Why cyber security awareness is vital for employees

Why cyber security awareness is vital for employees

Cyber security awareness: According to the latest figures from the Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2023, published in April, 32% of businesses and 24% of charities overall recall cyber breaches or attacks in the last 12 months. And, it’s much higher for medium businesses (59%), large businesses (69%) and high-income charities with £500,000 or more in annual income (56%).

So, with the risk of digital attacks constantly on the increase, the need to secure your business-critical data and applications has never been more important. But it’s also vital that your employees are also aware of the need to be cyber aware and their role in keeping the business cyber secure.

Playing their part

A reliance solely on an organisation’s security function for prevention and detection is not enough. Employees must play their part and become foot soldiers in the fight against cyber threats, In this blog we’ll explain the reasons why.

1. Sensitive data is protected

Employees understand the importance of protecting sensitive information and the consequences of a data breach when they’ve been security awareness trained. Protecting sensitive data helps to ensure cyber security and maintain the availability, confidentiality, and integrity of your information systems.

Through cyber security awareness training, employees become aware of their legal and ethical obligations when it comes to safeguarding your sensitive data from unauthorised access, disclosure, or misuse. By giving users the knowledge and skills necessary to handle sensitive information you will significantly reduce the risk of a data or security breach.

2. A sustainable security culture is fostered

A fundamental step in raising awareness of security threats and practices for mitigating them is to create and foster a culture of security within your business.

Regular security awareness training promotes a security culture and as a result security becomes a priority for all employees. It shifts the mindset from “that’s IT’s problem” to “that’s my problem.”

3. Insider threats are detected and prevented

Security awareness training can help identify and prevent potential insider threats, such as employees who may be intentionally or unintentionally compromising the security of your organisation.

Insider threats refer to security breaches that are caused by any person who has authorised access to an organisation’s systems, network and data, be they your employee, a vendor or contractor.

Examples of insider threats include theft of sensitive information, sabotage of systems, using security credentials and unauthorised access to confidential data. These threats can significantly impact your business by causing financial loss, reputational damage and even legal liabilities.

4. Cyber security awareness increases employee engagement

By educating employees on the importance of preventing security threats within and towards your business, you can increase employee engagement and buy-in to security initiatives.

Employees are more likely to feel like they have a vested interest in the success of their organisation if they are engaged by it, thereby creating a sense of loyalty and responsibility towards it. And this will result in better security practices overall, reducing the risk of security breaches.

5. Identifying security threats and how to mitigate them

Educating employees on identifying security threats and how to mitigate them is crucial to maintaining a strong cybersecurity posture within your business.

Employees are often unaware of the glut of security threats their organisation faces every day. Incorporating education of security threats in a security awareness training program is great way of enlisting their support in fighting back against the cyber criminals.

6. Cyber security awareness reduces human error

Employees who have received training on identifying and responding to security threats are less likely to make costly security mistakes. Human error is a common cause of security incidents and one of the most common methods attackers use to breach a network.

7. Speeds up incident response

Security awareness training equips employees with the knowledge and skills to respond effectively to security incidents, reducing the impact and recovery time of such incidents. Educated users are also more likely to recognise the signs of a security incident and report it promptly, which can help the incident response team take action more quickly.

About Xcomm

Xcomm offers a broad range of secure remote access solutions, market-leading data protection products and related professional data security services – all designed to help you safeguard business processes and stay compliant with regulations and best practice.

From IPSec VPNs, firewalling and data encryption to multi-factor authentication, email security, spam, spyware, troken and virus protection, Xcomm has the solution.

Optimise your business communications cybersecurity in 2023 by contacting the Xcomm sales team.

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