According to an IBM study, 95% of data breaches are caused by human error. Even in Australia, human error is an increasing cause of data beach events. According to the 2021 data breach report by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), data breaches resulting from human error increased by 43% compared to the previous reporting period.
This is a severe problem. Human error isn’t only disrupting the efficacy of cybersecurity programs; it’s costing SMEs a fortune. According to IBM’s recent estimates, the average cost of a data breach is USD 4.24 million – the highest total since IBM started tracking the financial impacts of breaches 17 years ago.
These insights can be very discouraging, but if you reposition your perspective, there’s a bright silver lining.
Because human error is a leading cause of security events, by training staff to avoid common cyber threats, the majority of data breach events could be avoided.
What is Cybersecurity Awareness Training?
Cybersecurity awareness training is an educational program designed to help all staff understand the common errors leading to data breaches and how to avoid them.
The most effective cybersecurity awareness training programs focus on email security because almost all human errors leading to data breaches begin with a malicious email interaction.
These types of attacks are known as phishing attacks – where hackers send fraudulent emails linking to websites designed to steal sensitive company login information.
The following statistics highlight the importance of addressing phishing attacks in security awareness training:
- About 75% of organisations globally experienced some type of phishing attack
- More than 80% of security incidents were caused by phishing attacks
- 74% of US organisations fell victim to a phishing attack in 2021
- 92% of Australian organisations fell victim to a phishing attack in 2021
Why is Cybersecurity Awareness Training so Important for SMEs?
Cybersecurity awareness training is essential for SMEs because they’re just as vulnerable to being targeted in phishing attacks as large enterprises. In fact, smaller businesses are likely at a higher risk of being targeted because cybercriminals assume they don’t have the available resources to train staff to recognise cyber threats.
This assumption often leads to cybercriminals focusing their efforts on SMEs in a supply chain to compromise larger organisations being powered by that supply chain, a style of cyberattack known as a supply chain attack.
Cybersecurity awareness training also helps SMEs generate maximum value from all cybersecurity investments. A hundred thousand dollar cybersecurity program is worthless if an employee can easily be tricked into providing network access credentials.
Train Your Staff to Avoid Cyber Threats with Axient
Axient’s cybersecurity awareness training is specifically designed to cater to all staff across any industry, regardless of their technical background or level of cybersecurity knowledge.