Cybersecurity is at the forefront of every business leader’s mind these days, or at least it should be. Data security gets more complicated and multifaceted every day, especially as businesses rely more on mobile devices, “smart” gadgets, and other hard-to-secure office connections. Hackers are also constantly looking for new ways to exploit potential vulnerabilities, thus making it essential that you stay one step ahead.
Contrary to popular belief, digital security should not be the sole responsibility of your IT department – it concerns everyone on your team. If you’re not yet convinced, here are four reasons why you need to provide cybersecurity training for your employees.
#1. Employees Are the First and Last Line of Defense
Technology is central to any cybersecurity strategy, but that doesn’t mean you can take it for granted. Most data breaches occur due to employee negligence or malicious activity, and not because of problems inherent to an IT solution.
Without proper training, chances are your staff will develop bad habits or bring them in from outside. For example, many Americans don’t even protect their smartphones with a PIN code, and most people reuse passwords without a second thought. Both of these habits make it easy for hackers to gain access to private information -- all it takes is a stolen work phone or a breached social media account.
Training your employees on cyber security best practices creates a culture of accountability and ensures that your security policies protect you from human errors and vulnerable IT solutions.
#2. Compliance Regulations Demand It
Government-mandated regulations are placing more emphasis on digital privacy and security than ever before, particularly when it comes to industries that routinely handle sensitive data, such as patient health information.
To remain compliant with industry and government regulations, it’s imperative that you train your employees. After all, without proper training, they could commit an egregious error on par with the recent Chicago Public Schools email that linked to a database with private information on 3,700 families.
The law demands that you regularly train your employees on cybersecurity matters and failing to do so can lead to enormous fines.
#3. Clients Will Trust You More
Consumers have become extremely wary about who they do business with and B2B clients are even pickier. They’re careful about who they entrust their data to and they expect you to take every possible measure to protect it.
When potential clients are evaluating your business, one of their biggest concerns will be how you’ll look after their data. They’ll be looking for tangible evidence that information security is one of your top priorities and employee training and compliance are surefire ways to prove that.
A major part of building trust among potential and existing clients is being able to prove that you, along with everyone on your team, take cybersecurity seriously.
#4. You’ll Reduce Downtime
In an age when people expect instant gratification, just one hour of unexpected downtime can tarnish a business’s reputation and cost dollars in lost revenue. Fortunately, most cases of unscheduled downtime are easily avoidable.
Network outages and crashed servers usually show telltale signs of impending problems long before going down. Outsourced IT support from providers like MXOtech can restore systems in a matter of minutes, but if employees are trained to recognize red flags early, your IT support team can be notified early to prevent outages entirely.
Your employees should be ready to prevent ransomware, phishing scams, and other hacker tricks from taking down your business.
Almost every company has faced a data breach at least once, and the rising tide of cybercrime and malicious software is showing no signs of receding. The threats continue to grow in number and evolve in complexity, therefore necessitating an ongoing awareness training program that involves everyone on your team.
This month, MXOtech is running a free executive seminar on essential cybersecurity practices for businesses in and around Chicago. Register today to reserve your place!