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Schadenfreude (/ˈʃɑːdənfrɔɪdə/German: [ˈʃaːdn̩ˌfʁɔʏ̯də] (About this sound listen)lit. ‘harm-joy’) is the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, or humiliation of another. (source: Wikipedia)

The press can’t get enough of corporate data breaches. They delight in showcasing the latest horror story about a business that lost massive amounts of private records or millions in revenue to the latest hack. I would call that schadenfreude, but wait …you could be next.

Despite all the funds you may have spent on state-of-the-art security software, the bad guys are just one gullible user click away from staging an all-out invasion. To make matters worse, that user might well be you! Recent surveys show that executives can be some of the biggest culprits when it comes to clicking on phishing links and opening malicious email attachments.

Yet by far, the most effective strategy in combatting these attacks is also one of the most poorly implemented – security awareness training. The long list of “worst practices” for user education is almost endless – break room briefings while people eat lunch and catch up on email; short instructional videos that provide no more than superficial understanding; and the time-honored practice of hoping for the best and doing nothing.

It’s better to start a new-school security training method sooner rather than later. Thousands of your peers will tell you this was the best and most fun IT security budget they ever spent… hands-down.

Here are the Top 5 reasons to consider Security Awareness Training: 

  1. Social Engineering is the No. 1 go-to strategy for the bad guys. Unfortunately, their time is money too. Why spend 2 months of research uncovering a 0-day when you (literally) can create an effective spear-phishing attack in 2 hours? They are going after the human—the weakest link in IT security—and your last line of defense.
  2. Ransomware is only going to get worse in 2018. Email is still their favorite attack vector, and their sophistication is increasing by the month. The downtime caused by ransomware can be massive.
  3. Compliance requirements for awareness training are being sharpened up. Thinking that today you can get away with a yearly one-time, old-school awareness training session is whistling past the graveyard. A good example is May 25, 2018, when enforcement actions for GDPR begin. We have compliance training for GDPR ready in 24 languages.
  4. Legally you are required to act “reasonably” and take “necessary” measures to cope with a threat. If you don’t, you violate either compliance laws, regulations, or recent case law. Your organization must take into account today’s social engineering risks and “scale security measures to reflect the threat”. Don’t trust me, confirm with your lawyer, and next insist on getting budget. Today, data breaches cause practically instant class action lawsuits. And don’t even talk about all employees filing a class action against your own company because your W-2 forms were exfiltrated with CEO fraud.
  5. Board members’ No. 1 focus today is cyber security. Some very pointed questions will be asked if they read in the Wall Street Journal that your customer database was hacked and the breach data is being sold on the dark web. Once it becomes clear that your organization did not deploy a simple, effective strategy that could have prevented this, a few (highly placed) heads will roll. Target’s CEO and CISO are just an example. Help your CEO to keep their job

Hold the schadenfreude and learn from the mistakes of others! Find out more about our Security Awareness Training here: https://www.cybriant.com/cybersecurity-awareness-training/

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