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Devin Kelly

By: Devin Kelly on October 10, 2023

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Employee Security Awareness Training: A Cost-Effective Cybersecurity Tool

Cybersecurity | IT Support | Information Security

Cyber threats like phishing, ransomware, and social engineering attacks are at an all-time high and they are constantly evolving. The good news is that as new threats emerge, new tools to combat them are also being developed.

In this article, we’ll explore employee security awareness training. While the concept isn’t new, the training adapts as new threats appear.

With regular and comprehensive training, (which doesn’t necessarily equate to long investments of time,) employees can become your first line of defense against existing and emerging cyber threats, adding an effective layer of protection for your infrastructure.

As a service delivery manager at Kelser, a managed IT services provider, I help customers with employee security awareness training every day.

I find that many business leaders are surprised at the level of training their employees can receive for a small amount of money, making security awareness training one of the most cost-effective cybersecurity tools available.

But don’t worry, I’m not here to convince you to work with Kelser. Instead, I’m going to focus on the facts.

In this article, I’ll explain what employee security awareness training looks like, what it should include, what you can expect to pay, the benefits to organizational security, and why it is an important tool to bolster organizational security and protect company and customer information.

After reading this article, you’ll have all the information you need to decide for yourself whether employee security awareness training could help protect your organization.

What Is Employee Security Awareness Training?

Employee security awareness training is a regularly scheduled program of training modules (featuring a combination of simulation exercises and information delivery) designed to keep employees abreast of the latest cybersecurity tactics and tricks. Each module doesn’t need to be long, but it does need to be effective. 

By keeping cybersecurity awareness top of mind for users, you engage them as a highly trained human firewall for your IT. 

What Should Employee Security Awareness Training Include?

A comprehensive program includes interactive modules, simulated phishing exercises, policy reviews, and incident response drills.

It's all about empowering your employees with the knowledge and skills needed to identify, report, and mitigate threats. A successful program facilitates a company culture where security becomes a collective responsibility.

Related article: 3 Topics Every Cybersecurity Awareness Training Must Include

What Does Employee Security Awareness Training Cost?

Depending on the size of your organization and the frequency of training (more often is always better), you can expect to pay around $5 for fully managed employee security awareness training per user per month. (Or, if you choose to manage the training yourself, it could cost even less.)

For this relatively small investment, (especially when compared to the financial and reputational cost of a cyber incident,) you help ensure that your employees are prepared to recognize and appropriately respond to the latest threats.

Related article: Employee Security Awareness Training: An Honest Cost-Benefit Analysis

What Are The Benefits Of Employee Security Awareness Training?

With a proactive effective training plan in place business often see reduced security incidents, enhanced brand trust, and a workforce that's not just informed, but empowered to recognize and report suspicious activities, protecting your business from ever-evolving cyber threats and contributing to a healthier bottom line.

Related article: Cybersecurity Awareness Training: Why It’s Important & How To Take Action Today

Why Is Employee Security Awareness Training Important To Organizational Security?

A quick internet search indicates that anywhere from 70 to 95 percent of cyber attacks infiltrate an organization via email.

While most criminals rely on email, others use the telephone or social media, and some will even try to gain physical access to your facility. 

Ransomwarephishingbaiting, and quid pro quo are just some examples of social engineering ploys. 

It used to be easier to spot malicious actors. Grammatical or spelling errors were often telltale signs that something wasn’t quite right in an email. But as cybercriminals use more advanced tactics, it is more difficult to spot an imposter whether the contact is made via email, phone, text or even in-person.

Keeping security awareness at the forefront can prevent incidents that jeopardize customer and employee data security, harm the organization’s reputation, and cause financial loss. 

Related article: Why Is It Important To Provide Security Awareness Training For Employees?

What’s The Bottom Line?

After reading this article, you understand the value employee security awareness training provides. You have a clear understanding of what it is, the key components it should include, what it costs, the benefits it offers, and why it’s important.

At this point, you are ready to decide whether employee security awareness training would benefit your organization. After working with companies of all sizes in a variety of industries, I can honestly say that employee security awareness training is one of the most cost-effective cybersecurity solutions that exists.

Not only is it inexpensive, but it also addresses emerging threats (as well as existing threats), keeping your employees one step ahead in their ability to recognize even the latest cyber attack attempts.

Read this article to learn your options for implementing employee security awareness training.

If you find yourself looking to an external IT provider to help implement training, I encourage you to explore several options so that you find one that offers what your employees need and is the right fit for your organization.

While security awareness training is an important tool for providing cybersecurity protection, you want to make sure that the offering matches your organization’s scheduling and training needs.

Find out three topics every cybersecurity awareness training must include

About Devin Kelly

Devin is vice president of relationships at Kelser. He brings valuable hands-on experience from his many roles over the years at Kelser. Putting himself in the the place of our clients, he knows the importance of a timely response.

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