Despite the growing threat of cyberattacks, many businesses have failed to implement any security awareness training program. For many reasons, this in and of itself is alarming. But what’s worrisome and frequently overlooked is how this carelessness can impact customers.

When your IT infrastructure is not secure, cybercriminals can access your systems and networks, which often means they can also steal customer data. Properly trained, your employees can help you with preventing cyberattacks. But you must be the one to provide them with the right tools.

If you’re still not convinced security awareness training is important, you may want to reconsider.

Curb cyberattacks by educating your employees

The more you educate your employees on the ever-growing IT security threat landscape, the better protected your networks and systems will be from cyberattacks in the long run. Failing to train employees for cybersecurity properly could prove to be disastrous for your business.

Without a doubt, the number of cyberattacks continues to rise. Ransomware alone is up 72 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cybercriminals are becoming more methodical and adaptive. Educating your employees on how cybercriminals are stealing data strengthens your organization’s security posture.

Creating a security-first culture is critical to the future of your business. Suppose your employees don’t have the right mindset when it comes to cybersecurity. In that case, the likelihood of you becoming a victim of cybercrime increases significantly.

A security-first mindset is necessary

A security-first mindset doesn’t happen overnight. It takes an ample amount of time for any organization to make cybersecurity a top priority. But when an organization can pull it off, its employees and customers are better protected from malicious actors from near and afar.

Employees and managers within an organization with a cybersecurity-first mindset are the first line of defense against cyberattacks. Preventing cyberattacks is a shared responsibility. Your IT department can’t fight cybercriminals alone. They can only do so much. Everyone within your organization is accountable when there’s a breach.

Executives within your organization must lead by example while involving employees. Get buy-in from your C-suite. When your executives fail to prioritize cybersecurity, your employees are less likely to develop a security-first mindset, which is concerning for any organization, especially when it allows its employees to work from home.

Remote workers can put your organization at risk

With more people working home today than ever before, deploying an effective security awareness training program is of the utmost importance for any business. When employees work remotely, company culture is oftentimes difficult for managers at all levels to sustain. Even though it’s typically part of a company’s culture (at least for larger companies), cybersecurity isn’t always a top priority for employees, which presents a significant problem when they’re not working in an office environment.

Having employees work from home presents many cybersecurity challenges to businesses. For example, nearly 61 percent of companies do not force their employees to use antivirus solutions on their personal devices. Your networks and systems are susceptible to cyberattacks when your employees don’t follow cybersecurity best practices.

When you can’t hold in-person training, go virtual. It’s now more important than ever to educate your employees on cybersecurity. Invest your time, money, and resources in training them. You won’t regret it.

Security awareness training is key to protecting your systems and networks from the ever-growing IT threat landscape. The more aware your employees are of cyberattacks and of how cybercriminals are changing their tactics, the better protected your organization will be in the long run.

Before allowing your employees to work remotely, help them first develop a cybersecurity-first mindset. Keeping security awareness training top of mind protects not only your organization but also your customers.