December 4, 2019

Your Employees Are the Most Vulnerable Parts of Your Company Security Strategy: Train Them Well


Our world has pivoted to a rapid information sharing state, leaving us more vulnerable than ever to breaches and wrongful use of the critical data being exchanged every day.

Companies are spending more and more expenses on upholding the IT security of their business, usually represented as the implementation of tools such as advanced firewalls, multi-factor authentication, cloud access security brokers (CASB) and intrusion detection systems. Quite often, these tools are put in place along with a few dedicated IT staff and seen as a sufficient security plan. But unfortunately, these tools alone are not preventing hackers and cyberattacks from occurring.

The Rising Threat of Cybercrime

With higher broadband speeds, larger cloud sharing capabilities, and plentiful ‘work-from-anywhere’ technologies coupled with more hectic daily work patterns, cybercrime is on the rise, and it is not being throttled by advanced cybersecurity tools alone.

“54% of firms had their network or data compromised in the past year and the average cost to recover from a cyberattack is estimated at $5 million”

We have seen the crippling effects of a data security breach on a company’s overall standing. Think of Facebook, Equifax and Yahoo: these three companies suffered supremely when their systems were exposed to data breaches in the past years. Not only did they compromise their client’s sensitive data, but they lost millions of dollars on the recovery, and their reputation as a whole suffered – some would say beyond real repair.

What this rise in cybercrime and data breaches has taught us is that tools alone will not keep your company’s information secure; it must be combined with the people within your company to create the real shifts towards optimal IT security, but you must train them appropriately on how to help fight this threat. Your business’s security is no longer solely the responsibility of the IT Department; it is the responsibility of all of your employees that utilize your systems and handle your sensitive data.

Training Employees for More Effective IT Security

When business professionals were asked what their #1 priority was for their IT department, they named security as their top focus. Cybersecurity products and tools have risen in value every year and are projected to exceed 1 trillion USD by 2021. But what we are seeing now is these tools alone are not enough to combat the increasing threat of data security.

“According to 2018 research conducted by Shred-it, more than 40% of senior executives and small business owners report that employee negligence or accidental loss was the root cause of their most recent data security breach”.

Like with many technologies, human error is a main culprit in impacting the overall efficiency of a tool or service. Our patterns are hardwired in our brains, and it is not always easy to override our natural instincts. For instance, 25% of US workers “admit to leaving their computer on and unlocked when they go home at the end of the day”, and act that goes against most all best security practices. And a State of the Industry Report showed that 96% of consumers see employee negligence – to some degree – as a contributor to data breaches suffered by companies.

But it is not the employee’s complete fault, per say. It is the lack of appropriate security training that leaves employees wary of procedures and unsure about how imperative their actions are to the company’s overall security health. This is where quality training and a conscious shift in company culture is highly beneficial and a key component to the success of a company’s security landscape.

Utilizing a Learning Management System for Company Security Training

With policies like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, and the emerging California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) leading the way for the US, companies are obligated to pay closer attention to their data, including how they use it, where they apply it, and how they keep it protected and secure.

As executive members get clearer on their data, best practices now suggest that they pass this information on to their employees as well, making sure the entire company is on board with keeping this data secure, protected, and in order. With the help of a Learning Management System (LMS), managers can easily pass on critical information to their employees, ensuring they have access to the up-to-date, necessary information that will keep them protected and informed about the business data.

68%: Share of professionals who said skills shortages were impacting their security operations

Arming your employees with training that will help them fight careless and risky security behaviors, while also auditing the efficiency of this training and information is made easy with an agile LMS. Here are just a few ways you can develop and execute a responsive security training program with a Learning Management System:

  • Create customized security training programs with up-to-date information to represent ever-changing data policies
  • Target specific parts of training programs to specific employee groups who work with particularly vulnerable or higher risk systems and data
  • Host regular webinars for updates on security changes and company data procedures
  • Make videos and share interactive scenarios to keep employees agile and well aware of how threats can appear in the real-world
  • Conduct regular security assessments with online quizzes to find flaws or loopholes within company security
  • Track employee training and audit the effectiveness of compliance measures
  • Enable IT or Line Managers to easily follow-up on employees regularly completing security training, ensuring that their attention and knowledge is kept up-to-date

With an integrated LMS, such as LMS365, your company can easily train your employees on the risks, tools, and procedures that surround cybersecurity, allowing them to be on the front line for prevention of cyberattacks and data breaches.

Changing the Culture of Cyber Security

Advanced cybersecurity services and products are considered mandatory for any business operating in the digital age. However, these tools alone will not ensure your company’s data stays safe from hackers and cybercriminals.

Training your employees on how their actions can impact company security – and emphasizing their roles and responsibility to prevent such attacks – will form a deeper layer of security, all while building a company culture that supports learning, trust, and protection. So, before you invest in that extra cybersecurity software, consider the prolific impact of implementing an LMS to train and arm your employees with the security knowledge they need to protect themselves and the company at large.