Why Does Security Awareness Training Matter?
In our world’s increasing digitized landscape, cyber threats are easily disseminated through the web, social media, or scam emails. These threats can become cyberattacks and cause severe financial damages or even business disruption. Being vigilant and keeping an eye out is the best way to avoid such consequences.
We designed ATTACK Simulator to help companies defend themselves against cyber threats, regardless of their industry, and we intend to make cybersecurity accessible to everyone by offering cost-effective solutions.
Get insights into the challenges most industries face, and why security awareness training helps overcoming them.
Banks and other financial insitutions
How does security awareness help banks and other financial institutions?
Banks and financial institutions that deal with financial customer data are common targets of cyberattacks. Having the top security solutions in place does not guarantee full protection, when a single employee mistake could compromise the whole network. This could lead to closing down branch offices, causing financial and reputational losses.
Financial institutions we work with are often surprised about their high phish-prone percentage during our evaluation process. Nobody expects the vast majority of employees to fall for scam emails, but most lack basic security awareness – and it’s enough for only a few to take the bait. The problem is even more serious as some cyberattacks, like spear phishing, are well disguised and hard to identify even by experts. Danger could also lay in a random usb stick found on a desk, for example – if the attack is advanced enough, it takes a single employee to open the file and let the malware ruin the whole system.
ATTACK Simulator offers the solution to avoiding risks, increasing awareness, and complying with international security management guidelines (read more about certifications), among others. Our extensive training helps organizations in the banking industry prevent data theft and malware installation, and tightens customer information security protocols, making sure all employees are educated on the possible threats and procedures. In short, it helps you abide by proper information security management practices.
Healthcare providers: hospitals, pharmacies, private clinics, doctors, psychologists
How does security awareness help hospitals?
In the past decade, storing patient records transitioned from physical archives to the digital space – shift that came with new responsibilities and regulations. In this new environment, healthcare providers are mostly exposed to data breach risks, misuse of protected health information (PHI), and the necessity to be transparent in the way they process PHI. On top of that, any entity from the US dealing with such data, ranging from public hospitals to private practitioners, are subject to HIPAA privacy rules and should comply with certain safeguard methods.
Becoming the victim of a cyberattack has financial consequences that lay heavily on the healthcare provider’s reputation and jeopardize the patients whose records have been stolen. Data can also be compromised accidentally by negligent conduct. Thus, properly training the people who work in such a context, raging from managers to volunteers, is the first step towards ensuring a safe environment for data.
ATTACK Simulator’s security awareness program is meant to solidify the collective effort of the staff towards a cleaner and more mindful data processing and storage. It helps healthcare providers become compliant with HIPAA and provides the necessary resources for perpetual training which is much needed in this fast-changing environment.
Schools and Universities
How does security awareness help schools and universities?
This massively digitalized era has already become an integral part of a few generations who have been raised with technology and couldn’t imagine a society without the internet. Given the current pandemic and the subsequent work and study from home policies, the digitalization of education is accelerating. Paradoxically, there is an increasing number of people lacking necessary computer skills, including security awareness knowledge, after finishing college. Except for a few specializations like computer science or IT, universities don’t make learning cybersecurity and general computer skills a fundamental part of their curriculum.
Software is designed to be more and more accessible and user-friendly to the point that it becomes counterproductive: we’re surrounded by smart technology at every step, from smart toasters to autonomous cars. Being computer-skills deficient impacts students’ private and professional lives in the long run. It is no longer enough to know your way around smartphones, basic internet surfing, and the most common apps – future generations need to understand the underlying principles of technology regardless of their college specialization in order to keep up with and contribute to the latest technological advancements.
ATTACK Simulator believes in the power of education, considering security awareness as an indispensable discipline for people of any age. Building a strong set of cyber skills should be as important as learning a second language. This is why we are looking to engage in partnerships with schools and universities to integrate our security awareness program in their curriculum. In this way, we contribute to making society ready in the fight against cybercriminals, as this is no longer an obscure subject, but a serious competence for anyone who uses the internet.
Government & Public administration
How does security awareness help governments and public administration?
Like many organizations, governments, and other public administrations (city halls, hospitals, public enterprises) have digitized their services to keep up with the 21st century’s interconnectivity requirements. This changed the way they operate with citizens’ and states’ data, but also increased the potential for cyberattacks, as bad actors get access to a vaster attack surface.
Moreover, governments and public administrations usually use outdated software (Windows XP, Office 2003, e.g.) which only increases vulnerability in the face of cyberattacks. Due to the fact that the outdated software doesn’t receive regular updates anymore, it is not compatible with modern cybersecurity solutions, and people working with it are exposed to cyber threats. The lack of employees’ security awareness and software training is the most common cause of this liability, making governments and public administrations a common target for cyberattacks.
Besides this, governmental administrations are also a perfect ransomware target because of their need to recover their data at any cost. This reputation should be improved by investing more in information security protocols that would make it less likely for hackers to attack them. Knowledgeable employees take better decisions, are more cautious, and contribute to creating a culture of security. ATTACK Simulator acts as an adjuvant in this process, helping employees who work with outdated technology or who are simply unaware of the cyber threats, to be more vigilant in regards to security practices.
Hotels and B&Bs
Hotels, B&Bs, and any accommodation provider deal with sensitive customer data (private information that could identify the customer, as well as credit card information, date of booking, etc). Providing quality experiences for your customers starts with granting them privacy and securing their data. This is no longer just a competitive advantage, but a much-needed information security practice, for your business to stay alive and succeed.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a strict privacy law that applies to all businesses working with European subject data, regardless of the business geolocation. Especially in tourism, chances are high that you process data from European citizens, so we encourage security awareness training in order to comply with GDPR’s standards. This can save your business fines of $2 million that is charged in case of a data breach.
Besides GDPR, PCI-DSS is another compliance program that requires all businesses which process cardholders’ data to undergo security awareness training in order to mitigate the risk of customers’ financial data loss. Online transactions are an essential part of the booking process nowadays, so it’s fundamental to provide your customers with trustworthy platforms. Educating your employees about the dangers of cyberattacks will help you reduce the risks of a data breach in the forms of phishing emails or malware, contributing to good security management.
How does security awareness help e-commerce businesses?
E-commerce businesses, and retailers who operate online, have been increasingly targeted by cybercriminals as they work with valuable personal information, such as credit card numbers and banking details. What makes e-commerce businesses such a desirable target for bad actors is the multitude of platforms on which they operate, as well as the advanced PoS (point of sale) systems, all of which conducts to holding large databases of customer data. This is precisely what cybercriminals look for when planning an attack in the e-commerce industry.
The main threats the e-commerce industry could face involve DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, ransomware, and targeted crimes. DDoS attacks usually happen during peak days (such as Black Friday) when malicious entities overwhelm the website with more traffic than the server can support, making it inoperable. Ransomware attacks block users’ access to the computer files unless they pay a ransom for the key; it is especially dangerous as many companies don’t have their data backed-up, so they are forced to pay it. Targeted crimes are planned attacks that target stealing customer data from PoS systems and customer databases.
To mitigate the risks of these threats and instill better security management practices, the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) has been established. Compliance with it would increase security, but it doesn’t guarantee complete risk obsoletion as untrained employees can still jeopardize the business by unawarely weakening the security practices. Putting customer data at risk can cut a company out of business, so security awareness is of paramount importance in the e-commerce sector.
Real estate companies
How does security awareness help real estate companies?
The real estate sector undergoes continuous technological changes as new trends keep emerging: smart buildings focused on the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud-first strategy adoption, and building management systems (BMS) deployment. These rapid developments imply an imperative need for constantly updated cyber strategies, as working with sensitive customer data brings about greater responsibilities. The risks attached to the implementation of these interconnected technologies comprise data theft, but also physical safety issues, putting high pressure on the real estate companies.
As the attack surface increases due to these technological systems and IoT devices, real estate companies should keep an eye out for DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks on IoT, data breaches, and ransomware attacks. Privacy leakage incidents through video cameras, theft, and destruction of sensitive data, as well as physical harm caused through malware control of IoT devices, are a few of the dark scenarios real estate companies should take into account. Occupants’ experience is strongly connected to their safety, so implementing comprehensive security procedures is indisputable.
Security awareness training is one of the essential steps in providing a clean information security management system in your buildings. It keeps you updated about the latest technologies and hacking techniques so you can recognize them and take the necessary measures to avoid them. ATTACK Simulator’s security awareness training will be the eye-opening experience you need to understand the severity of instilling good security.
How does security awareness help insurance companies?
Insurance companies are also extremely liable to cyberattacks. Holding a large volume of personally identifiable information (PII) about policyholders makes this industry an appealing target. Hackers seek data such as banking numbers, driver’s license numbers, social security numbers, health, or property information, that they later sell on the dark web, endangering the insurance company’s clients.
Besides damaging the reputation of your company, data breaches in the insurance industry have major financial consequences that could even disrupt your business. The immediately associated costs are unavoidable and include fraud expenses, IT remediation costs, PR expenses, legal costs, forensic investigation costs, among others. The slow-burn costs depend on the severity of the event but generally include the victims’ compensation costs, penalties charges, as well as indirect losses such as loss of competitive advantages, revenue, and share prices.
Instilling appropriate protocols to safeguard customer data includes security awareness training. This is where ATTACK Simulator comes in to aid your insurance company to have better control over policyholders’ PII through comprehensive risks and threats analysis, and avoidance methods.
There’s no reason to postpone training your employees
Get a quote based on your organization’s needs and start building a strong cyber security infrastructure today.