Security Awareness Training

    Why IT Admins Need Security Awareness Training More Than Ever

    With constrained budgets and fewer resources, one of the best assets IT teams at small and mid-sized businesses can have is proper and consistent security awareness training for employees.

    by Kurt Werner  

    Key Points

    • Employees who are properly trained in security awareness can drastically reduce the number of security incidents resource-strapped SMB IT admins have to address.
    • By putting in the time up front to train employees on the attacks to look for, security breaches, which can sink SMBs, can be avoided much more often.
    • With security awareness training, employees are more likely to feel invested in the organization’s security and can prove to be strong allies for the IT team.

    Organizations of all sizes are facing a continually moving landscape when it comes to cyberthreats. Attackers change their tactics, technology advances, IT teams on both sides of the fight grow and shrink, and all the while, the threats never stop coming.

    Smaller organizations are particularly vulnerable when it comes to these threats. With smaller budgets, they may not even have a dedicated cybersecurity person, let alone an entire team to deal with an overwhelming and ever-increasing amount of threats. In addition, IT admins in small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) must focus their resources on operating a successful business, often taking precedence over cybersecurity when it comes to convincing company leadership about critical new resources.

    SMB IT Resourcing Challenges

    SMB IT leaders can find it particularly daunting to get the support they need, especially when it comes to putting cybersecurity at the forefront of the business’s concerns. When asking for the resources they need, they can often be told, “We just don’t have the money”, “We just don’t see that as a bigger priority”, or even worse, “Well, we’re a small company”.

    IT leaders at SMBs usually wear many hats, taking on multiple roles and a workload that could be taken on by an entire team of people at a larger organization. They must respond firsthand to things like laptop issues, system outages, email security, and troubleshooting while having to continually worry about cybersecurity.

    Even with fewer resources, SMB IT leaders must stop the same types of sophisticated and persistent threats as those at larger organizations who can afford to build a much larger team of security experts and deploy  more sophisticated security tools. In fact, according to Mimecast’s State of Email Security, 60% of IT decision-makers at SMBs cite more sophisticated email-based threats as a top challenge in 2023. 

    Security Awareness Training Can Level the Playing Field

    To combat threats, one of the most important assets SMB IT leaders can have on their side is security awareness training. Sure, it is necessary to put in place all the technological safeguards that the organization can afford with its smaller budget, but one of the biggest boosts for these IT leaders can be employees are that consistently and properly trained on the threats to look out for when conducting their daily tasks.

    Security awareness training is a strong strategy that can be used by SMB IT leaders to prevent and mitigate user risk. These training programs are designed to help users and employees understand the role they play in helping to combat security breaches. Effective security awareness training helps employees understand proper cyber hygiene, the security risks associated with their actions, and how to identify cyberattacks they may encounter via email and the web.

    Why Employees Need Security Awareness Training

    Human error is involved in more than 90% of security breaches. Security awareness training minimizes risk, preventing the loss of money, data, and brand reputation. An effective security awareness training program addresses the cybersecurity mistakes that employees may make when using email and the web. Using phishing tests, real-life de-weaponized attacks, and realistic single-page and multi-page templates can all help increase employee awareness about security threats. Templates can cover everything from phony promotions and package tracking to fake news and password resets do to unauthorized logins.

    Security Awareness Training Must Be Realistic and Consistent

    Effective security awareness training should focus on engaging today’s workforce to reduce overall user risk. Many security awareness training programs ignore education best practices, delivering training in one-off sessions that overwhelm users with information or worse, are forgettable. For training to stick, it needs to be persistent, delivered regularly in small doses, to fit employees’ busy schedules. Most importantly, positive reinforcement and humor performs better than fear-based or boring messaging to improve retention of critical security topics.

    Build vs. Buy

    The time required to build a security awareness training program depends on the technology and methodology an organization chooses. It can be very time-consuming and expensive to build out a security awareness training program from scratch, so smaller organizations can be best served by seeking out a security training partner with a well-developed online platform that can be deployed and configured quickly, rolling out awareness training to a global workforce easily.

    Train Frequently

    Data shows that employees are far less likely to retain information from a cybersecurity awareness training program if the program is conducted infrequently and requires a large time investment. Some security awareness training programs require hours of an employee’s time, often leading to employees tuning out the training and simply going through the motions to check the requirement off their to-do list. Small organizations will be best served by security awareness training that is engaging, humorous, and is delivered in monthly 3- to 5-minute modules. This can make training a regular part of an employee’s responsibilities without overwhelming them.

    Security Awareness Training from Mimecast

    Mimecast Awareness Training is highly effective at changing employee attitudes and behavior around critical security practices. Mimecast understands that cybersecurity awareness is a journey and believes by regularly providing cybersecurity awareness training to employees in a fun and educating way, organizations can make cybersecurity everyone's role.

    What's more, Mimecast Awareness Training further reduces the burden on already exasperated security teams. The platform launches a 12-month program in minutes and allows admins to automate administration as needed for a hands-off approach to security awareness.

    In order to help organizations reach their goal of providing excellent security awareness training that exceeds both the organization’s and employees’ expectations, Mimecast is launching Awareness Training Cloud Integrated. Mimecast free trial customers will have access to a free trial of our security awareness training as well. Learn more.

    Subscribe to Cyber Resilience Insights for more articles like these

    Get all the latest news and cybersecurity industry analysis delivered right to your inbox

    Sign up successful

    Thank you for signing up to receive updates from our blog

    We will be in touch!

    Back to Top