In today’s business environment, cyber security is of utmost importance. Even a small breach within a companies security measures can result in huge financial losses, reputation damage and might even open the door to legal actions being pursued if customers suffered a loss as a result. For example, the accidental leak of sensitive information on 50,000 Wells Fargo clients in 2017 could have potentially resulted in severe identity theft related losses to these individuals could leave the corporation facing consumer backlash and hefty compensation payments to victims of their negligence.
In 2015, CBS published a report that estimated the number of annual cyber attacks to be nearly 1.5 million, nearly 4,000 attacks each day. The same report quoted IBM as saying that businesses are attacked 16,856 times per year at a rate of twice per hour and, while the majority of these attacks are defeated by security protocols, nearly two attacks per week are successful. (source: CyberCrime Statistics)
While the IT department can provide technological solutions to intercept most cyber security threats, the human element of cyber security has always provided a variable that cannot be circumvented by firewalls and encryption algorithms. To properly protect your company, you have to educate your employees about cyber crime and help them to be more cyber AWARE. Employee cyber awareness programs, like the CyberSAFE training offered by HR Girlfriends™, are a great way to teach your employees how to protect themselves and your company from cyber criminals.
Does Your Company Really Need CyberSAFE Training?
While not all companies can benefit from cyber awareness training programs, the odds are very high that your company could. A few simple criteria can help you decide if your employees really need CyberSAFE training.
- Do you have any Internet connected equipment that your employees use as part of their job or that they have access to?
- Does your company use a website, social media, email or online advertising to attract or retain customers?
- Do any of your employees work from outlying locations such as a home office or while traveling?
- Does your company utilize any specialized software, recipes, patents, research, machinery or other sensitive information that could result in a loss if acquired by a competitor or that could present a public danger if misused by a malicious individual?
- Does your company store any personally identifiable or sensitive information about your clients or employees? (Health care organizations are the most common target of cyber criminals as of 2017 due to the wealth of personal information stored in the records.)
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to have cyber security protocols and employee training in place to protect your company and assets. Without these measures, your company is taking a huge gamble that could prove to be very costly in the long run.
According to CSO Online, companies are expected to spend over $1 Trillion in cyber security products in the five year period from 2017 to 2021. This is in response to the estimated $6 Trillion in annual losses expected in 2021 as a result of cyber attacks. These high loss estimates are largely equated with the human factor as nearly 4 billion people are expected to be online in 2020 and humans are the most commonly compromised part of cyber security protocols. Many of those losses could be avoided by proper cyber awareness and safety training to help employees recognize risky behaviors and avoid online snares used by cyber criminals to steal information and compromise technological security measures. (Source: CSO online)
As you can see, cyber crime is a huge business and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Protecting your employees, your customers and your company is the only sound choice available to today’s business and industry leaders. By developing and enforcing a cyber security plan that includes employee training in cyber awareness and utilizing programs like the CyberSAFE program, you can reduce the risks to your company.
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