Small businesses are progressively more targeted by cybercriminals. In fact, 43% of all cyberattacks target small businesses. The consequences can be significant. 69% of small businesses that experience a data breach go out of business within two years.

Hackers attack them to steal valuable data such as customer information, financial records, and intellectual property. A cyberattack can also disrupt business operations, which can result in lost customers, lost revenue, and damage to your company’s reputation.

That’s why it’s critical for small businesses to have a cybersecurity awareness training program in place. Here are some ways cybersecurity awareness training can protect your small business:

  • Teach employees how to spot phishing emails: Phishing is the most common type of cyberattack, accounting for 90% of all attacks. It involves hackers sending fraudulent emails that appear to be from a legitimate source in an attempt to trick victims into clicking on a malicious link or attachment. Once clicked, the victim’s device can be infected with malware or their personal information can be stolen.
  • Train employees on proper password management: Weak and reused passwords are one of the leading causes of data breaches. Hackers can easily guess weak passwords or use brute force attacks to crack them. That’s why it’s important to train employees on how to create strong, unique passwords for all their accounts and how to update them regularly.
  • Educate employees about social engineering: Social engineering is a type of attack that relies on human interaction to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or granting access to systems and data. Attackers often exploit people’s natural trustfulness and curiosity to trick them into clicking on malicious links, opening attachments, or disclosing confidential information.
  • Help employees understand the importance of security updates: Security updates are released regularly for operating systems, applications, and firmware to patch known vulnerabilities. However, many people don’t realize how important it is to install these updates in a timely manner. Hackers are constantly searching for unpatched systems to exploit, so it’s critical that employees understand the importance of keeping all their systems up-to-date.
  • Make sure employees know what data to protect: Small businesses have a lot of valuable data, including customer information, financial records, and intellectual property. It’s important that employees understand what data is most valuable to hackers and how to protect it. For example, customer information should be encrypted when stored on company servers and only accessed on a need-to-know basis.
  • Teach employees how to work from home securely: With more and more people working from home, it’s important to make sure they understand how to do so securely. Attackers can target remote workers by sending phishing emails or infecting their home systems with malware. Employees should be trained on how to spot these attacks and what to do if they suspect their system has been compromised.

Now that you know how important it is for small businesses to have cybersecurity awareness training, make sure you put a program in place at your company. It could just save your business from a costly data breach.