organization encounters. 


Some of the topics that should be included in a security awareness training program are:

  • Phishing Awareness: How to identify and mitigate phishing scams.

  • Password Security: Best practices to maintain password security.

  • Privacy: How to ensure that your teams, customers, and own credentials remain protected.

  • Compliance Standards: How to meet your industry specific compliance standards (HIPPA, PCI, CMMC, and more).

  • Wire Fraud: How to identify wire fraud or deep fake attacks to identify identity fraud from hackers posing as executives from your company.

  • Data in Motion: Understanding how to protect data in mobile and hybrid remote work environments.  

  • Clean Desk Policy: Encourage digital files versus paper, proper storage of important and/or confidential documents. 


The Benefits of Cybersecurity Security Awareness Training

Some of the benefits experimented by companies that conduct cybersecurity awareness training regularly include:

  • Increased Security

  • Increased Compliance

  • Increased Customer Trust


Increased Security  

A trained team is the first line of defense against cybersecurity threats. A trained team will be able to identify phishing scams, malware, and other risks, to respond calmly during incidents, while allowing them to deescalate issues quickly. 

 

This translates to a significant reduction in costly disruptions and a more secure future for your business. 


Increased Compliance

Cybersecurity awareness training empowers employees to handle sensitive data securely and enables your team to meet your industry compliance requirements with ease. Compliance frameworks such as PCI, HIPPA, and Sarbanes-Oxely, recommend security awareness training to all employees.


Other organizations, such as ISO and NIST, provide security awareness to all employees once or twice a year.


Increased Customer Trust 

According to a Ponemon study, 65% of customers said they lost trust in the organization after being affected by one or more breaches, and 31% of consumers said they terminated their relationships with the breached entity following a data breach. 

 

Having a trained team and a proactive approach towards cyber threats can effectively be used as a competitive advantage because not only does it enable your organization to provide a more secure environment for your employees and clients, but cybersecurity awareness training is also an ongoing commitment towards data protection and compliance.  


Summary: What is Security Awareness Training 

Security Awareness is a crucial shield your organization needs. Conducting training regularly will empower your team to identify, respond, and mitigate cyber threats effectively. By embracing cybersecurity awareness training, you not only fortify your IT systems, but also gain a strategic edge. 

 

To transform your organization into a cyber fortress, choose a security awareness program that is entertaining, planned, continuous, tested, and measured. These key elements ensure dynamic learning experiences tailored to diverse roles and learning styles. Effective planning guarantees progress tracking and compliance, while ongoing, entertaining training is essential for real-world application. 

  

Ready to take the first step towards a resilient cybersecurity stance? BTI can provide your team with the knowledge to combat cyber threats and the benefits from increased security, compliance, and customer trust. Don't let your business be a victim—equip it to be a cybersecurity champion.  

 

Contact us now and let's make your organization impervious to cyber threats! 

        

 

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