How to Measure Cybersecurity Awareness

Cybersecurity has become a critical competitive differentiator for businesses, and as such, its degree of adoption needs to be tracked. But internal security control audits alone paint an incomplete picture of cyber resilience; even the most sophisticated controls fail to prevent a data breach facilitated by human error.

A more accurate method of evaluating an organisation’s cybersecurity culture is by measuring its level of cybersecurity awareness.

Think of cybersecurity awareness as an indication of whether a business is walking the security walk, or just talking the security talk.

What is Cybersecurity Awareness?

Cybersecurity awareness refers to the amount of cyber threat knowledge possessed by an individual. At an organisational level, it’s a measure of how well employees can recognise and avoid cyber threats, particularly across the most commonly targeted region of a business’s attack surface – email.

Cybersecurity awareness and human error have an inversely proportional relationship – the greater the degree of cyber awareness, the smaller the chances of data breaches facilitated by human errors.

This relationship can be attributed to the majority of data breaches. According to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, 85% of cyber-attacks involve a human element.

You don’t need to scroll too far down a news feed to find a data breach event driven by human error. Just last month, in April 2022, an internal tool at Mailchimp was compromised after staff fell victim to a social engineering attack – a type of cyberattack that exploits human vulnerabilities to steal private login information. Mailchimp has a wide range of costly security controls in place, and these cybercriminals circumvented them by tricking staff into providing their sensitive internal login credentials.

Increasing cybersecurity awareness in the workplace is one of the most cost-effective strategies for reducing data breaches and ensuring maximum ROI from your security control investments.

Most Australian Businesses are Vulnerable to Phishing Attacks

Unfortunately, most Australian businesses are likely to fall victim to phishing attacks. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), in 2021, over $4 million was lost to Phishing attacks. Compared to other nations, Australian organisations are ranked lower on the scale of cybersecurity awareness, with successful phishing attacks increasing by 53% from 2020 to 2021.

The key to overturning these gut-wrenching stats is to address the liability phishing attacks depend upon – poor cybersecurity awareness.

How to Increase Cybersecurity Awareness in 2022

The best way to increase cybersecurity awareness is through education. Cybersecurity awareness training is specifically designed to identify an organisation’s initial level of cyber threat awareness and lift that standard to a level that’s resilient to most phishing attack attempts.

If you’d like to better understand if your business is at risk of human error data breach why not take the PhishNet Assessment  today.