In the world of cybersecurity, October is more than just the onset of autumn; it’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Declared as such by some anonymous “powers that be,” this month serves as a vital reminder of the critical role each one of us plays in protecting the digital landscapes of our organizations. But, there’s a harsh truth we can’t ignore – as of now, we’re doing a rather terrible job at training and empowering our employees to be vigilant.
Risk is defined as “exposure to danger, harm, or loss” and the truth is our inboxes are getting a lot riskier these days. Investing in training will reduce the risk. When employees are given the knowledge to protect themselves and their organization from threats online they will act in the best interest of all. Most business fail to devote adequate time to transfer the knowledge to their employees. Training is often forced into a once a year 30-day window to meet compliance requirements, but true education takes time.
YOUR EMPLOYEES ARE THE WEAKEST LINK
In the complex network of cybersecurity defenses, our employees often emerge as the weakest link. As the first line of defense and the last line of recognition against cyber threats, they need to be more than just vigilant; they need to be prepared, knowledgeable, and well-trained.
More than just phishing attempts, social engineering has also gained favor with cyber criminals and has been a significant part of the major cyber incidents of 2023. If employees aren’t aware of the ways others have been exposed through social engineering then they don’t have the knowledge to protect themselves and your business. Hackers are playing a numbers game and they know enough people and enough employees are being careless online. Once something works once, they will replicate it to try again and again and again until they’re in.
The Current Threat Landscape
Tools like ChatGPT and other AI technologies are making phishing attempts easier to produce, and we see a seemingly never-ending pile of phishing emails flooding our inboxes, training is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity. There has been an increasing volume of phishing attempts since the proliferation of AI tools in early 2023. Employees across the world are opening their inboxes with more risky emails than ever before. Hackers are on the offense and organizations must ensure they are playing defense.
Why? Because phishing remains the most effective gateway for cybercriminals to gain access to your systems. They won’t stop; in fact, they’re becoming more relentless, creative, and sophisticated with every attempt. This isn’t a passing storm; it’s the new normal in the cybersecurity landscape. To protect our digital fortresses, we must invest in our first line of defense: our employees.
A Call to Action: Employee Training
Cybersecurity Awareness Month is also a budgeting month for many businesses — it’s time to invest in cybersecurity training — make a commitment to create a culture of security awareness within your organization. Invest the resources to empower and educate employees to protect themselves and the business. Failing to invest in cybersecurity training will lead to increased risk for businesses. Address the risk head on by setting aside budget to educate employees.
Why Employee Training Matters
- First Line of Defense: Employees are the frontline guardians of your organization’s digital assets. They need to be well-trained to recognize and respond to threats effectively.
- Constantly Evolving Threats: With AI-powered tools aiding cybercriminals, the threat landscape is continuously evolving. Employee training ensures your team stays aware of commonly repeated attack methods.
- A Culture of Vigilance: Training fosters a cybersecurity-conscious culture, where every employee understands their role in maintaining security. Ignorance is unacceptable a cybersecurity-conscious culture is one where employees embrace their responsibility and report suspicious activity.
- Reduction in Incidents: Well-trained employees are less likely to fall victim to phishing attempts, reducing the number of security incidents. Well-trained employees also understand who to communicate with when things do go wrong so incidents can be responded to promptly.
At Advanticom, we understand the importance of cybersecurity training and provide multiple methods of cybersecurity training for our employees and clients. We recommend investing in employee training and finding new ways to connect employees with this information. Everyone learns differently and a lot of times people learn only after hearing the message multiple times. That’s why we require online cybersecurity trainings for our employees and also require them to attend an in-person cybersecurity awareness presentation each year. Furthermore, we have internal communications thread when employees notice phishing attempts so they can inform others.
Most importantly, this Cybersecurity Awareness Month, let’s not just talk about security – let’s act. Don’t wait for the next phishing attempt to succeed. If you need guidance, contact Advanticom today, and let’s build a resilient cybersecurity strategy together.