Security awareness training is no longer a “nice to have” for modern companies. With cybercriminals attempting to infiltrate businesses around the world, security training is as essential to your company’s wellbeing as locks on your office doors.
Phishing training is only one aspect of security awareness training, but it’s arguably the most important cybersecurity training you can deliver to your employees. Not only is it a relatively simple concept to understand, but it’s also the most likely form of attack your employees will see regularly.
Here’s how to tell if it’s time to invest in phishing training for your organization.
You’re Lacking a Security-Focused Culture
In many organizations, and particularly in smaller businesses that present less of a target for criminals, people can easily become complacent and bend the rules to get a job done quicker.
Whether that’s allowing a third-party contractor to enter the premises without the proper checks, or employees using personal devices for work purposes, this complacency is a good sign that you need to start implementing security awareness training.
You Need it for Legal Compliance
If your industry is covered by specific information security legislation like HIPAA, CCPA, or COPPA, then it’s likely that phishing training will be a mandatory requirement for maintaining compliance.
You Want to Tackle Cybersecurity Risks
Human error is responsible for an estimated 95% of cybersecurity breaches, and phishing attacks are specifically designed to get the user to act without thinking. In addition, it’s remarkably easy for cybercriminals to spoof email addresses or hack into insecure company email accounts to conduct phishing attacks.
With phishing attacks representing the vast majority of cyber attacks, training your employees to recognize them before they take any action can drastically reduce your risk of a data breach.
You Want to Establish a Strong Security Foundation
Phishing training isn’t just a good way to protect your company against cyberattacks, but it can be a great way to introduce more security awareness into your organization.
Given how prevalent phishing attacks are, even outside of a corporate setting, most employees already have a frame of reference for this type of training. This makes it easier to train and teach your employees, and it offers a good level of foundational knowledge you can use in further training.
You Want to Empower Employees to Defend Your Company
Phishing attacks aren’t an “if”, they’re a “when”. Sure, your company spam filters might send them straight to the junk folder - but what happens if an employee falls for a phishing attempt sent to their personal email while they’re connected to your company network?
Phishing training isn’t just about teaching your employees how to stay safe online. It’s also about giving them the tools they need to avoid phishing attacks. However, your training will go further than that - it’ll give your employees a great degree of confidence to report other suspicious activity.
This could mean the difference between thwarting a cybersecurity breach before it happens and a massive data breach, so giving your employees the tools they need to defend the company can help you fight against more than just phishing.
Your Employees Fall for Phishing Attacks
Of course, the biggest telltale sign of needing a phishing training program is that your employees fall for phishing attempts.
In almost every company, you’ll find that employees have different levels of knowledge and suspicion regarding unexpected emails. Some employees will be more trusting than others, particularly if emails claim to be from their boss or a C-suite executive.
If you’ve suffered a data breach or lost money as a result of a phishing email, it’s time to implement phishing training to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
You Want to Keep Your Company Safe
Finally, phishing training is vital for keeping your company, its assets, and its data safe. No matter what industry you work in, your company will be working with proprietary information and sensitive data about its employees. In addition, you might also hold data about customers, suppliers, or other businesses that was given to you in trust.
Cyber attacks aren’t just financially devastating, but they can also result in lost productivity, reduced employee morale, and a loss of customer loyalty and trust. They can also result in the loss of thousands of dollars as a result of fines, particularly if you’re covered by information security laws.
In addition, if the loss of employee or customer data results in harm to those individuals, it can lead to additional lawsuits and, in some cases, the death of your company.
Why You Should Invest in Phishing Training
Many companies make the mistake of not investing in security awareness training until after an attack has occurred. While the cost of high-quality phishing training might seem out of your budget now, it’s undoubtedly preferable to the overwhelming cost of a data breach or financial scam.