KnowBe4 Sees Security Awareness Training Go from Lunchroom to Boardroom

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KnowBe4’s explosive growth marks trend in security direction from reactive to proactive

Demand for Security Awareness Training Spurs Explosive Growth for KnowBe4

KnowBe4's explosive growth

With the average cost of a data breach skyrocketing and costs of ransomware infections running over $18,000 per victim, relegating security awareness training to an annual lunchtime ‘death by PowerPoint’ is no longer a viable option--Stu Sjouwerman CEO

KnowBe4, provider of the world’s most popular integrated platform for security awareness training and simulated phishing testing, has seen explosive growth for eight consecutive quarters. Noteworthy data breaches in the first half of 2015 such as Anthem and OPM, affecting millions, have left CEOs and CISOs alike scrambling for a way to manage the problem of social engineering. Even the FBI is getting in on the act, prompting an alert on June 23, 2015. As a result, security awareness training has gone from lunchroom-to-boardroom in priority, exceeding a billion in worldwide annual revenue.

"People are used to having a technology solution [but] social engineering bypasses all technologies, including firewalls. Technology is critical, but we have to look at people and processes. Social engineering is a form of hacking that uses influence tactics," said KnowBe4’s Chief Hacking Officer Kevin Mitnick.

“With the average cost of a data breach skyrocketing and costs of ransomware infections running over $18,000 per victim, relegating security awareness training to an annual lunchtime ‘death by PowerPoint’ is no longer a viable option,” said KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman. “Furthermore, many companies were caught by surprise when they found their backups failed after a ransomware infection, underlining a need for more proactive action. Since we are the only company to offer a crypto-ransom guarantee (we cover the ransom in Bitcoin if our customer gets hit with ransomware after training their users), we moved up on the priority list.”

Risk managers know it is far cheaper to train users than pay the fines and heavy costs associated with a data breach, estimated by Juniper Networks to account for $2.1 trillion dollars by 2019.

A recent study from Osterman Research, shows 5 out of 6 of the most serious concerns of security-focused decision makers are directly related to phishing or its aftermath. The study stated: “It is important to invest sufficiently in employee training so that the “human firewall” can provide the best possible initial line of defense against increasingly sophisticated phishing and other social engineering attacks.”

KnowBe4 has seen explosive triple digit growth for the past 4 years and Q2 2015 was 353% percent over Q2 2014, with over 1,500 enterprise accounts using it to manage the problem of phishing and social engineering, The largest growth has been in the financial sector, an area targeted four times as often as other industries. The financial sector has taken the initiative to move away from compliance-focused annual “breakroom” approach to a more effective behavioral-based approach, using Kevin Mitnick Security Awareness Training, teaching users how to recognize threats with a combination of on-line, on-demand training and simulated phishing attacks that arrive in their inbox at work.

KnowBe4 marked its growth with expansion into new penthouse 50,000 sq. ft. quarters and capacity to add 100 new staff. With a clear 180° view of Tampa Bay’s white sandy beaches, KnowBe4 has become an attractive place to work and welcome new customers.

For more information, visit http://www.KnowBe4.com

About Stu Sjouwerman and KnowBe4
Stu Sjouwerman (pronounced “shower-man”) is the founder and CEO of KnowBe4, LLC, which hosts the world’s most popular integrated Security Awareness Training and Simulated Phishing platform. A data security expert with more than 30 years in the IT industry, Sjouwerman was the co-founder of Inc. 500 company Sunbelt Software, a multiple award-winning anti-malware software company that was acquired 2010. Realizing that the human element of security was being seriously neglected, Sjouwerman decided to help organizations manage the problem of cybercrime social engineering tactics through new school security awareness training. KnowBe4 services 1500 organizations in a variety of industries, including highly-regulated fields such as healthcare, finance, energy, government and insurance and is experiencing explosive yearly growth of 300%. Sjouwerman is the author of four books, with his latest being “Cyberheist: The Biggest Financial Threat Facing American Businesses.”

About Kevin Mitnick
Kevin Mitnick, ‘the World’s Most Famous Hacker’, is an internationally recognized computer security expert with extensive experience in exposing the vulnerabilities of complex operating systems and telecom devices. He gained notoriety as a highly skilled hacker who penetrated some of the most resilient computer systems ever developed. Today, Mitnick is renowned as an information security consultant and keynote speaker and has authored four books, including The New York Times best seller Ghost in the Wires. His latest endeavor is a collaboration with KnowBe4, LLC as its Chief Hacking Officer.

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Kathy Wattman
KnowBe4, LLC
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