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Security Awareness Training Turns Employees into Security Superheroes

August 18, 2023

See How to Do It in Our New eBook Security Awareness Upgraded: Enter the Simulation

The cost of a data breach has never been higher — and it just keeps climbing every year. In IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023, researchers reported that the average cost of a data breach hit an all-time high of $4.45 million in 2023 — a 2.3% increase from $4.35 million in 2022. Comparing the data to prior years, the average cost has increased by 15.3% from $3.86 million in the 2020 report. While companies must take precautions to avoid a data breach or other cybersecurity disasters, there are some smart moves they can make to mitigate their risk. At the top of the list of affordable and effective measures to take is security awareness training.  

Excerpted in part from our eBook Security Awareness Upgraded: Enter the Simulation DOWNLOAD IT>> 

Why security awareness training matters  

Security awareness training is the secret weapon against cybersecurity problems that every company can employ. With the right training, employees can be transformed into a team of security defenders. Regular training is a foundational element in building a strong security culture and is critical for ensuring that everyone from the newest intern to the CEO is security-conscious all the time. It’s also important to remember that security awareness training is now required to obtain cyber insurance and for complying with many regulatory standards  

  • Only 16% of employees recognize cyber threats without security awareness training  
  • Trained employees reduce the likelihood of security incidents by up to 70%  
  • Trained employees reduce the financial impact of a cyberattack by 72% 

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My one weakness! Major obstacles to security awareness training  

Although security awareness training can give your employees superhuman security powers, even a training simulation has its weaknesses. Let’s look at the obstacles that are pure kryptonite to the training process and how you can guard against them. 

Vulnerability #1: lack of employee engagement and knowledge retention  

One overlooked risk that is mitigated by security awareness training is the threat to family and personal devices at home. Attackers often go after personal devices as an initial entry vector because they don’t carry corporate policies or protection software. Even if these devices are not used to access corporate resources, the tendency to reuse passwords on corporate devices and networks is very relevant.” A superhero trainer could deliver a slide-based lecture on a villain’s weak points and tactics, but hands-on training is what heroes need to fully understand what they’re up against. The best and most comprehensive training programs require employees to take initiative, learn the material and retain it. To defend against the draining effect of employee apathy, IT leaders need to become storytellers. Consistent messaging that fosters a culture of security is essential to the success of a security awareness training program. 

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Vulnerability #2: lack of resources  

Most comic book villains don’t change up their arsenal very often, but hackers do. Their attacks are continually evolving, getting more sophisticated, more insidious and more potentially damaging. Updating your security awareness training programs manually is time-consuming and can result in out-of-date training that misses emerging threats. If you have staff that’s dedicated full-time to security awareness training, it’s easy to keep your training current. However, most IT departments don’t have that luxury. In fact, most have more to do than they have hours to do it in. A training platform with regular updates can help ease the load to ensure your team is getting fully up-to-date training.  

Researchers in a U.K. study discovered that the improvement in employee behavior that companies see when they engage in security awareness training is stark.   

  • At the beginning of the study, as many as 40% to 60% of the employees surveyed were likely to open malicious links or attachments.   
  • After about six months of security awareness training, the percentage of employees who took the bait dropped to 20% to 25%.   
  • When the employees completed three to six months more of security awareness training, only 10% to 18% of them fell for phishing messages.    
  • Ongoing training is essential for organizations to receive benefits like these. Each employee should receive 11 sessions per year.   

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Vulnerability #3: reactive security posture  

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the best time to train for a fight is before the fight. Superheroes spend hours in simulated combat, so they can be in prime shape to fight the next threat — they don’t wait until half the city is leveled to start training. As obvious as this idea seems, some organizations still take a reactive approach to security. This may be due to the perceived complexity of security awareness training, a lack of resources or a failure to see imminent threats. Regardless of the cause, organizations need an active culture of security that proactively trains against future threats. 

The benefits of a strong security culture as outlined by the UK Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure include:   

  • A workforce that is more likely to be engaged with, and take responsibility for, security issues   
  • Increased compliance with protective security measures   
  • Reduced risk of insider incidents   
  • Awareness of the most relevant security threats   
  • Employees are more likely to think and act in a security-conscious manner

Build a super team and a strong security culture now to avoid trouble later 

The time to begin building your own super team of security guardians is now — before your company gets into security and regulatory trouble. The foundation for your super team is a company culture that puts security first, keeping security and the consequences of bad security practices at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Regular security awareness training is one of the key elements of building that culture.  

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BullPhish ID is an Effective, Affordable Training Solution for Every Business   

Security awareness training is a low-cost, highly effective way to reduce an organization’s exposure to cyber risk as well as improve compliance. Starting or retooling a security and compliance awareness training program doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. BullPhish ID makes undertaking security awareness training painless for everyone involved.    

Here’s What Sets BullPhish ID Apart from the Competition:  

  • New training videos with quizzes and fresh phishing kits are added every month to keep training current  
  • Satisfy requirements for cyber liability insurance purchase or renewal by having strong cybercrime protections — like a user security awareness training program — in place
  • Automate training campaigns and reporting for effortless, set-it-and-forget-it training that gets results  
  • Train your way and on your schedule with plug-and-play phishing simulation kits or customizable content that can be tailored to fit your industry’s unique threats    
  • Access training in eight languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish (Iberian/European) and Spanish (Latin)    
  • Leverage in-lesson quizzes and simple, easy-to-read reports to prove the value of training and know who needs additional support.     
  • Make training easy and convenient for every employee with a personalized user portal.    
  • Automatically generate and send reports to stakeholders   

Want to learn more about security awareness training and how BullPhish ID can help secure your company and save you money? Explore the benefits of training with BullPhish ID today.    

Or, book a demo and see BullPhish ID in action

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