The Role of Employee Awareness in Cybersecurity

By March 6, 2023 March 15th, 2023 Cybersecurity, Training
The Role of Employee Awareness in Cybersecurity

Over the last few years, human error has been the greatest weakness for companies when it comes to data breaches. In fact, it was responsible for 85% of data breaches in 2021 and 83% of data breaches in 2022. As we move through 2023, it is unlikely that these statistics will change much. When hackers know what works, they keep using those methodologies until they are ineffective.

Given these numbers, it is clear that to keep your company adequately protected from cyberattacks, you must do more than simply deploy the latest and greatest cybersecurity technology. The role of employee awareness in the cybersecurity equation cannot be emphasized enough — you must ensure that your employees understand good cyber hygiene.

Why Employee Awareness is Critical for Robust Cybersecurity

It is scary to think that possibly the only thing standing in the way of malicious actors waiting to get their hands on your sensitive data is an end user who might be unaware of the tricks hackers use to gain access.

That’s where cybersecurity awareness training comes in to play. In cybersecurity awareness training, your company can ensure that employees understand not only the cybersecurity risks and threats, but also best practices to keep data secure. Employee awareness of cybersecurity vulnerabilities provides a host of benefits, including:

  • The reduction of risks to the security of your data and network
  • Minimization of financial and reputational damage that can occur due to successful cyberattacks
  • Reduced likelihood of protection lapses if critical employees are not at work on a given day
  • A better reputation with clients and consumers

In addition, conducting employee awareness training lets employees know that you take a keen interest in cybersecurity, reducing the potential for malicious actors on the inside of your business.

Security Awareness Best Practices

To keep employees abreast of current hacking methodologies, it is important to conduct regular educational sessions that deal with cybersecurity. Best practices to consider addressing include:

  • Understanding compliance with data protection and privacy regulations for your city, state, and country.
  • Ensure that all employees from the top on down attend cybersecurity education sessions
  • Help employees understand typical scams such as phishing techniques, including how to identify untrustworthy sources and suspicious links and attachments.
  • Covering the threat of ransomware and how important it is to be able to identify malicious attachments, websites, texts, and emails.
  • Understanding good password practices, including using multifactor authentication, creating strong passwords, and routinely changing passwords
  • Emphasizing physical security, including keeping Internet of Things (IoT) devices and company-issued laptops, tablets, and phones secured.
  • Raising awareness of social engineering tactics and the importance of not divulging confidential information.

And if you have employees that work remotely or on the go, you must include warnings about using company devices or transmitting sensitive information over public Wi-Fi or using personal hotspots. Of course, cybersecurity is a complex topic, and the threat landscape is constantly evolving, so you will want to repeat trainings as new threats emerge.  

Partner with CDS to Reduce the Risk of Data Breaches

While employee awareness in cybersecurity strategies is an essential first step, it certainly does not encompass your entire cybersecurity strategy. For comprehensive protection, it is important to partner with a competent third-party partner with expertise in providing full scale cybersecurity protection.

CDS is that partner.

When you partner with our team of IT professionals, you get leading edge technology to combat emerging cyberthreats as well as the deep knowledge necessary to help you formulate a custom cybersecurity plan to fit your specific needs and challenges. Our team will work hand-in-hand with your in-house IT department — or act as an extension of your company in the event that you do not have IT support. Not only can we provide outstanding protection, remote monitoring, and disaster remediation, but we can also help you design a cybersecurity awareness strategy to help educate your employees.

Don’t be caught unprotected. Contact a CDS representative and learn how our cybersecurity specialists can help keep your data safe.