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08/26/2021

Amazon to offer free cybersecurity training

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
criminal on laptop
Amazon will aid people and companies in the fight against cybercrime.

Amazon is unveiling two new security initiatives designed to help protect organizations and individuals from increasing cybersecurity threats.

Starting in October 2021, the e-tail giant will make cybersecurity training materials it has developed to keep its employees and sensitive information safe from cyberattack available to the public. In addition, Amazon will offer qualified Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers a free multi-factor authentication (MFA) device designed to further secure their environments and protect their most sensitive assets from cyberattacks.

Security awareness

According to Amazon, social engineering is a large vector for cybersecurity attacks. In some cases, phishing emails try to get employees to click a link and reveal their login credentials. In other cases, phone call scams try to get people to disclose personal information.

[Read more: Verizon: Stolen credentials are a retail hacker’s best friend]

Amazon has designed a targeted curriculum, used with its employees, to anticipate and educate people about possible security threats.

Starting in October 2021, Amazon will offer this Security Awareness training free of charge to both organizations and individuals. Businesses and organizations can also build their own solutions on top of the Amazon training to suit their needs. The Amazon Security Awareness training includes videos and online assessments. Materials follow established neuroscience and adult learning principles to enhance content retention, and they are regularly updated as digital attack techniques evolve.

Multi-factor authentication

For highly sensitive information (such as personal documents, proprietary customer information, and companies’ technology infrastructure assets) stronger tools may be needed to protect data. Starting in October 2021, qualified AWS account holders can receive an MFA device at no additional cost.

AWS customers with access to the AWS Management Console can authenticate themselves by typing their passwords and then touching the MFA security token plugged into their computer’s USB port. The free MFA token adds a layer of security to protect customers’ AWS accounts against phishing, session hijacking, man-in-the-middle, and malware attacks. Customers can also use their MFA devices to safely access multiple AWS accounts, as well as other token-enabled applications, such as GitHub, Gmail, and Dropbox.

Several recent studies indicate that retailers face a growing, multi-faceted cybersecurity threat. According to the “H2 2020 Fraud Report” from Mastercard company NuData Security, 76% of cyberattacks in the retail industry were categorized as sophisticated in the second half of 2020, compared to only 38% in the first half of 2020. And according to a new study from Juniper Research, the value of losses due to e-commerce fraud will increase 18% to over $20 billion by the end of 2021, from $17.5 billion in 2020. 

“A fundamental problem when addressing current cybersecurity threats is education, which is why we’re excited to share our Amazon Security Awareness training for free, to help organizations and individuals understand how to navigate and fight against security events,” said Steve Schmidt, chief information security officer of AWS in a corporate blog post. “And by giving qualified AWS customers access to free MFA tokens, we’ve made it even easier for companies to use this powerful tool to protect their data and important technology assets.”