Proactive Protection: The Importance of an Organization-Wide Policy of Security Awareness and Training

The image depicts a woman sitting in front of a laptop. She appears focused and contemplative, holding a pair of glasses in her hand while looking at the screen. Her hair is styled in long, curly locks that cascade down her shoulders. She wears a light blue blouse, which suggests a professional or business casual environment. The setting appears to be a modern, well-lit office with a blurred background, indicating a possible workspace.

You’ve almost certainly read about the financial and reputational damage a cyberattack can cause an organization. But in case you haven’t, the average cost of downtime following a data breach is $88,000…PER HOUR, and when all was said and done, the total data breach cost averaged $4.45 million in 2023. 

Despite those jarring figures, nearly half of employees receive no security training from their employer, and considering that 70% of data breaches involved the human element in 2023, it seems highly counterintuitive for organizations to neglect security awareness training. 

A security awareness and training policy is necessary, but organizations can’t stop there. The goal should not be just to provide security awareness training answers but instead create a culture of security in an overall organizationally resilient ecosystem. 

Security Awareness Training ROI 

Building security values into the fabric of your organization is a challenging task, but the ROI of security awareness training should be appreciated. On average, the annual cost savings for a small to medium-sized organization that undertakes just a cursory security awareness training program is $150 per employee. Bump up to a large organization (1,000+), and that annual cost savings balloons to $380 per employee. 

Of course, those are just the financial savings—there are many other positive results for companies that have a security awareness training program with educational components. 

  • Customer reassurance: 70% of consumers think businesses are slacking in cybersecurity, and nearly two out of every three potential customers admit they would stay away from an organization that experienced a cyber attack in the past year. Chief concerns among customers are phishing awareness, social engineering, and endpoint security. 
  • Reaching (and exceeding) compliance: Doing the bare minimum to achieve compliance should never be the goal. The good news is that the trend across the board has moved from a “check-the-box” posture to a more strategic and extensive one. 
  • More productive and happy employees: Well-trained employees are more productive, happier, and less likely to leave their organization. 

How Well Does Security Awareness Training Work? 

We’ve established the need for security awareness training and the financial and tertiary benefits that training provides. But how well does security awareness training actually work? 

  • Regular training reduces risk from 60% to 10% within 12 months. 
  • Phishing awareness training results in a 37x ROI. 
  • The level of confidence of IT managers in their users’ ability to recognize different types of threats jumps dramatically after security awareness training. 

How Well Does Security Awareness Training Work

Managed Security Awareness Training 

Security awareness training is necessary, worth it, and works. But it isn’t easy. That’s where Managed Security Awareness Training comes in. Partnering with a security expert like HBS is a wise and cost-effective choice for many organizations as they look to better their security posture. 

Managed Security Awareness Training by HBS employs industry-proven methods grounded in behavioral science to prepare employees to recognize and resist phishing attempts. 97% of phishing emails are gateways to ransomware, and many times, breaches can take 100+ days to detect—HBS’s Managed Security Awareness Training helps transform potential liabilities into a strong line of defense.  

As a fully managed service, a dedicated HBS Virtual Security Analyst (VSA) assists in the creation, execution, and analysis of your organization’s phishing defense programs.  

The key components of HBS’s Managed Security Awareness Training include: 

  1. Phishing Simulation and Training: Customized real-world attack scenarios are simulated, teaching organizations resilience against social engineering and targeted cyberattacks. 
  2. Learning Management System: This system educates employees on security best practices, complementing behavioral conditioning with engaging courses focused on real threats. 
  3. Phish Reporter: A tool for reporting suspicious emails, contributing to a proactive cybersecurity culture within the organization. 

      HBS: A Leader in Security Awareness Training 

      In a landscape where cyber threats are ever -evolving, the importance of security awareness and training cannot be overstated. Managed Security Awareness Training can provide significant benefit to organizations by equipping employees to be an active part of a company's defense mechanism.  

      Contact HBS today to begin exploring a customized, comprehensive cybersecurity solution; whether you are looking for penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, or complete Managed Security Awareness Training, HBS can help. 

      author avatar
      Carly Westpfahl