MSPs know that providing even the most powerful and comprehensive security services can be rendered fruitless by the careless or negligent behavior of their clients. While user education has always been a core component of an effective security strategy, today’s sophisticated cyberattacks are making security awareness training (SAT) for end users an even wiser MSP investment.
According to Ashley Schwartau of The Security Awareness Company, “Most data breaches that we hear about occur due to the bad guys being able to take advantage of employees who don’t know policy, aren’t security aware enough to think ‘oh this is a moment when I should be following policy,’ aren’t clued in enough to report suspicious activity, or don’t understand why they should care about their company’s security well-being.”
Simply put, users are generally an easy target for cybercriminals because they can be tricked into opening suspicious emails, downloading bad attachments, and visiting malicious URLs. With proper education about malware sources and training to avoid them, MSPs can actually convert their clients into becoming the first line of defense against cyberattacks. Trained properly, threat-savvy users learn to spot and report potential attacks to security teams.
From phishing to drive-by downloads, malvertising to ransomware, social engineering to code injection, threats are so numerous and varied that users can’t keep up without education. Your clients not only need awareness training, they appreciate its benefits. With training, their own data is also less likely to be compromised, making it relevant to them on both a personal and professional level. Most obviously, their business operations won’t be disrupted by attacks, enabling them to be more productive and thus more profitable.
The fiscal benefits of SAT can be even more direct. Many industries, such as financial services, healthcare, energy, and others, require end user awareness training at least annually. Depending on their industries, your clients could face stiff fines for neglecting compliance training. And for the MSP, a SAT practice not only enhances your reputation with clients, it also creates a new revenue stream for your business.
To be sure, it will take some effort—cybersecurity training isn’t a one-off. The threat landscape is continuously evolving, making user education an ongoing endeavor. That’s why it’s so important that MSPs make sure clients understand that their end users need recurring high-quality, relevant, actionable training.
According to a July 2017 Aberdeen Group research study entitled “Security Awareness Training: Small Investment, Large Reduction in Risk,” changing employee behavior through continuous security education can reduce the risk of a security breach by an average of 50 percent.
Given the many benefits of security awareness training, it’s no surprise that demand for SAT services is rapidly growing. According to a 2017 article in CSO, Andrew Walls, research vice president for security, risk and privacy at analyst firm Gartner, estimated the security awareness training market at more than $1 billion in late 2014. That article also cites a report from Cybersecurity Ventures which states that training employees on how to recognize and defend against cyberattacks is “the most underspent sector of the cybersecurity industry—a sector that can be worth $10 billion by 2027.”
Bonus: Get the Top 10 Reasons Why SAT is a Smart MSP Investment
We’ve only touched here on a few of the factors that make security awareness training the right choice for you and your clients. To get the complete scoop we encourage you to download our handy guide, “10 Reasons SAT is a Smart MSP Investment.” In this brief overview you’ll learn how SAT enables you to boost client security (and thus long-term loyalty) while also adding new sources of revenue to enhance your profitability.