How to get budget for security awareness training

Getting a budget approved for any type of new programme can prove challenging, but it can be especially so when it comes to cybersecurity. This is because senior management is likely to see preventive security measures as a cost - and as such, something to minimise as far as possible.

However, you shouldn't give up on your plan for a new security awareness training programme just yet. In this article, we will look at how to build a strong case for security awareness training and help you get the budget you need to institute a new SAT programme in your organisation.

To get your security awareness training budget approved, you will need to:


Present security awareness training as a cost-effective human risk management tool

The most common reason that IT managers find it hard to get approval for a security awareness training budget is that the company leadership is likely to see training as a cost. Any competent management team will want to minimise costs to a minimum, and thus, as long as cyber training is seen as just another cost, it will be impossible to gain approval for a budget for it.

In order to successfully make the case for security awareness training, you will need to explain that security awareness training doesn't cost the company money, but the complete opposite. Instituting a training programme will save the company money - as well as safeguard its reputation among its customers and partners.

Human risk is one of the leading factors of cyber incidents. In the following sections, we will look at just how you can use statistics and real-world data about your own end users to build a strong case for security awareness training as a form of human risk management.


Use data to demonstrate the costs of a breach

Breaches are expensive. IBM estimates that the average cost of a data breach is now $4.24 million, a number that no company can simply brush over. Demonstrating numbers like this to your management team is important, but you should also highlight the link between human error and cyber breaches.

Human error is a cause in up to 95% of all cyber breaches. This includes employees falling for phishing emails, visiting malicious websites and failing to keep their operating systems and anti-virus software up to date. If you were to address human error as a factor, you could seriously reduce the chances of a costly breach occurring in your company.


Perform a phishing simulation on your own end users

A phishing simulation will allow you to demonstrate just how vulnerable your own end users are to human error. In many company-wide phishing simulations, up to 39% of employees fall suspect to following the phishing link and giving up their credentials. If you showed up to your board meeting with statistics like that on your own company, you will likely encounter little resistance to the institution of a security awareness training programme.

Phishing simulation data

Learn more about carrying out a free phishing simulation here.


Remind your management about regulatory responsibilities

No matter the industry or jurisdiction that your company is based in, chances are that there is at least one data protection regulation that you will need to comply with. Whether this is financial, healthcare or personal information related legislation, breaching sensitive data can result in highly damaging regulatory action or fines levied on your company.

It is not only the direct punitive action of regulators that your company should be concerned about. If your business was to experience a breach of personal or sensitive information, it could cause serious and long-running damage to the company reputation. This could be more difficult and more expensive to deal with than any fine that a regulator could levy at the company.

Security awareness training helps you safeguard the reputation of your company among customers and partners by reducing the chances of a serious cyber breach occurring. If your end users know what steps they need to take to protect your customers' personal information, your management team will be able to rest easy knowing that the chances of a serious breach are minimised.


Estimate how much money SAT could save your company

Look up the regulatory frameworks and compliance requirements that apply to your company, whether based on your jurisdiction or industry, and consider how much a breach could cost. Fines under regulatory regimes such as the General Data Protection Regulation in the European Union or the California Consumer Privacy Act in California can result in fines of millions levied at companies that fail to take appropriate measures to protect the data of their customers - and the IT costs of replacing devices and containing a breach could prove just as expensive.

It is the reputational damage that can be caused by a breach that is the most expensive to deal with in the long run. No company can succeed in the long term if their customers don't trust the company with their data. Once you weigh up the potential costs of a breach, it will be easy for you to demonstrate to your senior management team that a security awareness training programme is a bargain in comparison.


Cost-effective security awareness training that works

Great security awareness training engages end users, goes through all core cyber security topics, and deploys at the click of a button. usecure provides a highly-automated cyber training programme that makes raising awareness easy - and allows you to demonstrate real-world improvements to your board with realistic phishing simulations

The usecure Guide to Security Awareness Training 2021