Employee cybersecurity awareness takes center stage in defense strategies

As cyberattacks intensify, more and more organizations recognize the need to have a strong security culture for all employees, according to Fortinet.

employees cybersecurity knowledge

Employee cybersecurity awareness

The most recent report from Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs found that ransomware threats remain at peak levels with no evidence of slowing down globally. At the same time, Fortinet found that 84% of organizations experienced one or more breaches in 2022.

The latest research from Fortinet reveals that more than 90% of leaders believe that increased employee cybersecurity awareness would help decrease the occurrence of cyberattacks.

As organizations face increasing cyber risks, the research highlights the important role of employees in serving as an organization’s first line of defense in protecting their organization from cybercrime.

Lack of cybersecurity knowledge among employees

81% of organizations faced malware, phishing, and password attacks last year which mainly were targeted at users. This underscores that employees can be an organization’s weakest point or one of its most powerful defenses.

85% of leaders say their organization has a security awareness and training program, yet more than 50% believe their employees still lack cybersecurity knowledge.

This gap suggests the training programs in place may not be as effective as they could be, resulting in inconsistency in how employees apply good cyber hygiene practices or that training is not reinforced sufficiently.

Boards of directors are focused on cybersecurity

Since many attacks target users, it seems likely that boards see—or will soon see—that employee cybersecurity awareness is a critical part of the “defense equation”. 93% of organizations indicated their board of directors are asking about the organizations cyber defenses and strategy.

“Our 2023 Security Awareness and Training Global Research Brief underscores the crucial role employees play in preventing cyberattacks. It also highlights the critical need for organizations to prioritize security awareness and training services to ensure employees serve as the first line of defense,” said John Maddison, EVP of Products and CMO at Fortinet.

With a solid training program, organizations can raise employees cyber- risk awareness and empower them to defend the organization, laying the foundation for a strong and ready cybersecurity culture.

Organizations know that they need advanced cybersecurity solutions, and that technology certifications build the cybersecurity capabilities of their IT teams. To date, employee awareness may not have received the full attention it deserves, yet it could prove pivotal in the fight against cyberattacks in the years to come.

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