What is cyber security awareness and why is it important?

Awareness of cyber security concerns requires not just familiarity with, but also implementation of, proven preventative measures. In the context of the internet, this means always being aware of your surroundings and the potential dangers that lurk around every corner. An important part of this is having a firm grasp on the effects that cyberattacks may have on personal data, brand image, and clientele. 

An organization's cyber defences are only as strong as its employees, therefore it's in everyone's best interest to promote a culture of cyber security awareness. Professional training and periodic testing of employee knowledge; and encouraging a cybersecurity-first mentality among all staff members are two common ways to accomplish this goal. 

Reasons why it's crucial for people to be informed of cyber security 

Cybercriminals' methods are becoming more complex. 

These kinds of measures are more important than ever before in light of the exponential growth of cybercrime (by roughly 13% in the 2020-21 fiscal year alone). Along with rising criminal activity comes a corresponding rise in the sophistication of criminals' methods for evading detection and prevention. 

New malware, such as phishing emails, infected software, and malicious website scripts, is developed and discovered at a rate of at least 560,000 every day, according to latest figures. Also on the rise is the use of ransomware, which enables cybercriminals to hold sensitive information hostage from major corporations in exchange for a payment of up to a few million dollars. 

Along with your IT team, a cyber-aware corporate culture gives your regular employees the tools they need to deal with emerging security risks. 

In order to have reliable cybersecurity, you must first invest in your employees. 

IBM found that 95 percent of cyber security flaws were the result of human mistake. If this risk were removed, it is estimated that just one in twenty data breaches would occur. Additionally, in 2021, the average cost of a breach caused by human mistake was expected to be a stunning $4.63 million. 

So, teaching your personnel and creating a culture of cyber security awareness is the first step in establishing robust, protective data protection. As was previously said, criminal assaults are only becoming more sophisticated every day, and social engineering is a popular approach. Criminals that use this strategy depend primarily on human mistake in order to trick their victims into divulging sensitive information. This is frequently performed by baiting methods, scareware (or misleading users into thinking their system is infected, urging them download the perpetrator’s software for “protection”) or through simple, well designed falsehoods. 

By ensuring your workforce is well-versed on the current cybercrimes, they’ll be well prepared to spot and prevent similar frauds in the future. 

Raise morale and the firm's profile. 


Employees who are well-versed in cyber security may proceed with their everyday responsibilities with more confidence, knowing that they can recognise and avoid any threats that may arise from their use of the internet. Employees who don't have to worry about the shame or guilt that comes with unintentionally triggering a breach are more devoted to their work. 

In addition, you'll aid in maintaining a positive image for the business. When a company is hacked, not only does it lose data and productivity, but it also stands to lose long-term earnings as customers stop relying on the company's name. 

Gemalto surveyed 10,000 customers in 2018 and found that 70% said they would stop doing business with a company if it suffered a data breach (as reported by Security Brief Australia). The effect is enough to cost a typical company millions of dollars annually, and it has even forced some tiny businesses to shut down. 

Maintaining the confidence of your clientele in your company's security procedures may be facilitated by fostering a culture of active security in the workplace. 

maximise output while keeping repair costs to a minimum 

Finally, raising employees' cyber security knowledge improves corporate results and outputs while reducing the financial impact of cybercrime. 

In addition to the aforementioned drop in clients, the increased downtime would also severely hamper the company's ability to function. The resources (time, money, and manpower) needed to get back up and running after a data breach may put a serious dent in your company's expansion plans or even force you to shut down. The time your employees (or IT professionals) spend dealing with data breaches, even those of "lower size" that don't always result in long-term harm, is time that might have been spent on more important and productive endeavours. 

Better performance, more productivity, and increased earnings are all possible outcomes of making workplace security awareness a top priority. 

In what ways may I raise my own level of cyber security awareness? 

Role-based training is a tried and true method of boosting cyber security awareness inside an organisation. This ensures that your staff has access to material at an appropriate level for their position, while also providing them with the knowledge and habits they need to keep themselves safe when working online. For instance, your non-technical personnel may just need rudimentary instruction in the topic, whereas your technical teams would need extensive, intricate instruction (i.e. your IT department). 

You can make sure your staff is up-to-date and ready for the newest digital risks by regularly testing them using methods like internal audits, penetration tests, and simulated phishing attacks. There may be a need for ongoing training opportunities to keep your staff abreast of the constantly shifting nature of cybercrime.


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