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Karen Cohen

By: Karen Cohen on July 16, 2022

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Employee Security Awareness Training: An Honest Cost-Benefit Analysis


Like most business leaders, you have a lot of conflicting demands on your resources. There are budgets to consider, overhead costs, schedules, and myriad other implications for every decision you make. 

Employee security awareness training is just one example. While you understand the importance of cybersecurity, you may be wondering if this training is worth the time and money

At Kelser, we provide employee security awareness training for our customers. But, before you assume this article is an advertisement for our services, l promise this article will provide an unbiased analysis of the cost and benefit of employee security awareness training

Our intent in writing this article is to provide the information you can use to make the decision that’s best for your organization whether you work with us or not. (We agree; it’s a unique approach.) We are committed to providing unbiased information you can use.

What Is Employee Security Awareness Training?

You may already have an understanding of what employee security awareness training is, but I want to be sure we are operating from the same definition. 

Employee security awareness training is designed to keep employees informed about the latest tactics cyber criminals are using to target weaknesses in organizational IT infrastructures

It can be delivered via an on-staff training expert or an external resource. It can be delivered in-person or remotely (which can often mean engaging, self-training modules delivered directly to the inbox of each user and tracking information provided to ensure the training is completed). 

Why Is Employee Security Awareness Training Important? 

A quick internet search shows that up to 95 percent of cyber incidents are the result of human error. In other words, your employees can be your greatest asset or your weakest link

By providing employees with information about the latest tactics that cybercriminals are using, you empower employees to take quick action that can keep bad-intentioned people from gaining access to your network and data

Think of it this way: Would you ask employees to take on a task without providing training first? How would they know what to do? How would you hold them responsible for their actions? It would make no sense, right? 

The same principle applies to security awareness. It’s effectively an insurance policy. Like insurance, you pay a small premium up front with the expectation of avoiding a more costly expense down the line. 

How Much Does Employee Security Awareness Training Cost? 

Depending on the number of employees in your organization and the kind and frequency of training (in-person vs. remote) you can expect to pay around $5 per user per month

In return for this relatively small investment, you can help ensure that your “human firewall” knows how to recognize and respond to the latest threats. 

How Much Time Do Employees Need To Spend On Security Awareness Training? 

In terms of time invested, it can be as little as minutes per employee per month. The most important thing is that the training occurs regularly to keep security top of mind for everyone. 

What Does Employee Security Awareness Training Include? 

It is in the best interest of every organization to provide the information users need to keep information safe, understand their role and responsibility, and take action against the latest threats. Check out this article to learn 3 Topics Every Cybersecurity Awareness Training Must Include.

Do All Employees Need Security Awareness Training? 

While it’s tempting to think that only employees who use computers need security awareness training, there are social engineering tactics that don’t include computers such as phishing, tailgating and piggybacking. For that reason, we advocate security awareness training for all employees. 

Is The Cost of Security Awareness Training Worth The Benefits?  

Only you can decide if the cost of security awareness training is worth the benefits for your organization. Some of the things you may want to consider are:

  • What is the security risk of your business? (Be careful not to underestimate this. It used to be that large, multinational corporations were the most frequent target, but that has changed.)
  • What would be the potential implications of a cyber attack? (Include downtime, financial loss, and potential loss of reputation and business.)
  • What kinds of information do you have stored electronically? (For example, do you store personal, medical, or credit card information of customers or employees?)

Ultimately the decision is yours. If you decide to invest in employee security awareness training, we suggest you investigate several providers to ensure they meet the needs of your employees. 

Read this article for some suggestions you can put in place to keep bad actors at bay:  How Can I Keep My IT Data Safe? (5 Tactics To Implement Now)

Kelser offers security awareness training as a stand-alone service and as part of our comprehensive suite of managed IT

Wondering if managed IT could be a good solution for your organization? Take the short quiz below. 

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About Karen Cohen

Karen brings unending curiosity to her role as Kelser's Content Manager. If you have a question, she wants to know the answer.

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