3 min read  | Cybercrime

Using cybersecurity awareness training to thwart common cybersecurity threats

Cybersecurity threats are constantly growing, adapting, and changing with the landscape. 

From the first accidental cyber attack of the Morris worm in 1988 to the July 2021 ransomware attack on over 200 businesses in the United States, our knowledge of cyber attacks has grown over the years.

Thankfully, so has the technology we have in place to wage battle against common cybersecurity threats. 

On the flip side, even as our cybersecurity measures and technologies become more sophisticated, the havoc cyber attacks wreak on our systems and the costs they rack up have only escalated in recent years.

Currently, ransomware attacks have the greatest presence in the field of cyber attacks with many ransomware gangs getting creative with how they gain access to the most victims. Despite the creativity of the attacks, however, their methods of finding victims stay traditional.

Every business or industry is, at its core, simply a group of individuals who are prone to mistakes and are often—unless they are well-trained to know otherwise—vulnerable to direct attacks.

Most ransomware attacks are delivered through phishing emails containing attachments or drive-by downloading that is activated when a user interacts with a seemingly unassuming website. That is why, despite having sophisticated cybersecurity measures in place, even the most protected organisations can be felled by one stray email.   

Even in the era of technology, cybersecurity awareness training is still a critical line of defence. 

Cybersecurity awareness training defends your frontline 

Before the shuttle launch in December 2006, NASA blocked all emails with attachments out of the fear of being hacked.

Although 2006 was a different time and we know much more now than we did at the time, about common cybersecurity threats and how they get introduced to our networks, this demonstrates that not even NASA is safe from cyber attacks. 

Blocking all emails, however, is not the way to protect your company from malicious threats. Regular cybersecurity awareness training can keep your teams engaged in the cybersecurity conversation and aware of the personal responsibility in maintaining a secure environment.

The multifaceted value of training 

Cybersecurity threats like phishing attacks are now common knowledge, and many may think that there’s not much value to regular cybersecurity awareness training if your company has this knowledge.

The challenge arises when you consider the fact that with the advent of more sophisticated forms of attack, attention usually strays away from the more straightforward, but still just as dangerous, direct attacks. 

Another point to consider is the changing business landscape. An unprecedented rise in cyber attacks was reported in 2020 as a direct result of the remote working environment and work from home systems that were put in place. The number of communications that depended solely on emails led to a significant rise in the number of malicious emails sent out, resulting in a natural uptick in the number of successful cyber attacks. 

Regular cybersecurity awareness training can help combat common cybersecurity threats in this environment. It can build awareness in teams that don’t already possess this understanding of cyber attacks, and also acts as a reminder of the dangers that exist and keeps your teams on their toes.  

Optimise your cybersecurity stance with training

The infrastructure you have in place to keep your business secure and protected is vital, but these investments you make in critical frameworks count for nothing, without appropriate training for your teams.

This training must go beyond awareness, to give your teams insight into how they can deal with attacks when they spot them and the steps they can take to mitigate the impact of these crises.

Placing more trust in your team to deal with security and attack prevention independently will encourage awareness and individual responsibility that will produce long-lasting, positive results.  

The next time you improve your business’ critical infrastructure for cybersecurity, remember to add awareness training to the roster and cultivate a culture of security.