7 reasons why cybersecurity awareness training for finance staff is important

7 reasons why cybersecurity awareness training for finance staff is important

What you might have to gain from training staff in your organisation

7 reasons why cybersecurity awareness training for finance staff is important

We live in a cyber world. We all depend on technology vigorously nowadays, especially businesses and corporations. Systems, software and hardware are essential for most, if not all departments in an organisation.

As much as we tend to think that our work and processes through these IT solutions are safe and secured, that is not the case unfortunately.

As long as staff are connected to the internet, they are still vulnerable to canny cyberattacks.

Definition of cybersecurity

Cybersecurity are all the processes and controls that are designed to protect systems, networks and data from cyberattacks. It prevents websites from crashing, protects staff’s safety, and gain the trust of customers.

It is the IT Security team’s responsibility to protect the organisation’s IT infrastructure and systems from cyber threats. But it is everyone’s duty and responsibility to keep themselves and their devices safe from cyberattacks.

Thus, employees in the finance department have a responsibility as well as the IT Security team to be alert from cyber threats. The best way to make them aware of this responsibility is by conducting a cybersecurity awareness training session or course.

Cybersecurity awareness training. Why?

HR, IT security and finance managers must put their heads together to organise cybersecurity awareness sessions for finance employees for the following reasons:

1.      Basic knowledge of cyber security

Accountants and finance staff don’t need to be experts in IT or cybersecurity. They need an “IT course for non-IT people” or the “ABCs” sort of knowledge. It should be simple with non-technical terms. Eventually, they will get familiar with terminology like phishing, botnets, socially engineered attacks, strong passwords, resilience policies and antiviruses.

2.      Changing mindsets

Since cyberattacks are a global issue and can happen to any employee, customer or business, using real stories will help to create an element of shock in the participant. This wakeup call can explain to staff the consequences of misusing their devices and systems and take cybersecurity seriously.

3.      Sensitive and confidential finance data

Since finance staff overlook important data on their systems such as payroll, taxation, profits, expenditures, statements, invoices and cash flow, they are probably the most wanted personnel to attack by hackers. Cyber thieves are always after money, private accounts and confidential information. Realising the value of this information if breached will help staff to act cautious all the time.

Hence, they must be the first candidates to attend a cybersecurity awareness training.

4.      Think before you click

After attending, cybersecurity awareness training helps participants to take simple counter-measures to avoid being hacked or avoid a data breach. One of those measures is creating a habit of questioning themselves when they receive a suspicious email or link and be able to recognise a possible risk. Naivety has no place in this situation!

5.      Regular checks and updates

A training course or session will teach finance staff to look out for updates for their software and systems and how important these updates are. They can be the persisting voice of alerting the IT security team if their applications need updates and changing their current IT policy.

We all recall the May 2017 WannaCry cyberattack that affected the NHS in the UK. It was all because of a malicious software that exploited a vulnerability in Windows which hadn’t been updated for a long time. The NHS paid a hefty price for that.

6.      IT security and finance bonding

A cybersecurity awareness training can eventually create a relationship between members of staff in the IT security and finance departments. As it creates a cybersecurity culture and continuous dialogue between them and draws their common interests in the organisation.

7.      It’s ongoing. It never stops

IT security employees can fix patches in their systems and make it impossible for hackers to penetrate them again.

But it’s never endgame for cyber criminals. Since the dynamic digital world is constantly changing, software and networks are always developing loopholes that attackers seek to exploit. Cyber thieves are becoming ever more sophisticated in their approaches and techniques.

So, finance staff need to understand that this is a continuous cat and mouse game and systems can never be fully immune from cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity awareness training. How?

Delivering a cybersecurity awareness training course or session can be classroom-based or CBT-based, outsourced or inhouse. Whatever method you choose, make sure it is up to date and interactive.

Mona Kay is a Learning and Development Manager at Knowledge Train®, a training company in London providing courses accredited by AXELOS, APMG, PMI, BCS, APM Group and DevOps Institute.

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