Over the last decade, it would be hard to disagree that technology has managed to saturate almost every aspect of not only our business lives, but it has permeated our personal lives as well. This constant increase of technology consumption has serious risks that users may underestimate. The average technology user can’t keep up with their understanding of cyber threats and the potential risk that comes with their constant interaction with technology.
As businesses access and store more sensitive data, they create richer targets and larger incentives for malicious actors to gain access to private and nonpublic information. Many small businesses have felt the sting of a ransomware attack, malicious software that blocks computer access until a ransom demand is paid, or a business email compromise scam that extorts the business to keep potentially damaging information private.
An old cop once told me something very wise. "You don’t get to decide if you are a victim of an attack, you can only try to be prepared for when it does". Contrary to popular beliefs, your business is a target regardless of the size. Cyber attacks are often carried out on smaller businesses rather than larger corporations because they are often better protected and because small businesses often lack the budget and defense-in-depth security strategies of a larger corporation. A lack of general awareness of current cyber threats and scams is also common among employees of small businesses.
Hackers and cybercriminals often prey on the least tech-savvy employees which often include bookkeepers, administrative assistants, and various financial accounting personnel, because they tend to know a great deal of information about their organizations, ranging from unfettered access to financial information, bank accounts, wire transfer systems, and even trade secrets, typically working in high-pressure environments with few checks and balances.
Did you know that 95% of Breaches are caused by human error? And over 25% of employees admit to using the same password across all applications.
The largest gap in cybersecurity for a small business is often their lack of security awareness training programs for their employees. A well-trained employee becomes an asset rather than a liability and will reduce the chances of a company falling victim to a cyber threat or scam. Let’s face it, sometimes it feels like everything in a small business is hard to do! Getting employees to learn new habits can be an arduous task.
Humans are competitive nature so by utilizing a cybersecurity awareness training program that leverages this competitive nature by establishing an Employee Secure Score (ESS) baseline and a company leader board that gamifies and leverages the competitive spirit in all of us and challenges the employee’s knowledge of cyber threats goes a long way to change the security culture of a company. These security awareness training platforms incentive users to perform better than their peers because their peers can see where each other rank on the company leader board in ongoing tasks like:
Over time continuous security awareness training starts to positively influence employees because employees develop better security habits and become more aware of cybersecurity in their professional and personal lives which leads to a more adaptable user in an ever-developing technology landscape.
Untrained, unaware employees can be a business’s greatest security vulnerability, but with proper training, your employees are a vital part of your cybersecurity training.
a vital part of your cybersecurity defenses. Well educated users will not only be aware of how to avoid common security pitfalls but will also develop a security-focused mindset that protects you from new cybersecurity risks and schemes as they’re developed, with a response time faster than any virus definition database or Malware scan would be capable of.
bringing them into your human firewall making them a security asset rather than part of the problem
Many small business owners assume that high-quality cybersecurity awareness training programs are only available to organizations with the enterprise budget to hire training professionals. But cost-effective online self-service Security Awareness programs like those discussed here are within reach of almost any small businesses. Competitively priced solutions start at just $10/user per month for access to a training portal and unlimited content access; less than the cost of a cup of coffee per day.