Your New Employee Training: Cybersecurity

Danielle Beurteaux

Here’s something you’re going to be hearing about a lot in 2016: cybersecurity training.

A new company called CyberVista used this year’s CES inaugural CyberSecurity Forum to announce its launch. The Arlington, Va.-based company, which is owned by Graham Holdings and Kaplan, Inc.—yes, the test people—will initially focus on training aimed at board members and executives.

Either way, it likely won’t be long until cybersecurity training is part of employee training. That means a potential pot of gold for cybersecurity firms aiming education products at a broader market. And one thing nearly everyone agrees upon is that incidents of cybercrime will continue to grow.

Ransomware attacks, which is where hackers lock computers, steal information and demand a ransom for its return, are predicted to increase, particularly attacks aimed at large companies with large assets. The FFEIC released a warning late last year about the rise in ransomware attacks against large financial institutions, both in number and the amount being demanded.

This is getting costly for companies. A recent report found that almost a 30 percent of companies surveyed would pay to a ransom if they have cyberinsurance. For companies without insurance, almost 23 percent would be willing to pay a ransom, and 14 percent in both categories would pay over $1 million.

Then there are mobile attacks, as smartphones and tablets become the predominant connected devices for more of the population, and breaches of information kept in the cloud without adequate encryption.

Education will be key in fighting off these attacks, and 2016 looks to be the year when companies will be spending on instruction aimed at not just the IT crowd, but the entire employee pool. They’re the ones who are often less knowledgeable about potential attacks and are, thus, the weak links and targets for attacks, who will check social media at work, and use work devices for personal uses, and click on a link or file that could be the malware that takes a system down. Engaging consultants to put together a program that educates the rank-and-file in an approachable, jargon-free method could be the difference between a safe company and a $1 million ransom.

So some expect this year will see the expertise and focus that’s been locked in federal contract land to make the jump into the public sector.

People-powered security means making it easier for employees to work with good cybersecurity practices. After all, the practice of hacking is getting easier—sometimes it’s just a matter of buying a product to do it for you.

Do millennials need to focus more on cybersecurity? See The Millennial Need For Cybersecurity.


Danielle Beurteaux

About Danielle Beurteaux

Danielle Beurteaux is a New York–based writer who covers business, technology, and philanthropy. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and on Popular Mechanics, CNN, and Institutional Investor's Alpha, among other outlets.