Why Is Cybersecurity Training Important For Your Small Business?

Most small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) think that cyber threat actors aren’t interested in them. But nothing could be further from the truth! Hackers have realized that many SMBs aren’t keen to implement rock-solid cyber threat protection solutions, posing them (the SMBs) as easy targets for attacks.

The truth is, cybersecurity hacks on small businesses happen all the time, and perhaps the only reason you don’t hear about them is that they attract smaller ransom demands that aren’t worth the media’s attention. Here are some mind-blowing Verizon cybersecurity stats to support that:

  • 58% of businesses stated that workers ignored cybersecurity directives
  • 52% of SMBs reported credentials were their most compromised data
  • 83% of SMB data breaches were financially motivated, most of which were carried out through phishing and ransomware attacks
  • 50% of SMB owners admit that they do not provide their employees with cybersecurity training
  • 85% of breaches involved human errors
  • 22% of SMBs switched to remote working since the inception of COVID-19 without a candid cyber threat prevention plan

The key takeaway from these stats is that it’s high time SMBs started treating cybersecurity threats as an urgent issue and implement the necessary solutions to avoid getting victimized by unforgiving cybercriminals. And with almost 90% of breaches involving human errors, there’s no denying that SMB owners need to invest in cybersecurity training (among other strategies) to change the narrative.

Below is an in-depth discussion of why cybersecurity training is crucial for your small business!

One Cyberattack can Break Your Small Business

Did you know that 60% of small businesses usually close within six months and never reopen after suffering a cyberattack or data breach? This is because most threat actors often target the most critical network infrastructure that would bring you down in the event of a successful attack. Or, should we say, they usually hit where it hurts the most?

Unlike larger organizations, SMBs lack vital resources, like redundant servers, that can help them survive or recover from such attacks. Thankfully, there are still several defense lines that SMBs can pursue to avoid falling prey to the malicious threat actors. In particular, cybersecurity training is an invaluable strategy that can save your business from attacks, considering that human (employee) errors are the primary cause of cyber breaches.

Cybersecurity Training Saves You Money

Let’s face it; the financial damages following a cybersecurity incident can break your small business. Furthermore, no high-profile customer, investor, or partner is willing to do business with an SMB if they can’t trust you with their confidential data.

The bottom line is, investing a small fraction in cybersecurity training can save you millions of dollars in potential breaches or leaks. And we’re not only talking about the ransomware that you may have to pay the cybercriminals to restore your system; other financial damages may result from:

  • Lost clients
  • Lawsuits
  • Temporary business closure
  • Lost sales
  • Intellectual property theft
  • Reputational damage

Non-Compliance Leads to Hefty Fines & Penalties

Cybersecurity regulations have become more and more strict lately, and regulators like PCI, NIST, HIPAA, etc., have made it clear that non-compliance with the set standards would lead to hefty fines. One of the requirements is that organizations undertake their employees through security awareness training regularly.

These sessions equip employees on handling personally identifiable information, detecting & responding to potential threats, identifying security mistakes, preventing downtime, etc. And the reward? Your business will not only avoid the hefty non-compliance penalties but also the operational, data breach, and reputational costs.

The Need to Attract and Retain Top-Quality Talents

As a small business, you know that attracting and retaining the most talented workforce to help you grow isn’t child’s play. The most qualified employees understand and appreciate the value of cybersecurity. And if they (both existing and potential employees) realize that you’ve put no effort to bolster your company’s security posture, they won’t hesitate from turning down the position.

These talents understand that putting their personal data and clients’ data at risk endangers their reputation and reduces their employee confidence. That’s a chance they’re not willing to take, considering that, nowadays, employees are not only motivated by money but also by other aspects like career growth opportunities. That’s a milestone they can only reach working in institutions with progressive programs like regular cybersecurity training.

The Need to Reduce Workplace Stress

According to the American Institute of Stress, U.S. businesses lose up to 300 million dollars annually due to employee stress fallout. But you’re probably wondering, what has that got to do with cybersecurity? Well, one study found that 68% of end-users felt stressed by data breach news.

Now imagine how this would affect your employees, knowing they’re responsible for the cybersecurity breach stressing out your customers. Obviously, they’d also become stressed, compromising their workplace productivity and confidence as a result. Thankfully, you can save your employees from stress and anxiety by training them on threat intelligence and the latest attack methods, eliminating cybersecurity uncertainty. Finally, security training also encourages shared responsibility among the workforce for safer utilization of resources.

Employees are the Weakest Links

Employees are the weakest links to your organization’s networking systems, and hackers always try to use that to their advantage by luring them with phishing emails. The threat actor’s motive is to steal your company’s most sensitive data like login credentials by posing as a trusted figure or entity in the organization. When the employee falls for the trick and opens the emails and clicks the link attached, they shall have unknowingly given the hacker access to confidential details, which they can leverage to launch far-reaching attacks.

The good news is, you can prevent this from happening by training your employees on how to detect phishing emails and handle them without putting the entire company at risk. More so, phishing simulation training is overly practical as it gives employees a first-hand experience of real cyberattacks. What’s more, the results can be eye-opening, helping them avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.

Final Remarks: Virtual IT is Your No.1 Cybersecurity Training Partner!

Hopefully, this comprehensive post was an eye-opener, and it helped you understand why cybersecurity training is a priority for your small business. Remember, gone are the days when cybercriminals only used to target big companies and multinationals. They’ve since realized that most SMBs lack robust threat protection plans, making them easily vulnerable to attacks. Luckily, you can take proactive actions in security awareness training to seal all the loopholes that threat actors may leverage to target your business.

Partnering with a top-rated managed security services provider (MSSP) like Virtual IT ensures that your small business workforce receives the best cybersecurity education on multiple regimens, including but not limited to:

  • How to respond to a suspected cybersecurity incident.
  • How to leverage business technology without exposing sensitive data or other valuable assets to external risks.
  • How to detect and handle suspicious emails, phishing messages, social engineering hacks, etc.

So what are you waiting for? Schedule an initial consultation today, and let us help you overcome your business-specific cybersecurity challenges!

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