As the world shifts to hybrid work environments, hackers have a greater opportunity to deploy cyber-attacks. Most cyber-risks happen because of human error. Some employees may not understand the importance of cybersecurity or know basic cybersecurity practices. Being oblivious of these security practices could lead to the leaking of sensitive information, increasing the organization’s vulnerability to attacks or breaches.
The risk then creates a great need for cybersecurity awareness. Cybersecurity awareness within your organization can be highly beneficial in the long run. It can help create an understanding that cybersecurity isn’t just about using technology to combat cyber-attacks or data breaches, but is also about investing in the people within your organizations.
Benefits Of Cybersecurity Awareness
According to World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2021, cybersecurity failure is one of the highest general risks in the world. Things like having duplicated or weak passwords, clicking on a suspicious link, and failure to recognize phishing can put your organization at risk.
Additionally, the lack of knowledge and skills on what to do can increase the probability of being a victim. Such a risk can be costly. Therefore, prioritizing cybersecurity awareness within your organization can be beneficial. Let’s take a look are some of the benefits of cybersecurity awareness:
- Risk-Aware Workplace
The Covid-19 pandemic forced the world to become heavily reliant on the internet and other technologies within their work environment. As mentioned in the beginning, remote work has created a great opportunity for hackers to carry out cyber-attacks. Thus, creating a need to train people on the best practices for working virtually.
A risk-aware workplace means creating an environment and culture within your organization that prioritizes cybersecurity. There is a variety of recommended reading available online on creating a risk-aware workplace. A cybersecurity culture can help ensure that employees understand the importance of cybersecurity and the impact of cyber-attacks. It can help instill cyber-secure practices in the workplace.
When a hacker breaches or attacks an organization, it also puts the workers at risk of being victims. Therefore, training employees on cybersecurity awareness will show employees that they also play a role in ensuring security and preventing cyberattacks or breaches. Moreover, when your employees get used to the security practices in work, they also get to apply them in their life outside work. They may even inform their families and friends to practice it as well when using any technology.
- Prevent Attacks
The lack of knowledge and skills to prevent cyber-attacks is why organizations, even people, become targets. Most organizations have safeguards like firewalls, antiviruses, and intrusion detection systems. But a few invest in training employees on cybersecurity awareness.
Most attacks are unsuspecting because of social engineering and phishing tactics. Many people may fall victim to such tactics, putting an organization at risk. Therefore, having knowledgeable staff on cybersecurity can help detect, recognize, and avoid cyber-attacks.
Combined with your security system, formulating preventive steps like creating a strong password, backing up your data, using two-factor authentication, and not using public Wi-Fi, increases your chances of preventing an attack. Therefore, a strong cybersecurity is up to your awareness and practices.
- Avoid Costly Mistakes
Mistakes come at a cost, but we can’t deny that they are bound to happen. When thinking about cybersecurity, it is important to note that human error is one of the factors that can put an organization at risk of cyber-attacks or breaches. Reversibly, we humans can also avoid these mistakes to save an organization against these attacks.
A cyber-attack on your organization can be very costly, especially if you are a small business. According to a Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021 produced by IBM, the cost of a data breach was the highest in 2021, reaching USD$ 4.24 million.
Additionally, a cyber-attack can bring your business down as people will lose trust in you keeping their sensitive information. Legally an organization is obligated to protect the information of its people and customers. Failure to do so could result in hefty fines and lawsuits for putting your customers at risk. For example, British Airways was fined £200 million over a data breach in 2018. The breach resulted in hackers having access to the personal information of over 420,000 customers and staff members. Therefore, being aware and implementing precautionary steps can help avoid costly mistakes.
Hackers are finding new and more sophisticated ways in executing their cyber-attacks. The information collected could be used for financial gain. That is why being knowledgeable on cybersecurity is important. Understanding the impact of cyber risks and implementing preventive measures to detect and avoid them can go a long way in blocking any cyber threat. Therefore, organizations should prioritize cybersecurity awareness at all levels to ensure a cyber-secure work environment.