The Importance of Cyber Security Awareness Training

It’s a new year and a new decade, and you’ve probably got plans to grow. The last thing that you need is some shadowy cyber criminal lurking in the background waiting to derail your plans, so why not make a renewed focus on security part of your new year’s resolution?

More than a little bit of what we do here at CDR Global revolves around security. Whether it’s the shredding of hard drives, wiping and resetting, laptops, tablets, or desktops – data security is a concern that’s never far from our mind.

For the IT professional in your organization, keeping sensitive data out of the wrong hands is a core component of their job. There’s a number of technical ways to prevent intrusion into your system, but for all the fancy bells and whistles that can be employed, the most effective barrier to intrusion is actually very simple – it’s your staff.

The various rank-and-file employees in your organization represent the most attractive weakness to the hackers and identity thieves, but they also have the ability to create an insurmountable obstacle to those bad actors trying to gain access to your system. A little bit of cybersecurity training can turn your staff into key players in a rock-solid digital security system.

What are the Risks?

According to the Ponemon Institute’s fifth annual cybersecurity survey, the least expensive cost of dealing with a cybersecurity breach from one of their survey respondents was $750,000, while the most expensive was $31 million. While this study features some frightening statistics, it also showed that cybersecurity training has reduced overall data breaches caused by negligent insiders.

This is a good trend, and it’s one that you need to jump on. Nobody wants to throw away upward of seven figures because someone clicked on a bogus link or attached the wrong file to an email. In the realm of data security, an ounce of prevention is worth far more than a pound of pain.

What Should Cybersecurity Training Include?

When educating your staff on cybersecurity, there are three main areas that you want to reinforce:

  • Secure data handling practices
  • Social engineering attacks
  • How to identify a data breach or cybersecurity incident

Secure Data Handling

Accidentally exposing data is one of the largest causes of breaches among major organizations. This includes losing a networked device such as a phone, tablet, or laptop, or including the wrong recipients on an email with sensitive attachments. Additionally, a less-than-secure network­ – such as public computers or unsecured Wi-Fi – can open holes in an otherwise secure system.

Teaching people how to recognize the simple errors of improper data handling is a solid start. Expand on this topic with education that focuses on properly encrypting, storing, transferring, deleting, and destroying confidential data.

Social Engineering Attacks

When an employee is fooled into revealing sensitive information, they’ve been the target of a social engineering attack. The first step in thwarting these types of attacks is to teach your staff some digital street smarts so that they can recognize the attacks when they happen.

Many organizations offer training that includes mock phishing and email scams, sometimes inserted randomly into a staffer’s normal email box. If they don’t recognize the suspicious attempt, they can be offered further training to improve their skills.

A 2019 study from Verizon found that social engineering attacks accounted for 33 percent of all data breaches. With a competent and alert staff, you’ll be ready to stop one-third of all attacks before they start.

Identifying a Cybersecurity Breach

That same Ponemon study that we mentioned earlier found that when a company experienced a data breach, on average it took 279 days to identify and contain it. Nobody wants to stand up and admit that they fell for a phishing attack or e-mailed sensitive documents to the wrong person, but finding the breach and closing it quickly is key to limiting the damage and improving the security of the overall system.

Having policies in place for reporting breaches and responding to them – and making sure that everyone understands those policies – creates a system that’s more responsive and effective.

While you’re thinking about upgrading your hardware and making essential changes to the IT hardware in your organization, it’s important to think about the security of the overall system.

CDR Global is an expert at keeping your data secure while we’re helping you find ways to dispose of your IT equipment, so that’s one less thing you need to worry about. As you upgrade equipment, take the time to up-skill your staff so that you don’t present an easy target to black-hat operators online.

Contact CDR Global today for help protecting all areas of your business technology today.


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