Considering the still rather recent legislative and regulatory changes that made eligible data breaches notifiable, cyber security awareness is now (more than ever before) an important aspect of running a business due to increased liability. Making sure that your staff is smart about cyber security can be mission critical depending on your industry. Additionally, certain industries often have specific additional requirements that a company may need to comply with, and there are also internal policies that would typically have to be implemented to correspond to all of these external requirements. The importance of cyber security awareness training cannot be overstated both now in 2021 and into the foreseeable future.
Continue reading to find out more about the importance of information security awareness or, if you would rather let professionals help you with compliance and security, call 1300 131 559 or get in touch online and ask us about our IT security consulting services.
Importance of Cyber Security Awareness Training
The necessity and importance of cyber security awareness training can be summarised in a few key points:
- It helps to prevent breaches and attacks.
- It improves the overall cyber security in a business or organisation.
- It builds a security-conscious culture.
- It fortifies the technological aspects of an organisation’s cyber security regime.
Cyber security awareness training helps to bolster the most vulnerable aspect of information technology in any business which is usually not the technology itself, but rather the human element that operates it. According to a 2020 report by Help Net Security, human error is the leading cause of data breaches. A few examples of common errors reported are clicking on links in phishing e-mail messages, falling for a different type of a phishing scan or misaddressing sensitive e-mails. These few types of security incidents can have consequences ranging from minor but embarrassing, to serious and severe:
- In 41% of cases the organisation had to notify its customers.
- 20% of cases resulted in the loss of a customer.
Successful phishing scams can be especially damaging to a business where capturing an employee’s credentials gives the attacker the same access to the same parts of an organisation’s IT infrastructure as the victim has.
Importance of Information Security Awareness
Information security is a more specific aspect of more general cyber security awareness.
- It increases your compliance with legal and legislative requirements placed externally on your business or organisation.
- It can increase your clients’ confidence in your business.
58% of US and UK employees have admitted to erroneously addressing a work e-mail and sending it to the wrong person, with 17% of such messages sent to the wrong third party outside of the organisation. Once again, the consequences of what otherwise seems like an innocent and minor mistake can range from a bit of embarrassment to an outright leak of sensitive information depending on the contents of such a message.
At home in Australia, according to Australian Government Office of the Australian Information Commissioner Notifiable Data Breaches Report: July – December 2020, when compared to the 1st of January to the 30th of June 2020 period there were 539 data breach notifications issued in Australia (up by 5%), with 58% of those being the result of a malicious or criminal attack (a slight 1% drop) but where 38% of these incidents resulted from human error. The number of human error related data breach notification has in fact increased by 18%. System faults were responsible for only 5% of all notifications making technology itself the generally best prepared aspect of IT security set-ups in Australia. The importance of information security awareness is, therefore, quite clear.
Security incidents can cost money, attract legal responsibility, and severely damage the reputation of a business.