The Importance of Employee Security Awareness Training

Staff Report

Tuesday, August 16th, 2022

When it comes to securing your company’s network, you must think beyond technology. Relying on firewalls, antivirus software, and secure remote connections is simply not enough anymore.

Why? Cybercriminals can simply trick employees and bypass all your expensive cybersecurity tools and solutions. The actions of your employees are actually the greatest risk to your network.

Employees Are Your Weakest Security Link

You might think, “Employees are smart and we trust them. They are professionals and know how to safely use technology like email and the internet.” However, a single mistake such as sharing personally identifiable information (PII) through a phishing scam is all it takes for a data breach to occur.

All organizations – no matter their size, shape, or industry – are at risk for cybersecurity attacks caused by their very own employees. Below are just a few key takeaways from several recent studies:

“43% of people have made mistakes at work that compromised cybersecurity.” (Psychology of Human Error 2022 Report, Tessian)
The “human element” is responsible for 85% of data breaches. (2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, Verizon)
“Low security awareness among employees is the top barrier for organizations establishing effective defenses.” (2021 Cyberthreat Defense Report, CyberEdge Group)
“54% of IT leaders surveyed believe remote working increases insider threats.” (Egress Insider Data Breach Survey 2021)
1 in 4 employees have interacted with a phishing email. (Psychology of Human Error 2022 Report, Tessian)
Sending emails to the wrong individual(s) increases the risk of a cybersecurity attack or data breach, and the primary reason for this is employee fatigue. 93% of surveyed workers stated they are tired and stressed throughout their workweek. (Psychology of Human Error 2022 Report, Tessian)
On average, 44% of surveyed employees stated they occasionally think about cybersecurity, compared to 23% who stated they often do. (Psychology of Human Error 2022 Report, Tessian)
And as we often state in our presentations, 95% of cybersecurity attacks begin in an email.

The Solution Is Security Awareness Training

How can you keep your employees engaged and accountable for the security of your environment if they are not aware of the risks? Employee security awareness training should be a comprehensive, continuous program that trains individuals on defining and recognizing cyber threats, the consequences of a cyberattack, and ways to prevent a cyberattack.

Training should focus on common cybersecurity threats, how to react when faced with a threat, and how to correctly report an issue. Along with training provided at regular intervals, security awareness training should also allow an organization to send fake but realistic phishing emails to employees and provide extra training to those who are fooled by the emails.

If employees know more about cyber threats and how they can compromise an organization, they will be more engaged in protecting your organization. Employee security awareness training is one of the best cybersecurity investments you will make.

Take Action… Now!

Employee security awareness training is now essential to all organizations. Without employees staying vigilant, your organization will greatly increase the risk of a cyberattack occurring. Revenue and client loss, damaged reputation and compromised information, and personally identifiable information and/or intellectual property theft are just some of the consequences.

With an employee security awareness training program in place, you not only increase employee knowledge and confidence but also establish a culture of security within your organization.