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Why Security Awareness Training is Clearly a Smart Financial Decision

April 07, 2022

Employee Actions Can Make or Break a Company’s Security and Its Budget  

Security and compliance awareness training is an investment that pays off. When employees make the right choices when they’re faced with a security dilemma, companies benefit – and when they don’t, companies are in for a world of hurt. SMBs spend an average of $955,429 to restore normal business in the wake of a cyberattack, and penalties for compliance failures can easily run into the millions. Security and compliance awareness training is a bargain in comparison. It also offers the kind of ROI that makes budget controllers sit up and take notice. A look at the benefits of training in dollars and cents makes it clear that it’s a company’s smartest security investment. 

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Cybercrime Costs Businesses a Fortune 

In today’s complex cyberthreat landscape, the everyday actions employees take can have a profound impact on company security. By mishandling something as simple as an email, an employee could be tricked by cybercriminals into downloading a ransomware-laden file, handing over their password, giving an unauthorized person sensitive data, sending money to a bad actor or opening their employer up to other kinds of expensive security or compliance disasters. Why not utilize every resource at your disposal to effectively and affordably stem the tide of cybercrime headed your company’s way? 

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Compliance Woes Are Costly

In many respects, security also goes hand in hand with regulatory compliance, which means the effects of a breach bring numerous ripples. Organizations in many industries or geographic locations are required to comply with data privacy statutes that require certain protections for the handling and storage of personal, financial or health-related data — and the penalties for non-compliance can be steep. 

Or more broadly: 

  • The average cost of a violation for organizations experiencing non-compliance problems is $9.4 million
  • The average cost of compliance for an organization, including safeguards like employee security awareness training, is $3.5 million — about one-third of the penalty for non-compliance. 
  • Organizations lose an average of $4 million in revenue due to a single non-compliance event. 

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Untrained Users Are a Ticking Time Bomb 

 Untrained employees are security hazards, not security assets. By failing to properly train employees in security and compliance best practices, companies are setting themselves up to battle that unpleasant reality in a scenario where they can never win. 

  • About 61% of organizations have had employees cause a compliance-related security failure 
  • Around 97% of employees are unable to spot a sophisticated phishing email without training. 
  • Only about 30% of average internet users even know what ransomware or malware is. 
  • About 40% of remote workers have caused cybersecurity repercussions for their company. 
  • Only 16% of employees can recognize cyberthreats without security awareness training. 
  • Approximately 45% of respondents in a HIPAA Journal survey said that they don’t need to worry about cybersecurity safeguards because they don’t work in the IT department. 

Security Awareness Training Works 

While training may sound nebulous or frivolous, it’s not. Instead, the benefits of security and compliance awareness training have been scientifically proven. 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 the phishing messages.    

These cold, hard facts clearly demonstrate the dangers of untrained employees facing security and compliance choices. However, many of these problems can be resolved through security and compliance awareness training.  

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Get Big Results from a Small Investment 

Why should you devote a portion of your security budget to security awareness training? Because it’s a powerful defense asset with impressive ROI that maximizes your security spend while protecting your bottom line. Security awareness training programs have a three-fold or more return on investment. This breakdown by Osterman Research helps explain how that happens. 

Annual ROI of Security Awareness Training 

IT/Security Costs Before Security Awareness Training   

 50 to 99 Emps 1,000+ Emps 
Annual IT payroll hours spent disinfecting workstations, networks 760.0  137.3  
Annual misc. incident remediation cost per email user  $29.23  $5.28 
Annual IT/security costs per email user  $7.51  $28.11 
Annual costs per email user $249.39 $455.41  

Source: Osterman Research, The ROI of Security Awareness Training 

IT/Security Costs After Security Awareness Training (SAT) 

  50 to 99 Emps  1,000+ Emps  
Annual IT payroll hours spent disinfecting workstations, networks  565.5  120.5  
Annual misc. incident remediation cost per email user  $21.75  $4.63  
Annual IT/security costs per email user  $0.75  $2.81  
Annual costs per email user  $24.94   $45.54  
Cost of employee time spent in SAT   

 Source: Osterman Research, The ROI of Security Awareness Training 

Total ROI for Security Awareness Training

Small and midsize businesses (SMB, 50 to 999 employees) 69% ROI 

Large businesses (1,000+ employees) 562% ROI 

Source: Osterman Research, The ROI of Security Awareness Training 

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Starting a Security & Compliance Awareness Training Program is Easy & Affordable for Any Organization

No business can afford to pay the price of an employee mistake or action that unleashes a cyberattack. However, far too many businesses end up in that position because they neglect security awareness training. More than 60% of companies do not do enough security awareness training to enjoy any of the benefits it provides. Don’t make that mistake. Security awareness training is a low-cost, highly effective cure for employee cybersecurity woes. BullPhish ID makes security awareness training a snap for training administrators and employees. 

With BullPhish ID you can: 

  • Gain access to a large library of training videos to educate employees on how to avoid cyber threats like phishing and ransomware. 
  • Simplify compliance training with video lessons that make complex requirements easy to understand. 
  • 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. 
  • Be confident that you’re educating employees about the latest threats or compliance requirements, with at least four new training videos and fresh phishing kits added every month. 
  • Training videos are available 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 see the value of training and know who needs additional support.  
  • Simplify the training process and make it 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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