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Over half of workers can't recall having cybersecurity training

(Image credit: Image Credit: Den Rise / Shutterstock)

As the cost of dealing with the aftermath of a security breach has risen significantly in the past year alone, new research has revealed that staff training can greatly help reduce the risk of cyber attacks. 

A new survey from Accenture found that 55 per cent of workers in the UK could not recall ever receiving training regarding cyber threats, meaning many of them are often unsure what to do in order to prevent, identify or respond to a cyber attack. 

Accenture says that average cost of cyber crime to businesses in the UK has increased by 19 per cent over the last year to £6.4 million, but better staff training could be key to reducing the funds spent on dealing with security breaches after they occur. 

According to the survey, 70 per cent of employees who did receive training said that it improved their ability to respond to cyber threats with one in four believing that training was a more effective form of protection against phishing scams than having the authorities do more to track down cyber criminals.

Sophisticated phishing campaigns are still a serious risk to businesses with Accenture's Cyber Threatscape Report highlighting that 19 per cent of workers are not sure that they would be able to identify a phishing email. 

“Large businesses in the UK can expect to face more than eighty cyber-attacks each year, with one in three breaching security," said  Rick Hemsley, managing director of Accenture Security.    

"It’s therefore no surprise that companies are investing more than ever in security solutions. However, this research shows that no matter how much they spend, businesses that fail to educate staff about cybersecurity put themselves at greater risk of being hacked.”   

“Effective investment will not only enable practical solutions like stronger spam filters, cloud-based e-mail analytics, virus scanners and firewalls. It will ensure employees have the tools they need to recognise threats, including phishing scams, through prevention training and awareness programs. Ultimately, an organisation’s security is only as strong as its weakest link, which in many cases could be its own workforce.” 

Image Credit: Den Rise / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.