Ancient Tactics for a Modern World: Why Cybersecurity Training Matters

The Trojan Horse refers to a wooden horse said to have been used by the Greeks during the Trojan War to enter the city of Troy. The Greeks at the behest of Odysseus constructed a huge wooden horse and hid a select force of men inside. The Greeks pretended to sail away, and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy. That night the Greek force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had sailed back under cover of night. The Greeks entered and destroyed the city of Troy, winning the war. 

Metaphorically, a "Trojan horse" has come to mean any trick or stratagem that causes a target to invite a foe into a securely protected bastion or place. The largest cybersecurity risk a business has is also a resource without which it can’t succeed: its people! People are a modern-day Trojan Horse for every organization. Ancient tactics are utilized by bad actors to bypass the safeguards we have in place. 

Over half of organizations admit their people are their biggest weakness when it comes to cybersecurity. These risks could be malicious, but also could simply result from employee carelessness or lack of knowledge. That’s why iCorps urges organizations of all kinds to implement cybersecurity awareness training for their entire organization.

What Is Cybersecurity Awareness Training, and Why Is It Crucial for Modern Businesses?

Instituting a Security-First Culture

Cybersecurity awareness training involves courses, programs, and campaigns to help educate and empower employees to lower an organizations’ risk profile by detecting and avoiding obvious and common cybersecurity threats. Verizon found in its 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report that 85% of breaches involved a human element. In addition to providing actionable information, there are numerous benefits of equipping your team with the insight and knowledge to help protect the company from attacks.  

Being informed creates a better organizational culture. By establishing cybersecurity as a priority, employees can help keep each other accountable for best practices and support each other in technology use. Employees can be proactive in identifying suspicious phishing attempts, whether it be suspicious links, impersonation emails, etc. Cultivating a security-first culture pays off in a handful of ways. Heightened awareness benefits employees in their professional and personal lives, from increased employee morale to satisfaction and retention. 

Improve Customer Confidence 

Our customers/clients are becoming increasingly aware and concerned about cybersecurity risks, according to KPMG. As they become more knowledgeable on the cybersecurity landscape, including the different types of threats that exist, organizations must respond by implementing tools and technologies that prove their cyber resiliency to improve customer confidence. A Ponemon study showed that 31% of consumers said they discontinued their relationships with the breached entity following a data breach, while 65% said they lost trust in the organization after being affected by one or more breaches. These statistics highlight the importance of maintaining a strong cybersecurity posture. Within your organization's arsenal of tools should be cybersecurity awareness training, as it will help to ensure every working individual follows best practices to mitigate security threats. When potential customers see that you’re taking a more proactive approach with your cybersecurity posture, they’ll be more likely to do business with you. 

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Empowering Employees

As technology use has permeated every aspect of our lives, many can feel like they’ve been left to fend largely for themselves in a wilderness of new technologies, social media, collaboration platforms, and more. That can lead to a feeling of uncertainty around technology, and cybersecurity specifically. By offering, and potentially even mandating, cybersecurity awareness training, every employee will be on the same page regarding what to do and what not to do to protect your organization. Knowing your employees are aware, prepared, and focused on preventing a cybersecurity incident improves an organization's confidence. All employees need training on all aspects of their jobs, including cybersecurity. 

Saving Time & Money

Cybersecurity incidents don’t just harm valuable data. They can affect other resources such as time, money, and even your brand's reputation. Should a breach or other security incident occur, it can be costly and take time to repair and reinstate normal business operations. In its 2021 edition, IBM’s Cost Of A Data Breach report highlights just how severe a breach can be: "From 2020 to 2021, the cost of a breach increased by 10 percent. It takes an average of 287 days to identify and contain a breach, and breaches only get more costly as time goes on. The average total cost of a ransomware breach was $4.62 million.” 

Cybersecurity awareness training should therefore be viewed as an investment in cybersecurity to avoid larger costs in the event of an incident. Among other strategies, businesses should address the impact of compromised credentials in their training programs. After all, IBM reported that 20% of breaches were initially caused due to compromised credentials, which is why we advocate for protection and mitigation strategies such as strong passwords and multifactor authentication. 

Maintaining Compliance

Additionally, regulated businesses benefit from industry-specific cybersecurity awareness training. For example, we work with organizations in healthcare and banking, who have specific needs as they relate to HIPAA and the GLBA, respectively. While an organization may not currently be under any regulatory authority, there are several changes on Federal, State and Local levels that will significantly impact your organization in the coming future. Regardless of the specific industry, security awareness training should address what it means to ensure compliance within your industry. 

Cybersecurity awareness training is often the best strategy to prevent costly cybersecurity incidents. Organizations benefit from regular, relevant, recurring training by fostering a security-focused culture, reserving resources for when they’re truly needed, and protecting their sensitive information from cybercriminals. There is no doubt that a security awareness program is a good move for your organization. All of the benefits of security awareness training can work together to minimize risk and enable your employees to make better and more informed decisions. Whether you have an existing program that isn’t effective or you need to institute a program for the first time, iCorps can be your trusted partner for any cybersecurity or technology needs, including creating tailored cybersecurity awareness programs for organizations. Learn more about what iCorps offers by reaching out for a free consultation today!