According to Gartner, by 2023, roughly 75% of organizations will restructure risk and security governance to address the adoption of advanced technologies. This just goes to show the importance of cybersecurity and provides a small insight into what organizations will focus on in the near future.

Cybercrime is rising throughout the world, and if organizations and their employees don’t act, then the risk of becoming a victim of a cyber-attack will rise dramatically. Therefore, businesses are shifting gears to put more time into security awareness training for their employees. In this guide, we’ll review common forms of cyber-attacks and why Awareness Training is so important in the fight against cybercrime.

Most Common Forms of Cyber-Attacks
There are many forms of cyber-attacks, but here are some of the most common.

· Malware

· Phishing

· Denial-of-Service (DDoS)

· Man-in-the-Middle (MitM)

· DNS Tunneling

Malware is a vicious software, including worms, ransomware, viruses, and spyware. When you have a vulnerability, Malware can easily breach. This can happen from a user clicking a dangerous link from an email or social account for example. Malware can block access to key parts of the network, install malicious and harmful software, secretly obtain your information, and disrupt specific components of your operating system. Malware can be nasty and ruin the company’s database from the inside out with pop-ups and disabled programs. One can prevent malware by continuously updating systems, utilizing encrypted software, monitor activity regularly, and educate employees.

Phishing attacks are the practice of sending fraudulent communications that look like a reputable source. The goal of these attacks is to steal sensitive data from a person or business. Most times, phishing attacks come from emails or social media messages. A lot of times, employees will fall for these attacks. You would be surprised how many employees fall for these scams; it is very alarming. How do phishing attacks happen? Generally, through clicking an attachment, enabling macros in word doc, updating passwords, responding on social media, or using a new wi-fi hot spot. If a member of your staff has fallen for a phishing scam, you must notify your IT staff immediately and change passwords/usernames.

Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks are when servers, systems, or networks are flooded with traffic to tire out resources and bandwidth. This can result in the system not being able to fulfill requests which eventually holds back a business.

Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks are how they sound. When an attacker inserts themselves into a two-party transaction. MitM attacks can come from two different points. The first is when the public Wi-Fi is unsecured, the attackers can insert themselves between a visitor’s device and the network. The second is when malware is on a device, the attacker can install software to process and take all the users’ info.

DNS Tunneling is another form of cybercrime that encodes data of other programs and protocols to communicate non-DNS traffic. DNS Tunneling lets cybercriminals insert malware or pass information into DNS queries. These forms of attacks are very sophisticated forms of cybercrime. How does one prevent DNS Tunneling? To start, install a configured DNS firewall and blacklist destinations.

How Security Awareness Training Reduces Risk of Cyber-Attacks
It is not a matter of if a cyber-attack could happen to you or your employees. It is a matter of when the attack will occur. According to Verizon, roughly 85% of breaches are due to human error. As organizations race to improve their technology protect against cyber-attacks, many are simultaneously taking advantage of Security Awareness Training for their employees. Employee training has been around for some time now but as cybercrime evolves, so should our educational material. Employees are the front-line defense against hackers and phishing scams.

Questions to Ask Yourself about Employees and Cybersecurity Knowledge
· Are your employees trained to avoid or see through a cyber-attack attempt?

· If a cyber-attack is successful through an employee, is your business ready for retaliating?

· Do I have reports and KPIs that show my teams proneness to phishing scams?

· Do I have educational content for my employees?

Four Layers of Security
· People

· Devices

· Network

· Infrastructure

Because cybersecurity is so complicated and attacks change so rapidly, it is understandable that organizations struggle to keep up with best practices. Security Awareness Training is a form of education that supports and equips members of an organization with key information that protects themselves and their company from any lost assets or harm. This form of training is especially crucial for compliance reasons like PCI or HIPPAA within SMBs. The beauty of Awareness Training is the fact that it runs in the background while staff continue to work from their computers.

awareness training cycle
Key Components of Security Awareness Training
· Educational Content and Resources

· Executive Level Support and Planning

· Campaign Support Materials

· Regular Testing and Simulations

· Obtaining Key Metrics and Reports

· Acquiring Surveys and Assessments

In 2020, security and risk management spending grew 6.4%. As cybercrime rises, when employees are trained to fight against cyber-attacks, they become your front-line defense, kind of like a human firewall. Strengthening your first line of defense against cybercrime isa critical part of your cybersecurity strategy. When companies take on SecurityAwareness Training, they generally run the program through twelve months. The average proneness to phishing scams starts roughly at an average of 31% and tapers off to around 4% by month twelve.

No matter the industry, or size, organizations need to take proactive measures when it comes to securing sensitive information. At this very moment, countless cyber-attacks are occurring. With different size organizations, different problems need to be addressed, therefore Security Awareness Training has become an integral part of IT and security in recent years.

Learn more about Security Awareness Training and how your organization can benefit from proactive security measures. Let’s chat.