5 Reasons Cybersecurity Training Is Crucial for Your Employees
We live in a day and age that is progressively becoming increasingly more insecure. Various viruses and ransomware programs have sprouted all over cyberspace and have been used by unscrupulous people to essentially cripple entire networks and whole organizations. There are various reasons due to which it is imperative that an organization’s employees be well versed to the need for cybersecurity and all that it entails.
The “Wanna Cry” Ransomware
We have before us the example of the “WannaCry” ransomware. This is not the first of its kind, but it was one of the most lethal. And once it had gained admittance to a system, it rapidly encrypted its data and ask for a ransom within a stipulated period of time, after which the files would be deleted on non-payment of the ransom. Various organizations, including hospitals, had to pay to recover the precious data of their patients, who were suffering from life-threatening illnesses.
However, this sorry state of affairs could have easily been eased or had not even happened, if the common employee with access to the IT system of the company, would have been adequately trained so that he would not have allowed ingress of the ransomware to the system’s computers in the first place. The infection came from email files opened on company IT resources and apart from that they also ‘hitch-hiked’ their way into the system through torrent files. Once in, the malicious program immediately blocked the whole system till payment of the ransom (in cryptocurrencies, so that the hackers could remain incognito and disappear after the payment of the ransom amount).
Under the circumstances, a simple notification for the employees to not use and download torrents or open email attachments from unknown sources could have done the needful and saved a lot of IT managers, and their non-IT counterparts in the company, a lot of misery.
Certain regulatory requirements
These days there are certain regulatory requirements regarding cybersecurity training for staff members of various companies, at least from an IT security standpoint. Should the company fall under HIPAA, PCI, GLBA or Sarbanes-Oxley, or any other similar regulatory mechanism, then it is an axiomatic assumption that it will definitely need at least some element of training regarding its cybersecurity awareness. After all, these regulations have been put into place awhile understanding that in many security protocol breaches, it is the ‘human factor’ that is more often than not, the ‘weak link’ in many IT security-related issues.
Many companies all over the world are now actively pursuing a BYOD or ‘bring your own devices’ policy to cut costs and expenditures. Unfortunately, the inherent vulnerability of the human element is now further compounded because of many, if not most such policies. When an infected device is plugged into the main IT environment of the company, the entire system can be easily (and also quite efficiently) compromised and even seized by external elements. The more such devices are plugged into the system, the greater the vulnerability and by extension, a further shrinkage in the security parameter of the whole IT exoskeleton, of the entire organization.
What this means is that the core network itself becomes markedly less defensible because the many employees of the company will use those devices as well as connections that are not under the ambit of the people who are directly responsible for the cybersecurity posture of the company. In fact, the prevalence of this steadily vanishing security perimeter essentially places far greater emphasis on proper cyber hygiene as it should be practiced all across the board. Of course, such hygiene can only be taught within the parameters of a sound cybersecurity training program.
Near constant changes in an ever-evolving threat landscape
The age-old adage “being forewarned is being forearmed” holds as true today as it ever did before. To ensure that there are no cybersecurity leaks, the IT security staff has to sit with the senior management and develop a program that will enable the whole company to stay right on top of the latest cyber threats out there. Many, if not most of which actively seek to exploit the human element of the company, especially with the help of social engineering attacks.
For example, email spamming and phishing attack rates seem to have substantially decreased over the last few years. But various manually shared social media scams seemed to have shown a drastic increase. These changes actively seek to exploit the vulnerabilities of the system in such a manner that they ‘entice’ the employees to open up the system, to their efforts.
A highly improved sense of staff confidence
As technology has advanced across various parameters, and cyber-attacks have increased at a bewildering pace. The vast majority of employees have essentially been left to fend majorly for themselves in a veritable wilderness of new software suites, programs, and social media platforms.
This has created a certain measure of uncertainty regarding IT-based technology, especially in the data safety and security context. Just by holding fairly regular cyber and data security awareness training programs, the company’s staff members can also feel more confident when using the company’s IT resources, because they have a great idea of the ‘Do’s and don’ts’ of the entire process.
Considering the above discussion, we can safely conclude that it is but only a matter of time before an organization is attacked by hackers and other cybercriminals. One of the best and most sure-fire ways of preventing any unauthorized breach of security is to prepare the employees of the organization for just such an eventuality, beforehand.
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