Cybersecurity: Why Your Employees Are Your First Line of Defense



Cyberattacks are an ever-growing threat to businesses of all sizes, especially with the rise in AI and automation software enabling cyber criminals to rapidly target more and more people and businesses. A recent study found that 68% of data breaches come from human error, while only 15% of companies provide ongoing cyber awareness training to their employees. And many industry experts think even that is generous, estimating human error to account for more than 90% of data loss and security incidents.

Not Providing Cybersecurity Training Is Like Leaving Your Front Door Wide Open

Thieves really appreciate it when you don’t secure your valuables, and not providing cybersecurity training for your staff is like leaving your home unlocked with the front door wide open.

Of course, you wouldn't leave your home this way, so why aren’t you helping your team better understand how to protect your business? Many employees lack the knowledge and awareness to identify and avoid cyber threats. Phishing emails, social engineering tactics, and malware attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

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The Cost of a Cyberattack

A successful cyberattack can be devastating for your business. In fact, the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. is over $9 million, and over $4 million globally. This includes not just the cost of recovering lost data, but also the regulatory fees, legal fees, and reputational damage, and it doesn’t account for downtime, opportunity costs, and many other costs associated with a security breach.

Needless to say, you really want to avoid one. So let’s take a look at what you can do to lock the front door, close the windows, and better protect your business.


Cybersecurity Training: An Essential Investment

Cybersecurity training is an essential investment for any business that wants to protect itself from cyberattacks. Regular, ongoing training can equip your employees with the knowledge and skills they need to:

  • Identify and avoid phishing emails
  • Create strong passwords and practice good password hygiene
  • Recognize social engineering tactics
  • Report suspicious activity

Here are a few steps you can take to help prepare your team and shore up your business’s vulnerabilities.

  1. Use a cybersecurity training platform. There are several good platforms that will send a monthly short simple training video to your staff. Why monthly? Because thieves change their methods. Gits cards, bank wires, and tools like Venmo have all been compromised. New methods of stealing are created and your team needs to know about them. Talk to your MSP or IT team for their platform recommendations.
  2. Test your team with phishing emails. Phishing email attempts lie to your staff and get them to divulge information or go to a bad actor’s website. Help your team understand who is knocking on the front door and simply press delete on these junk, harmful emails.  You can also report these malicious emails pretty easily to help protect the neighborhood so to speak, not just your home.
  3. Checks and balances. People make mistakes—sometimes one person clicks a bad link and gets compromised. A good process to mitigate damage is to have a multi-step process to verify the intended recipient of a money transfer is legitimate. Is the vendor actually who they say they are? Is the invoice real? Did you call a number you know is real and verify it? Simple steps will save a lot of time and money.

Promoting cyber hygiene across your organization, including encouraging employees to discuss cyber safety with their families, can further strengthen your overall security posture.

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Beyond Training: Implementing Other Security Practices

Cyber awareness training is really just the first step in securing your business from cyber threats. For example, implementing security measures like multi-factor authentication (MFA) can quickly add an extra layer of protection for your business.

Check out our other blog about steps you can take to secure your network.

Don't wait until it's too late. Invest cybersecurity training today to save your business time, money, and a lot of headaches down the road. Additionally, work with your IT team or MSP to discuss other measures you can take to strengthen your cybersecurity.

About PTG

Palmetto Technology Group (PTG) is an award-winning IT support and managed service provider headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina. We believe in delivering phenomenal IT experiences by people you’ll love. 
As a trusted partner, our goal is to help business owners lower their risk, secure their data, and promote productive employees. To learn more, book a meeting with one of our solutions specialists here.

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