While the well-known adage “It’s not paranoia if they’re really after you” seems to be gaining greater traction in today’s turbulent world, it’s always been acutely on-point when applied to the challenge of cybersecurity. The cold, hard truth is there are legions of cybercriminals laser-focused on achieving a single malicious goal: attacking the data of companies and individuals for monetary gain.
Ignore this threat at your peril…or more accurately, at your and your end users’ peril. Even though savvy MSPs and SMBs clearly grasp the urgency of dealing with cyberattacks, the employees of MSP client companies and SMBs are often woefully oblivious to the many threat vectors that endanger their daily activities. Simply put, the need to educate end users on how to recognize and avoid security threats has never been greater.
As we enter National Security Awareness Month in October, it’s particularly fitting to highlight the benefits of Security Awareness Training (SAT), a key preventative security measure that many IT professionals seem to overlook.
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2020 is about taking proactive steps to enable lasting, positive cybersecurity behavior change at home and at work. Protecting against cyber threats is a critical challenge for organizations of all sizes in both the public and private sectors. Cybersecurity Awareness Month was launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in October 2004 as a broad effort to help all Americans stay safer and more secure online.
Why SAT Programs are Essential
It makes sense to focus on the external threats that relentlessly probe and attack cybersecurity defenses, but it’s crucial MSPs and SMBs remember there are also internal vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cybercriminals to gain access to networks—and data. As noted above, those internal vulnerabilities come in the form of uninformed end users. Consider these sobering risk factors:
• 97% of people around the world cannot identify a sophisticated phishing email
• Phishing and Business Email Compromise (BEC) have evolved
o Sophisticated phishing scams are more difficult to spot
o BEC and whaling often don’t involve bad URLs
• Work for Hire (WFH) entails increased risks for businesses
o Contractors typically have fewer security measures in place
o Requires more reliance on inherent knowledge of contractor
o Outside contractors prone to being far less security-conscious
• End users require security education
o Users will prompt the majority of security threats seen today
o Non-technical employees can’t be expected to understand risks
o Most end users simply don’t recognize threats they encounter
Benefits of SAT: Make Your End Users Security Assets
Employees of any organization, by definition, primarily concentrate on performing their specific job duties. Thus it’s no surprise they’re largely unaware of the many cyberthreats that target their company—and with growing regularity, target those employees themselves. It is precisely this lack of awareness that makes those end users such attractive targets for cybercriminals.
The good news is that SAT programs can be remarkably effective in educating end users on how to recognize and avoid security threats. By teaching them to adopt behaviors and best practices that help stymie common cyberattacks such as phishing and ransomware, you’ll convert those end users from vulnerable security liabilities into valuable security assets.
Core Considerations When Evaluating SAT Programs
• Security Awareness in a Box—A complete program will include the perfect balance of phishing and behavioral remediation to identify at-risk end users, utilizing on-going simulations and continual reinforcement of best practices to effectively curtail their unsafe behaviors.
• Simple Reporting—Automated reporting is a convenient tool that gives quick insights into how well your end users are doing in their efforts to reduce risk and build a cyber-secure workplace.
• Automated Deployment—This feature helps you maximize your SAT program’s impact with minimal administrative effort; for example, look for phishing simulations that are rolled out in a periodic drip-style campaign.
• Integrated Phishing Sims—Automated phishing simulations efficiently deliver key metrics, delivering monthly reports on how your end users are improving, and they help to demonstrate the SAT program’s ROI.
Learn More with Free Downloadable Content
VIPRE (#BeVIPRESecure) is a proud Champion of NCSAM, and dedicated to providing MSPs and SMBs with the cybersecurity training, awareness and tools they need to ensure a cyber-secure workplace. To help celebrate NCSAM this October, VIPRE Security is providing free downloadable content including solution briefs, case studies, tip sheets, learning videos and more.
For over 25 years, VIPRE Security has been a leading provider of advanced security products purpose-built to protect every major attack vector from today’s most costly and malicious online threats.
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