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Three reasons why cybersecurity awareness training is a good investment

By Eric Brynaert
Product Marketing Manager

The evidence is clear—cyber attacks are on the rise. Our research shows that data breaches have nearly doubled since the pandemic. And while cybersecurity awareness training is becoming increasingly common in organizations, some might wonder if it is a worthwhile investment. Here at CIRA, we think so and have put together the top three reasons why your organization should agree. 

1. Training helps counter costly cyber attacks 

According to the CIRA 2022 Cybersecurity Survey, 44 per cent of organizations reported experiencing a cyber attack in the past 12 months. In the case of ransomware attacks, organizations typically paid a ransom of at least $25,000 or more, with 15 per cent reporting that they paid upwards of $100,000. 

While firewalls and defensive technologies do a great job at blocking some threats, the sheer number of malicious attacks means that if even a small fraction make it through, the results can be catastrophic. If an employee is properly trained to recognize and report a phishing email, they are three times less likely to take the bait and potentially cost your organization a lot of money.  

A quality cybersecurity awareness training program is an investment; however it decreases the likelihood that your organization will fall victim to a much more expensive security breach.

2. Cyber attacks damage your reputation, and can lead to a loss of business

There are other indirect costs to organizations falling victim to a cyber attack. Chief among them is the reputational damage to your organization, and subsequent loss of business. In the case of small and midsize enterprises (SMEs), the impact can be especially severe. The 2022 Blackberry Threat Report suggests that up to 60 per cent of SMEs victimized by a cyber attack closed permanently within six months. 

Consumers rightfully believe that the organizations holding their data are responsible for its security. Having improper security measures in place is a signal to your base that you do not take their security seriously. The consequences for individuals whose data have been stolen in a breach can be severe and include financial losses, sensitive private information becoming public, identity theft, ruined credit and much more. 

Building a robust cybersecurity awareness training program at your organization is a big step towards preventing these attacks from being successful. It is also a signal to your customers that you are serious about their security and will not take any shortcuts that leaves their data exposed. It’s no wonder then that 84 per cent of Canadians surveyed by KPMG said they would “definitely reconsider” doing business with a company that failed to keep their data safe. 

3. Cyber attacks tie up valuable time and resources which can be prevented with training 

On top of causing financial and reputational damage, cyber attacks are also a tremendous drain on an organization’s internal resources.

One of the most obvious consequences of a cyber attack is downtime. Ransomware will lock users out of their files or devices until a payment is made to restore them. And even if a payment is made, it is not a guarantee that data will be restored. After all, we’re talking about criminals that are not bound by the law, let alone an agreement made with their victims.

 In the best-case scenario where a cybersecurity breach has been contained, IT and security teams will have to spend many hours and days restoring data (where possible) and investigating the source and extent of the breach. 
Failure to implement security awareness training means your IT and security teams will be playing catch up rather than getting ahead of the problem and fortifying your security systems further. 

The amount of time it takes to deploy a cybersecurity awareness training program is miniscule compared to how much time it takes to respond to a security breach. 

Looking for a cybersecurity awareness training partner?

When researching cybersecurity awareness training programs, make sure you look for a solution that is tailored to your organization’s needs and size. You will also want training which prepares users for our unique Canadian threat landscape. There are many solutions out there, but not all are created equally. For best results, you will want to choose a training program that not only has modules that are relevant to your staff, but also phishing testing and reporting tools to put what they have learned into practice. 

At CIRA, we offer comprehensive cybersecurity awareness training tailored to Canadian businesses and organizations. Our unique platform features over a hundred courses educating users on the most current cyber threats they are likely to experience. It also features a robust phishing test tool giving your employees hands-on practice and your security team the ability to track progress, evaluate threats and assign remediation training as needed. 

Learn more about our cybersecurity awareness training today.

About the author
Eric Brynaert

Eric is a Product Marketing Manager with CIRA Cybersecurity Services. His background in digital marketing has led him to appreciate the vital role data plays for Canadian organizations and individuals, and the need to keep it safe. Eric has an MBA in International Business from Sup de Co La Rochelle.