Cybersecurity Awareness: Definition, Importance, Purpose and Challenges

What is cybersecurity awareness?

Cybersecurity awareness is an ongoing process of educating and training employees about the threats that lurk in cyberspace, how to prevent such threats and what they must do in the event of a security incident. It also helps to inculcate in them a sense of proactive responsibility for keeping the company and its assets safe and secure. In simple terms, cybersecurity awareness is knowing what security threats are and acting responsibly to avoid potential risks.

Cybersecurity awareness includes being aware of the latest security threats, cybersecurity best practices, the dangers of clicking on a malicious link or downloading an infected attachment, interacting online, disclosing sensitive information and so on. Security awareness training programs help to enhance your organization’s security posture and tighten its processes, thereby paving the way to building a more resilient business. Cybersecurity awareness must be an organization-wide initiative for it to be most effective and beneficial.

Why is cybersecurity awareness important?

Despite having best-in-class defense systems and measures in place, many organizations still experience security breaches. Unfortunately, it is often human error that has been a major contributing factor behind many data breaches. According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, more than 80% of breaches involved the human element, including social engineering attacks, errors and misuse of stolen credentials. Threat actors look to exploit this weakness to infiltrate an organization’s networks and systems. This is where cybersecurity awareness comes in.

Cybersecurity awareness helps educate your employees about malicious methods used by cybercriminals, how they can be easy targets, how to spot potential threats and what they can do to avoid falling victim to these insidious threats. It empowers your workforce with the right knowledge and resources to identify and flag potential threats before they cause any damage.

Ignoring or not conducting cybersecurity awareness training regularly can have serious consequences on your business such as legal penalties, financial loss and cost of remediation, loss…