The Shield You Need: Benefits of Cyber Security Training for SMEs

cyber security training

You can have world-class cybersecurity systems in place throughout your business. You can pay the earth to have the latest and greatest advancements in technology protecting your data and your systems. But if no one in your business understands the risks that your company faces on a daily basis – if your humans aren’t prepared to recognise phishing attacks and think that Social Engineering is a new dating app – then all the technology in the world isn’t going to protect you from cyberattacks.

It is critical in the modern digital age for businesses of all sizes, but especially SMEs to take advantage of the benefits of cyber security training. Let’s take a look at just a few reasons why.

What Is Cyber Security Training?

Before we take a deep dive into the benefits of cyber security training, it’s important that you understand what exactly we mean by the term. What exactly is cybersecurity training, and how does it differ from cyber security awareness training? Or are they, in fact, one and the same?

While businesses often use the two terms interchangeably, there is a difference between the two.

On the one hand there’s cyber security awareness training. As the name suggests, it focusses in on awareness, on making sure that your humans have a good understanding of the threats that your company faces and how they can and should react to them. It covers areas like phishing, social engineering, password management and more.

On the other side of the coin, there’s cyber security training, which involves teaching your humans not just about the risks that your business faces, but all about the way that your company protects itself from those threats, including the software that you use, the protocols that you have in place, your Disaster Recovery Plan and more. Cyber security training is about your company’s overall cyber resilience, and is more in-depth than just awareness and mindfulness. It ensures that your humans have a thorough understanding of both the tools that you are putting in place, and their role in protecting your company.

Why Is Security Training Important For SMEs In Particular?

Now that you have a better understanding of what cybersecurity training involves, let’s take a closer look at why it’s an important approach for SMEs to adopt in particular.

There is a common misconception out there that small businesses are less vulnerable to attack. It comes from the mindset of, ‘I’m small fry – attackers aren’t going to care about compromising my data or my business. It’s too much effort with little reward. They’re going to focus in on the bigger targets.’ And there are a lot of problems with that thinking.

I’m small fry. Even small businesses generate a good deal of data, and have a large amount of sensitive information that they need to protect. Your business may be small, with only a few humans in your employ, but that doesn’t mean that your data isn’t valuable to the right (or wrong) person.

Attackers aren’t going to care about compromising my data or my business. Frankly, most attackers don’t care how small your business is – data is data is data. If they can get access to it, they can use it. And if they can cause disruption and chaos while they’re at it, bringing your operations to a halt, most of them will see that as a bonus.

It’s too much effort with little reward. You’d be surprised by how little effort it takes for cyberattackers to compromise or gain access to a system. Especially with the advancement of tools like Artificial Intelligence, attackers are finding it easier than ever to automate their attacks. There are bots that test millions of passwords a minute to try and hack into accounts. It takes a second to send a phishing email to countless addresses, and just one of them clicking on a malicious link or downloading malware can see them gaining access to your systems. The effort involved is minimal. And the ‘little reward’ adds up when multiple small businesses are falling victim to these attacks.

They’re going to focus on bigger targets. Successfully attacking a bigger business may lead to a bigger payout, but bigger targets often have a lot more budget to allocate to security, and are a lot more focussed on protecting their data. This makes them harder to successfully infiltrate than an SME that thinks that they aren’t going to be a target at all.

What Are The Direct Benefits Of Cyber Security Training?

direct benefits of cybersecurity training

Cybersecurity is not just about protecting data—it’s about safeguarding your business’ future. From enhancing your employees’ awareness to reducing the risks of data breaches, the significance and importance of training cannot be overstated. Whether you’re running a small enterprise or a large corporation, understanding the direct benefits of cyber security training will empower you to make informed decisions that protect your operations, reputation, and bottom line. Let’s take a look at a few of the direct results that you can expect to see when you focus on training:

• Reduced Risk Of Data Breaches

One of the most significant direct benefits of cyber security training is that it can significantly reduce your risk of a data breach. With proper training, the humans behind your business will be better equipped to spot potential threats like phishing emails or malware, and take appropriate action before they escalate into full-blown breaches. This reduces the chances of unauthorised access to sensitive data, keeping your business and customer information safe.

• Real-Time Threat Detection And Response

Apart from preventing data breaches, cyber security training can also help your humans to detect potential threats more efficiently and respond quickly, and in the right way. By reporting a potential attack to your internal or outsourced IT team, for example, your humans can help their teammates and colleagues avoid the attacks. And even if an attacker does then gain access to your systems, you’ll have the opportunity to stop them in their tracks before they can cause significant damage.

• Complying With Regulations And Standards

Another one of the big benefits of cyber security training is in helping your company to comply with industry regulations and standards. Depending on the nature of your business and where you operate, you may have to adhere to various regulations such as the POPI Act, GDPR or PCI DSS, which have strict guidelines for handling sensitive information securely. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in hefty fines and damage to your reputation, making cyber security training a crucial aspect of keeping personal information and sensitive data protected.

• Ensuring Your Business Continuity

A cyberattack can have significant consequences for your business, including disruption of operations and loss of revenue. By focussing on cyber security training, your humans will have the knowledge and skills that they need to mitigate potential threats, minimising the impact on your business if an attack does occur and ensuring that your operations can continue as normal. In the event of a breach, trained employees can take swift action to contain the damage and initiate recovery protocols, ensuring less human error, reducing downtime and getting your business back up and running as quickly as possible.

What Are The Indirect Benefits Of Cyber Security Training?

indirect benefits of cybersecurity training

Beyond the direct advantages of safeguarding your business’s assets, there are also plenty of indirect benefits of cyber security training. From enhancing the overall health and resilience your company and workforce, to contributing to a culture of security and awareness among your humans. Let’s dive a little deeper into the less obvious, but incredibly important, advantages that training your teams in cybersecurity can offer:

• A Company Culture Focussed On Security

Cyber security training not only helps protect your business from external threats but also fosters a company culture that prioritises security. By emphasising the importance of cybersecurity, highlighting your humans’ roles in maintaining it, and providing your team members with the tools and knowledge that they need to identify and report potential risks, you are creating a workforce that is conscious and proactive in maintaining your business’ security.

• Enhanced Productivity and Efficiency

There are two sides to this advantage. First of all, if your company is hit with a data breach or cyberattack and the humans in your business don’t know how to recognise or handle it, the chances are that it’s going to lead to chaos, with your operations grinding to a halt while they try to figure out what is happening and how to address it. Which, of course, is going to have an impact on productivity and efficiency. Which in and of itself is a good reason to train your teams.

But, more than just being prepared to handle attacks and ensuring your business continuity, by training your teams in cybersecurity best practices and techniques, the humans in your business will feel more confident in being able to protect your company and your data. They won’t be worrying about cyberattacks as much, because they’ll have a decent understanding of what to do if one crops up. They’ll be able to focus their efforts on enhancing your business, instead of constantly looking over their shoulders for a suspicious mail or attack. Which is going to boost their overall productivity and efficiency as well.

• Every Human Playing Their Part

Cybersecurity is not just the responsibility of your IT department. It requires a collective effort from every person in your business. By highlighting this through cyber security training, you are empowering the humans within your business, showing their value and importance in keeping your company protected, and giving them the tools and knowledge that they need to ensure that they’re able to do that effectively. This is going to not just boost the overall protection of your company, but also your staff morale as well, as your team members will feel like they are contributing beyond just their role by protecting themselves and your business.

• Cost Savings In The Long Run

I’m not going to tell you that cybersecurity training is low cost. In reality, arranging the training and putting measurements and protocols in place is going to be costly in terms of both time and money. But the cost is going to be minimal compared to what would happen if your company were to fall victim to an attack. Data breaches, cyberattacks, ransomware attacks, these cost the companies that fall victim to them millions of Rands in reparations, fines, lost business, and the hit to their reputation. And that’s for just a single attack. It’s enough to cripple any company, especially an SME. So while it may seem like just an added expense, you can add cost savings in the long run to one of the long-term benefits of cyber security training.

• Boosting Your Reputation

Data privacy and security aren’t just concerns that businesses need to manage. Over the last few years, they have become top priorities for your customers, clients and consumers as well. With the increasing number of data breaches and cyberattacks, people are more conscious than ever before about the companies they do business with. By prioritising cyber security training, you are showing the public your commitment to protecting sensitive and personally identifiable information. This can help you to build up a level of trust with your customers, especially when you’re open and honest about your security efforts.

How Can Solid Systems Help?

Now that you have a good understanding of the benefits of cyber security training, the real question is, who can you turn to for help?

At Solid Systems, we have been helping companies to protect their data and assets since 2003. That’s over 20 years of dedication to making sure that businesses like yours are going through digital transformation that sees them better able to protect themselves against a wide range of cybersecurity threats. But to us, cybersecurity is about more than just putting the best technologies in place. It’s about helping your humans to work in the most productive and secure ways possible, while ensuring that your company stays protected. It’s about minimising the risks that your business faces, and training your teams in ways that they can contribute to that effort.

That’s why, when you work with Solid Systems as your technology partner, we are doing more than just managing your IT infrastructure. We are providing more than world-class technology and IT solutions. We are helping your humans to work smarter, not harder, to get more done in their days, and to operate with the peace of mind that they are protecting your business and your assets at every step of the way.

Want to talk to us about our cybersecurity services, including training your teams? Schedule a free consult with our Sales team today, and let’s see you and your humans stepping into the future with confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of cyber security training?

There are plenty of benefits to training your teams in cybersecurity best practices and techniques. There are some direct advantages, which you will see the impact of almost straight away. These include factors like reduced risk, real-time threat detection, better compliance with regulations GDPR and POPIA, less human error within your business, and enhanced business continuity. But there are also indirect benefits of cyber security training, which may take longer to see, but which will add value to your business. These include developing a company culture that is focussed on security, improved staff morale, better relationships with your clients, and even cost savings in the long run.

What are the 5 benefits of using cyber security?

Five key benefits of utilising cyber security measures in your business include:

  1. Reduced risk of data breaches
  2. Real-time threat detection and prevention
  3. Complying with regulations and standards
  4. Ensuring your business continuity

Cost savings in the long run

What is the value of cyber security training?

When looking at the benefits of cyber security training, it’s important to look past Rands and cents. Because while cyber security training is going to lead to cost savings in the long run, especially when it comes to avoiding having to pay regulatory fines, ransom demands and lose business if you are hit with a cyberattack, it is going to be costly to begin with both in terms of time and money. But the fact is, the value of having every human within your business understanding the risks that you face and taking efforts to recognise and prevent cyberattacks is enormous. It’s invaluable. If every one of the people behind you is able to recognise a phishing attack, knows not to click on malicious links, is careful about their login credentials, and knows what to do when they suspect an attack is taking place, your business is going to be more secure than any single piece of software would allow for.

Michael Claxton

Michael Claxton

Co-Founder and CEO of Solid Systems | I am a father of two, and a mentor of many. My calm focus makes me a natural leader, both in and out the office, and I have a unique skill in nurturing leadership qualities in others as well. But most of all, I understand the true value of time and the ways that technology can optimise efficiency within a business and see humans making the most of the time available to them, both in terms of productivity, and in terms of personal growth. 

Didn't find what you were looking for?