The Importance of Employee Education For Cybersecurity

April 20, 2021 Business

Almost every company today operates online. As beneficial as the Internet can be, it’s also quite a dangerous place with threats lurking around every corner. Moreover, cybersecurity threats are becoming a real problem for companies of all sizes.

Not to mention the fact that they are more frequent and more advanced than ever. That said, some companies, especially small businesses, never recover from a data breach. Raising awareness and improving security measures is of the utmost importance. What’s unfortunate is that the weakest link of any company’s security is their employees.

Their lack of understanding makes them vulnerable to hackers who love nothing more than to target unaware victims. Oftentimes, an employee will create a backdoor into the company’s network, which hackers can exploit, without even realizing what they’ve done.

That’s why it’s essential to educate employees about cybersecurity and help them understand how to spot, avoid and prevent common security threats. With that in mind, here are a few reasons why employee education is important for cybersecurity.

Helps them avoid scams

The most common way hackers exploit unaware employees is through phishing scams. Phishing is a form of a data breach where employees are led to believe that the urgent email they’ve received is legit and that they should immediately click on the link included in the email.

Once they do so, the hackers have a backdoor into the company’s network. Now, the majority of employees have no clue what phishing scams are or how dangerous they can be so they fall for the scam right away.

By educating your employees, you help them understand that such scams exist and how to avoid them in the first place. Once educated, your employees will be able to recognize these scams and act accordingly to avoid a disaster or contact tech support who will deal with the issue.

Helps them grow

Educating employees isn’t just beneficial to strengthen your cybersecurity and prevent breaches to your company network. For example, providing an opportunity for your employees to complete an ITIL course will also help your employees advance in their careers, embrace changes, and ensure they’re always delivering outputs effectively.

Learning new skills will allow them to specialize in something different and open new doors to them that will lead to better employment or higher salaries and better work conditions.

Such opportunities don’t go unappreciated, and your employees will thank you for it by remaining loyal and becoming more productive. Not only that, but you’re investing in your employees, allowing them to become more proficient, which will help you improve your cybersecurity measures.

Teaches them to handle modern technology

Technology is constantly changing and evolving. A lot of companies rush to move their operations to the cloud and adopt new technologies so that they will gain a competitive advantage over companies that are indecisive. However, new technologies bring new security issues because hackers evolve and adapt as equally as fast. 

When you give employees to work with new technology they know little or nothing about, you’re basically creating a security weakness that someone can exploit. That’s why it’s important to educate employees on how to use these new technologies, so they don’t fall prey to scams. 

For example, a lot of people still don’t know how to properly use social media. They oftentimes don’t use strong passwords, which compromises their social media profiles. When hackers take over their profiles, they can leverage personal information to find a weakness in your company’s network. The same can be applied to any new technology employees come in contact with for the first time. 

Helps them remain compliant

A lot of companies implement strict security policies that can prevent data breaches and protect sensitive information a company stores on their computers. In most cases, employees don’t even know what those policies are or how to remain compliant with them to begin with. 

Educating employees about specific procedures and measures can help reduce potential weaknesses in your network. When employees know what they have to do and how to do it, there will be fewer mistakes that could potentially compromise your security. 

Furthermore, employees will know how to handle, store and safeguard data they work with on a daily basis. Prevention is often the best way to fight off hackers and potential cybersecurity threats, and you can’t expect employees to follow strict procedures unless you educate them on how to do so. 

It’s not in any regular employee’s job description that they have to be a cybersecurity expert, but you can help them learn a few essential things that will allow them to avoid threats and remain compliant with the company policies. 

Cybersecurity is very important for businesses these days. The loss of data and financial losses that result from a successful data breach can overwhelm even the largest companies. That’s why it’s important to teach and educate every employee about cybersecurity and how to avoid unnecessary risks.