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Security Education & Awareness Training: Worth Adding to Your 2023 Budget

3 min read

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What is security education and awareness training?

Technical defenses alone are not enough to protect against cyberattacks. Security awareness training gives employers the ability to create a “human firewall” by empowering employees to recognize and avoid common cyber security threats through ongoing training. Typically, security awareness training trains and tests your employees on identifying common threat tactics like social engineering, phishing, spoofing, and ransomware.

Why is security education and awareness training needed?

With 84% of organizations falling victim to phishing last year, it’s clear organizations are facing greater risk as cybercrime and its associated losses grow. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) 2021 report offers a snapshot of the danger that businesses face. IC3 received a record 847,376 complaints from U.S. businesses impacted by cybercrime in 2021, a 7% increase over 2020. But the total amount of loss is staggering with a new record high of $6.9 billion in 2021, a whopping 48% increase over 2020. Similarly, the early data for 2022 shows an alarming trend in phishing attacks.

Clearly, cyberattacks are on the rise. Unfortunately, many of those attacks are successful thanks to a major source of risk for every business – its employees. From opening an email, to clicking on an attachment, to handing over credentials, employees are a major driver of risk for businesses. But it’s a risk that can be mitigated effectively and affordably with security awareness training.

Is a security education and awareness program worth the investment?

It’s hard to assign a dollar amount to the return on investment (ROI) of security awareness training when you’re measuring the effects of something that DIDN’T happen. Proactive security education and awareness training is like an insurance policy in the way it limits future potential damages. With today’s threat landscape, a cyberattack is practically a given, so security training is an insurance policy that isn’t optional.

Security awareness training decreases the likelihood you will be breached, and the amount this can save your organization is invaluable. The average cost of a data breach is $4.24 million. Even worse, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 60% of small and midsized companies will go out of business within six months of a ransomware attack.

Take a closer look at the hidden costs of doing nothing and facing the aftermath of a cyberattack.

  • Disinfecting workstations and networks. The labor associated with cleaning and reimaging infected endpoints from constant attacks.
  • Restoration. It takes an average of 80 days to contain a data breach. Remediation and clean-up costs add up quickly, especially if your team is already stretched thin.
  • Downtime and lost productivity. Employee downtime and revenue loss per minute, per hour, or per day can be significant.
  • Reputation. There are direct and indirect costs of a security incident to your customers, suppliers, and stakeholders. Your organization may be at risk of fines, lawsuits, and damaged customer trust.

According to Osterman Research, security awareness training dramatically decreases the costs that organizations spend on tasks such as disinfecting workstations and repairing damages in the aftermath of a cyberattack. It calculated the following ROIs for implementing security awareness training:

  • Small and midsize businesses see an ROI of 69%.
  • Larger organizations see an ROI of 562%.

An effective security awareness program can greatly decrease the impact of cyber-attacks on your bottom line and bring you a significant return on your investment. For small and midsized businesses especially, avoiding an attack could be a matter of survival. But even for larger organizations that may be able to absorb some of the cost, not having to divert budgets to deal with security incidents means more money available for growing their business.

Improve your security culture

The bad guys go after your employees because all too often, your employees are easy to trick. Your employees need to be able to recognize risky situations and act accordingly.

With security education and awareness training, Locknet® Managed IT, an EO Johnson company, uses state-of-the-art training and engages its security team to help you define your online training campaign, schedule simulated attacks, and provide the necessary reporting for compliance requirements.

Locknet’s security training arms your employees with the knowledge they need:

  • Self-service enrollment – employees can take the training when it fits into their schedule
  • Online training includes case studies, live demonstration videos, and short tests
  • Quizzes at the end of each module confirm employees have retained the information
  • Audits before and after training to assess the impact
  • Large selection of modules and courses
  • Monthly phishing security tests
  • Monthly email exposure checks
  • Access to an administrative portal

As you start planning for 2023, partner with Locknet’s team of trusted professionals to educate your employees and create a “human firewall” of both technology and training to improve your organization’s cybersecurity. Contact us today.

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