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Lack of Basic IT Training in New Employee Onboarding Period ‘Potentially Catastrophic’ for UK Businesses

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Recruiters and HR managers of UK businesses are being urged to make the provision of basic IT training mandatory during the onboarding process for new employees, or risk putting their company and its confidential data in danger of costly and “catastrophic” security breaches.

According to a new study by Manchester-based progressive technology provider Evaris, 65% of UK professionals were not given mandatory IT training that they had to take without exception during their first month of employment in their current or most recent role.

Of these individuals, 74% had never received any IT training at all in their current or most recent role.

That is despite 86% of all respondents saying that they worked on a computer every single day.

IBM and The Ponemon Institute recently calculated the global average cost of a data breach to an organisation is $3.86 million.

Dave Rogers, Senior Account Manager and Security Specialist at Evaris, said:

“There seems to be a widespread assumption among businesses across the board that new employees have at least a basic knowledge of IT and IT security. However, this assumption can be incredibly dangerous and potentially catastrophic.

“Time and time again we hear from clients who strongly believe the biggest threat to their IT security are the users operating within their infrastructure – and very often, it is a lack of basic IT skills that are putting the business at risk of security breaches.”

“Businesses in all sectors should, as standard, ensure they provide mandatory IT training – carried out by the IT department – to new starters within the first month to ensure they are able to carry out their work on the company’s network without exposing the organisation to security risks. However, it’s clear very few employers are actually carrying this out.”

In addition, 35% of respondents said that they felt their employer was either “not so interested” or “not at all interested” in understanding their level of IT knowledge as a new starter at their firm.

What’s more, there is a widespread perception among UK professionals that their employers do not value the ongoing development of their IT skills. Some 45% of respondents said their employer takes the development of their IT knowledge either “not so seriously” or “not at all seriously”. Just 11% said they felt their managers take this issue “very seriously”.

Rogers added:

“It is in the best interests of all businesses across the board to ensure their employees have all the knowledge, awareness and skills they need to help protect the company against costly cyber attacks and data breaches. This means ongoing education and training, with the active involvement of the company’s IT department.

“We are calling for the HR and recruitment teams to ensure this happens as a matter of course and is ingrained in the company’s culture and hiring and training practices from the very start.

“The threat of cyber security risks should not be underestimated, and it is up to employers to ensure that their staff have the tools they need to ensure company data is protected at all times.”

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