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Fortinet Research Finds Over 80% of Organizations Experience Cyber Attacks that Target Employees

Fortinet

New research underscores importance of effective cyber awareness training for employees to decrease cyber risks, with more than 50% of leaders indicating their employees lack proper knowledge

Fortinet released its 2023 Security Awareness and Training Global Research Brief, highlighting the importance of organizations building a cyber-aware workforce to strengthen their security posture and reduce cyber attacks.

Enabling Employees to Protect their Organization’s Most Critical Digital Assets

Organizations are grappling with an increasingly sophisticated threat landscape. The most recent Global Threat Landscape Report from Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs found that ransomware threats remain at peak levels with no evidence of slowing down globally. At the same time, Fortinet’s 2023 Cybersecurity Skills Gap Global Report found that 84% of organizations experienced one or more breaches in 2022.

And now the latest research from Fortinet’s 2023 Security Awareness and Training Global Research Brief reveals that more than 90% of leaders believe that increased employee cybersecurity awareness would help decrease the occurrence of cyberattacks. As organizations face increasing cyber risks, the research highlights the important role of employees in serving as an organization’s first line of defense in protecting their organization from cybercrime. Additional key findings from Fortinet’s research include:        

  • Employees are being targeted by cyber criminals. The research found that 81% of organizations faced malware, phishing, and/or password attacks last year which mainly were targeted at users. This underscores that employees can be an organization’s weakest point or one of its most powerful defenses.
  • Having an effective training program is key to instilling good cyber hygiene in employees. Eighty-five percent of leaders say their organization has a security awareness and training program, yet more than 50% believe their employees still lack cybersecurity knowledge. This gap suggests the training programs in place may not be as effective as they could be, resulting in inconsistency in how employees apply good cyber hygiene practices or that training is not reinforced sufficiently.
  • Cybersecurity is increasingly becoming a priority for the Board of Directors. The report found that 93% of organizations indicated their board of directors are asking about the organizations cyber defenses and strategy.

Building a Cyber Aware Workforce with Fortinet’s Security Awareness and Training Service

For organizations looking to implement cybersecurity awareness training for their employees or those evaluating the effectiveness of their current program, Fortinet offers its Security Awareness and Training service to develop a cyber-aware workforce. Designed by the Fortinet Training Institute’s world-class trainers, the service covers a broad range of topics in a practical way and reinforces learnings with reminders and checks, helping to improve training outcomes. Organizations deploying the service also have access to a dashboard and reporting to address cyber insurance and compliance needs.

The service uniquely leverages FortiGuard Labs threat intelligence, providing frequently updated training informed by developments observed across the threat landscape. Additionally, the service aligns withthe National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines – NIST 800-50 and NIST 800-16 – to further ensure key topics are covered including, information security, data privacy, physical security, password protection and internet security.

Fortinet has also tailored this service for educators and made it available for free to school districts and systems across the United States and local education authorities in the United Kingdom, with plans to continue increasing access globally.

John Maddison, EVP of Products and CMO at Fortinet, said, “Our 2023 Security Awareness and Training Global Research Brief underscores the crucial role employees play in preventing cyberattacks. It also highlights the critical need for organizations to prioritize security awareness and training services to ensure employees serve as the first line of defense.”

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