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  • 08 August 2023
  • 5 min read

What is basic cyber security awareness?

What are the basic components of a cyber security campaign that every organisation needs to incorporate? And what are the most common threats and risks you simply must address?
FAQ what is basic cyber security awareness

Cyber security decision-makers play a pivotal role in safeguarding their organisations against evolving cyber threats – one of their responsibilities is ensuring that employees, in every department, have a consistent cyber security baseline and a basic understanding of common and emerging cyber threats.

This blog aims to provide a comprehensive overview of basic cyber security awareness, so you know what needs to be included in your cyber security campaign.

What are the basics of cyber security awareness?

Cyber security awareness forms the foundation of an organisation's defence against cyber threats. It involves educating employees about potential risks, promoting best practices, and fostering a culture of vigilance so cyber pitfalls and threats are avoided.

For CISOs, DPOs, and other cyber security decision-makers, investing in basic cyber security awareness has far-reaching benefits, including:

  • Risk reduction: 95% of all cyber security breaches are caused by human error, making awareness training a critical tool in mitigating risks. As employee behaviour and behavioural specialist experts, TSC has over 25 years of experience reducing human cyber risk levels in global organisations across a variety of sectors. Curious how we have done that? Take a look at our case studies.
  • Regulatory compliance: Compliance with regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA necessitates a well-informed and officially trained workforce to protect sensitive data and avoid hefty penalties. The return on investment from cyber security training significantly outweighs the cost of the training in the first place. We hold materials and eLearning courses that address a variety of regulations and compliance directives for a whole host of industries and cyber threats. Book a call with us to find out more
  • Incident response improvement: Cyber security awareness enhances incident response by enabling employees to identify and report potential threats promptly. The quicker you spot cyber-attacks, the quicker employees report them, the quicker you can lock up your data and confidential information, the safer your organisation will be. In fact, one of our most comprehensive tools is our Security Awareness and Behaviour Research (SABR) tool, which pinpoints gaps in an organisation's armour and incident response levels and recommends different ways to address and improve response times. 
  • Reputation protection: Cyber incidents can damage a company's reputation; well-informed staff can prevent breaches and uphold trust. A Forbes Insight report found that 46% of organisations had suffered reputational damage as a result of a data breach and 19% of organisations suffered reputation and brand damage as a result of a third-party security breach.

Key components of basic cyber security awareness

  • Phishing awareness: Phishing is the most common form of cybercrime, with several reports estimating that 3.4 billion malicious emails are sent every day. In fact, Verizon’s 2023 DBIR found that 36% of all data breaches involved phishing. Educating employees about recognising and avoiding phishing emails is paramount. TSC's Phishing products include 'Recognise and deal with phishing attacks' eLearning, Phishing PDF, 'Know the essentials: phishing' animated infographic, 'Don't take the bait' phishy statements game, 'Phishing and fake news' static infographic, 'Spear phishing' poster, 'Scam Survival' game, 'Lax phishing' and 'Lax downloading' character-based animation, 'Dangerous differences' game, 'Account hijacking' GIF, 'Halt the hijack' game and even more. Click here to book a demo!
  • Password hygiene: Weak passwords are still a problem … can you believe it? 65% more passwords were compromised in 2022 than 2020 (Digital Shadows, 2022), with weak passwords contributing to 81% of hacking-related breaches. You must promote strong and unique password creation, multi-factor authentication, and make clear that consistent password refreshes are essential. TSC's Password products include 'Password security' eLearning, 'Password cracker/Credential stuffer' game, 'Password challenge' game, 'What-a-mole' game, 'How do I manage passwords online' eLearning, 'None shall pass(word) authentication hacks' game, 'Authentication hacks' GIF, 'Password Security' GIF and more. Interested in a demo?
  • Safe web browsing: Web-based threats can compromise systems; teaching secure browsing practices helps prevent malware infections. This includes everything from safe use of social media, use of public networks, working remotely, working at different locations and web browsing permissions. Our web browsing materials include 'Using the internet and email' eLearning, 'Manage my digital footprint' eLearning, 'Fake news' leaflet, 'How do I identify risks and threats' eLearning, 'Protecting my identity' GIF, 'Social media harvesting online' game, 'Protecting my identity' top tips, 'Social media essentials' animated infographic. Click here to book a demo!
  • Social engineering: Social engineering has always been the go-to manipulation tactic for threat actors for tricking unwitting individuals. It is an even bigger issue now that social engineering attacks can be supercharged by AI language models to tighten the language used and the social engineering tactics deployed.
  • Device security: Securing mobile devices and remote workstations prevents unauthorised access. Many jobs either involve multiple locations or multiple devices. It is, therefore, vital to ensure your employees understand the importance of updating their devices, patching vulnerabilities, refreshing password details and more to do with device security.

Basic cyber security awareness is an indispensable element of a holistic cyber security strategy. For CISOs, DPOs, and other cyber security decision-makers, investing in educating the workforce on potential risks, best practices, and incident response protocols is a proactive measure to safeguard sensitive data and maintain business continuity.

By understanding the significance of cyber security awareness and leveraging the basics, your employees can lead your organisations towards a safer digital future.

With TSC you can deliver targeted, comprehensive, tried and tested cyber security training and awareness materials that demystify the basic threats and risks employees will face every single day. The added bonus of working with us is our ability to customise our products to both minor customised levels and totally bespoke creations. 

If you would like informationabout how The Security Company can help you to formulate a cyber security training and awareness program for your organisation and how we help support security leaders in setting up a fresh cyber security awareness framework ... please contact our Head of Business Development and Sales, Jenny Mandley.

The Security Company's vast library of customised and non-customised products and services are tailored for small, medium and large organisations and are available in a variety of languages. We also offer bespoke solutions for organisations that desire training and awareness materials built from the ground up.

Written by
Nas Ali
Cyber security and awareness content creator focused on emerging threats and the next wave of cyber security risks like AI, deepfakes and tech 4.0 initiatives in order to build towards a more secure organisational culture.
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