Shield your data with cyber security awareness training
It’s an unfortunate reality that the threat of cyber attacks is ever-present for many businesses. No business, regardless of its size or industry, is immune to cyber crime. As the number of complex cyber attacks rises, it’s crucial for organisations to take proactive steps to safeguard their valuable assets and confidential data.
One of the most effective ways to do this is by investing in cyber security awareness training for employees.
Cyber security training is designed to equip employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to identify and prevent potential threats, reducing the risk of data breaches and other cyber related incidents.
In this blog we’ll explore how security awareness training for employees can benefit your business and why it’s crucial.
Cyber security statistics to be aware of
The Cyber Breaches Survey 2022 revealed that a worrying 39% of UK businesses suffered a cyber attack in the past year, highlighting the significant threat to business security. The actual number could be even higher since many cyber attacks go unreported. The survey also reported that the average cost of a single cyber attack for SMEs is £19,400.
However, this figure doesn’t include the damage to a company’s reputation, restoration costs, and emotional impact on individuals involved. This can quickly escalate to hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The aftermath of an attack can be severe, leading to regulatory fines and penalties under the Data Protection Acts (DPA) of 1998, 2018, and the Privacy and Electronic Regulation (PECR).
If a business breaches GDPR, it may incur administrative fines of up to 20,000,000 EUR or up to 4% of the total worldwide annual turnover of the preceding financial year, whichever is higher.
Despite these risks, few businesses have the necessary cyber security qualifications. Only 6% of businesses have the Cyber Essentials certification, and only 1% have Cyber Essentials Plus. The main reason for this lack of certification is a lack of awareness of the benefits of these qualifications.
It’s critical for businesses to prioritise their cyber security to avoid the devastating consequences of a cyber attack. The high percentage of businesses who experience a cyber attack highlights the need for businesses to invest in adequate cyber security.
In addition, businesses should be aware of the benefits of certifications such as Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus, which can help to improve security and reduce the risk of cyber attacks. By investing in cyber security and obtaining necessary certifications, businesses can avoid regular penalties, reputational damage, and financial losses.
Invest in your future with Cyber Essentials
By obtaining a Cyber Essentials certification, businesses can demonstrate to their customers and partners that they take cyber security seriously and have implemented necessary measures to safeguard against cyber threats.
The certification process involves assessing and implementing best practices in IT security, such as firewalls, secure configuration, access control, and malware protection. This ensures that businesses have robust security processes in place, reducing the risk of data breaches and other cyber security incidents.
Additionally, a Cyber Essentials certification can open new business opportunities for companies. Many government contracts and tenders require suppliers to have a Cyber Essentials certification, making it a prerequisite for winning those contracts.
Inclusion on the trusted register of suppliers on the NCSC website can also make it easier for potential customers to validate a business’s cyber security credentials, giving them a competitive edge in the market.
No business is immune to cyber threats
There have been recent data breaches in the UK that have negatively impacted popular businesses you may be familiar with such as: JD Sports, Virgin Media, WHSmith, LastPass Uber and many more.
Uber is a prime example of how even the largest and most well-known companies are not immune to security threats.
The breach occurred in 2022 due to an attacker purchasing credentials of an Uber employee from the dark web. The employee had MFA enabled, however, to bypass this, the attacker further contacted the employee via WhatsApp by pretending to be a member of the security team and flooded the employee with MFA notifications. To get rid of notifications, the employee approved the request which allowed the attacker to bypass all security controls.
This shows that just by manipulating an employee, the attacker was able to access all internal data such as Slack, Jira, Hackerone Reports and much more. This resulted in the personal information of over 57 million Uber users being compromised.
Another data breach happened to Durham Johnston Comprehensive School in January 2023. The notorious ransomware gang Vice Society were able to steal sensitive information which led to ICO confirming that it is investigating the incident, and this could result in GDPR fines.
The ‘What’ and ‘Why’ of cyber attacks on businesses
Cyber attackers use various techniques, including malware, phishing, social engineering, and other methods to gain access to sensitive information, steal financial resources, disrupt operations, or cause reputational damage to the targeted business.
The reasons behind these attacks vary, but they can include financial gain, political or ideological motives, or even personal grudges. Cyber attacks on businesses are becoming increasingly common due to the growing dependence on digital technologies and the internet, making it essential for businesses to invest in cyber security measures to prevent and mitigate such attacks.
What are the most common cyber threats?
- Data breaches
- Phishing emails
- Intellectual property theft
- Social engineering
- Corporate espionage
Why do these potential cyber attacks occur?
- Poor password practices
- Lack of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
- Security misconfiguration
- Using unsecured networks
- Lack of employee cyber security awareness
Human error is a significant contributor to cyber attacks on businesses. Many attacks, such as phishing and social engineering attacks, rely on human error to succeed. Employees may inadvertently click on links or download attachments that contain malware or fall for social engineering tactics used by attackers.
Human error can also occur due to inadequate security training, lack of awareness about cyber security risks, or careless security practices such as using weak passwords or sharing login credentials.
It is crucial for businesses to not only invest in technology-based security solutions, but to educate their employees about cyber security best practices. This helps to establish a culture of security awareness and vigilance to minimise the risk of human error.
How can cyber security awareness training help defend against these threats?
Cyber security awareness training is an effective way to help individuals and organisations defend against cyber threats.
By educating employees and users about the risks and best practices related to online security, security awareness training for employees can help prevent cyber attacks, data breaches, and other security incidents.
This training typically covers a range of topics, including password security, email phishing, malware, and social engineering tactics.
By raising awareness of these threats and providing practical tips for preventing them, security awareness training can help individuals and organisations develop a stronger security posture and reduce their vulnerability to cyber attacks.
Additionally, regular training can help keep security top-of-mind for employees and users, promoting a culture of security awareness throughout the organisation.
Cyber security training will help your organisation:
- gain a better understanding of the threat landscape.
- improve employee security awareness.
- learn how to implement effective countermeasures against online threats.
- gain an indication of your Return on Investment (ROI) by comparing the number of incidents before and after cyber security awareness training.
- demonstrate your commitment to protecting customer data as well as preserving and improving your brand reputation amongst clients and partners.
- better manage data related risks which will reduce the chances of a breach.
- give you greater protection for your business and assets.
- avoid paying fines for failing an audit by reaching industry compliance.
- improve your incident response capabilities in case of any issues.
It will lead to:
- minimised human error which leads to enhanced employee productivity.
- reduced risks associated with employee error or negligence.
- give your staff more ownership of cyber security.
- boost your employees moral and confidence.
- free up time for cyber experts to focus on the more complex issues.
- benefit staff outside of work too as they can implement a security culture in their day to day lives by implementing best practices like strong passwords and multi factor authentication (MFA).
- a culture of security with best practices where people feel free to share any issues or concerns, they have about cyber security which is an important goal of Chief Information Security Officers (CISO’s)
Looking for an IT partner to help you get cyber secure and provide cyber security training?
Our comprehensive cyber security training will benefit your business in countless ways, from protecting your sensitive data to improving your overall security posture.
With our expert guidance and support, your team will be equipped to identify and prevent cyber threats, safeguard your systems and networks, and stay ahead of the constantly evolving threat landscape.
Don’t wait until it’s too late – contact us today to learn more about how we can help you secure your business and achieve peace of mind.
Certification & Compliance: Securing your data and enabling clients to secure theirs
Date: 11/07/23 12:00
Business Continuity: Moving your business to a more secure environment
Date: 13/09/23 12:00
Prevention, Detection & Response: From security threats to resilience
Event date passed - Available on demand