Give your staff the tools they need to succeed and secure your business

Technology is ever-evolving and your business must keep up with the changes lest it be left behind in the proverbial dust. In order to flexibly adapt to the revolutions occurring in the world of technology, businesses must offer continuous training to their employees. The benefits to offering regular, ongoing training for employees are immeasurable in terms of growth, employee retention, and business continuity.

With a new year just around the corner, now is the time to begin planning your employee technology training for the coming year. By planning ahead now, you can use your training to enhance the technology skills, capabilities, and understanding of your staff.

Why Ongoing Technology Training Matters

According to Orleans Marketing, more than 3.8 billion people use the internet today. That equates to 40 percent of the world’s population accessing the internet on a daily basis. By 2020, the number of devices to connect to the internet is expected to reach 8 billion.

Though those statistics are mind-boggling in and of themselves, statistics regarding the dark side of the internet are even more jaw-dropping, particularly for small to medium businesses (SMBs). According to the 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report by Verizon, 43 percent of breaches involved small business victims. The same report shows that while 69 percent of breaches were perpetrated by outsiders, 34 percent involved internal actors (employees and other business insiders). What’s even more pertinent to small and medium businesses is that 21 percent of breaches investigated in the Verizon report were the result of employee errors through casual events (i.e. clicking on a bad link or attachment in an email, visiting an unsecured site, etc.).

IBM’s 2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report conducted by the Ponemon Institute demonstrates how breaches can lead to devastating financial losses due to lost business, regulatory fines, business disruption, remediation, and recovery costs. The report shows the average total cost of a data breach is now $3.92 million dollars and the industry targeted most frequently was healthcare. To make matters worse, such data breaches can negatively impact a company’s reputation for years to come costing it even more. The IBM report showed that “about one-third of data breach costs occurred more than one year after a data breach incident.”

The aforementioned 2019 Verizon report demonstrates that phishing and malware are huge threats when it comes to business cybersecurity. These are two of the main ways your employees are baited into opening the door for cybercriminals. This is easily combated with regular, ongoing technology and cybersecurity training of all employees which can ultimately save your company’s bacon.

Continuous technology training for your employees makes them more effective, efficient, and productive as well. This leads to quality performance, better security for your business, and a lower rate of loss due to data breaches. Training is crucial for the success of your employees and your company.

The Four Training Periods

There are four periods during the course of an employee’s time with your organization that technology training should occur. The first is when a new employee joins your organization. This training will allow them to become familiar not only with your company but with its mission, vision, rules and regulations as well as its cybersecurity procedures and protocols.

Technology training should also be done on a regular, quarterly basis but preferably every month. Training should be constant and ongoing due to the rapidly changing technology landscape. This allows your existing employees to be trained on new software and applications as well as any updated hardware your company may have upgraded to. Additionally, you will want to take this opportunity to refresh their cybersecurity training and enhance their knowledge of the cyber threats facing your company. Reminding employees not to open emails from unknown sources and refrain from clicking on suspicious links and attachments can literally save your company from a devastating crisis.

Training should also be conducted if there are any updates, changes, or breaches that occur. If there are updates to your hardware, software, or network systems within your organization, additional training should immediately accompany those changes. By providing your staff with training, you are providing them with the tools to handle the changes. For example, if all data backup is now occurring on the cloud versus hard drives on-site, your employees will need to know how to access records. Every employee needs to be trained on how to use new equipment, employ fresh technology, and protect your business’s valuable data.

The fourth period in which an employee should undergo technology training is during a promotion. Career growth is important for most people. They want the room to spread their wings and do more. As employees move up the ladder in your organization, they are likely to have increased access to even more proprietary information. That access requires additional technology and cybersecurity training so they are prepared to handle the shared responsibility of protecting business data and promoting security at the highest level.

What Technology Training Should Entail

There are several areas that should be addressed in your technology training. The first is regarding hardware that your business utilizes. Every employee should know how to use their desktop computer, business laptop, company tablets, and mobile devices. Not only should your employees be trained to use them, but they should also know how to protect the valuable company data on them through learning the best security practices. Your employees will also need to be trained on how to use printers, copiers, scanners, and other hardware if anything has changed in your office. They should also be trained on who to report problems to as well as how to go about doing so.

Your staff will also need to be trained in the use of software and applications employed by your business. Employees may need a refresher on your operating systems, the safe use of email, and programs specifically used by your organization such as point of sale software for retailers. Knowing how to use software and applications safely and appropriately will empower your employees and improve productivity.

Finally, your employees will need to be trained in cybersecurity. Give them a refresher on what cybersecurity is, the cybersecurity plan in place for your organization, and how they play a role in protecting your company from a breach. Teach them why your company might become a target, who might be trying to attack, and how cybercriminals may try to access your systems, networks, and data.

Educate your staff about the threat of ransomware, malware, viruses, emails, links, and attachments. Explain that they need to log out and shut down their devices each night to allow updates to occur. Inform your employees about the need to back up their data and how they should do so. Explain the cost of a data breach and how troublesome recovery can really be. This will encourage them to be especially careful when it comes to protecting your business.

The Benefits of Proper Technology Training

There are many benefits to providing your employees with proper, continuous technology training. Not only does training boost employee morale, but it helps them feel empowered. With training, your employees will experience a greater sense of job satisfaction which leads to a desire to contribute more. This means success for your organization in terms of productivity and cybersecurity along with less employee turnover.

Another benefit of training is that your employees will require less direct assistance and supervision. When they are provided with the proper technology training, they will be more familiar with the use of both hardware and software in the workplace. This means less time training people individually as their need to use such technology arises. By knowing how to use hardware and software properly in the office, your employees will also be more productive.

Finally, another benefit is there will be fewer instances of data loss. Empowered with the knowledge and tools picked up in training, an employee will be less likely to open an email from an unknown source or explore unsecured sites online that could lead to a breach. Trained employees are also less apt to open a dangerous attachment or link than untrained employees. Knowledge is power and you give that gift to your employees and your business with every training they participate in. Such training ultimately contributes to the overall security of your organization, saving it money and time.

How to Train

There are a multitude of ways technology training can occur from classes on site to online courses. You will need to determine the best form of training for your staff. This is where the experts at ORAM Corporate Advisors can assist you. However you decide to conduct your technology training, it will ensure your employees have the knowledge and tools to be productive and secure in the year ahead.

ORAM can help you identify your specific training needs as well as how to achieve them. If you have questions about technology training or would like to discuss affordable technology training for your staff, contact ORAM online or call (617) 933-5060 now.