Cybersecurity Training 101: How To Educate Your Employees

Cybercriminals are always looking for company information that is easy to target. They infiltrate systems by guessing weak passwords or using phishing scams to collect account information. There are also instances when they conduct a Denial of Service (DoS) to make networks inaccessible to users. It translates to system downtime, causing financial losses and poor customer experience.   

It is why entrepreneurs like you take severe cybersecurity measures to protect your company’s data infrastructure. You can hire or a similar managed information technology (IT) service provider who will help you address your data security concerns. They’ll assist in managing your entire IT environment, making it harder for hackers to penetrate your systems.  

After establishing these cybersecurity practices, ensure your entire workforce knows them. It involves providing cybersecurity awareness training for your employees to educate them about all data protection threats. This way, they won’t accidentally click on phishing scams and know their responsibilities in fighting against hacking incidents.  But how do you ensure the success of your cybersecurity awareness training program for your workers? Follow these five best practices:  


  • Run A Risk Assessment Report 

Before conducting a new cybersecurity training program, you’ll want its objectives to align with your company’s data security needs. You must assess and understand the risks involved in your organisation’s operations.  

A risk assessment report can help identify issues like team member negligence or system vulnerabilities. For instance, you’re implementing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. If so, how does it affect the security of all company information? What types of devices are allowed to access data? Are you allowing your employees to use public Wi-Fi for work purposes? If so, list all possible threats that could threaten your data.  You can use these insights to create detailed training programs specific to your company’s needs. That way, you can revise and discuss your existing policies with your staff.  


  • Receive Buy-In From Company Executives 

After receiving a successful risk assessment report, seeking buy-in from your organisational leaders is essential. This step helps lessen concerns about the necessary resources for cybersecurity training.  

During this process, you’ll determine which executives might think this initiative wastes time. At the same time, it allows you to explain how it improves team member productivity, especially data safety. Even if it can be costly initially, implementing this program generates a high return on investment (ROI) in the long run.  


  • Establish Data Security Practices  

Once you validate your cybersecurity training initiative, build your data security policies. Write them formally as it serves as your company’s guideline in managing information security. Then, when you share it with your employees, they’ll be aware of their responsibilities in safeguarding company data.   

Just make sure to conduct periodic testing about the policy content. It ensures that all workers follow the protocols and discover who could potentially harm your data infrastructure. Here are three data security practices that you can add to your policy:  

  • Install VPN On Devices: Virtual Private Networks (VPN) enable your workers to access work information as they connect to public Wi-Fi safely.  
  • Enable Multi-Factor Authentication Or MFA On All Devices: It requires users to input a one-time PIN through a text or e-mail message or through answering a secret question. More advanced measures include requiring biometrics for strict identity verification.  
  • Limit Access To Confidential Data: Work with your human resources (HR) team to create a user termination procedure. It protects your company from former employees who might compromise your data.  

A data security policy makes training employees to handle sensitive information more organized.


  • Conduct Cyber Threat Awareness Training  

Now that you have a clear policy for protecting company data, it’s time to educate your employees about cybersecurity. It starts with what are the most common cyber threats, like phishing attacks and social engineering attacks can cause downtime.  

Then, make sure to highlight how your employees may be responsible for the prevention of these attacks. For instance, a customer support representative receives a suspicious e-mail. Instead of clicking on the message right away, they must learn how to act on it. There are the steps they can follow:  

  • Report suspicious e-mails to the IT team.  
  • Call the supervisor when asked for login credentials.  
  • Scan attachments before clicking on them.  
  • Hover over links to verify the identity of the sender.  

When your employees know these steps, they’ll be more mindful of the possible scams. It prevents them from being victims of phishing scams that might lead to the disclosure of information.  


  • Run Surprise Live Fire Simulation 

Theoretical knowledge is one thing. But what makes a cybersecurity awareness training program successful is realistic simulations that prepare the employees for actual attacks.   

Conducting a surprise ‘Live Fire’ cyber threat simulation is a must. It involves stimulating an actual attack scenario, giving workers hands-on experience with an attack. It allows them to apply what they learned during the training program, showing you whether it’s practical. And if it isn’t, you can continue modifying your cybersecurity practices to ensure protection from any attack.  

Summing It Up 

In the fight against cybercriminals, your employees are your first line of defence. Similarly, they’re the main target of hackers if not properly equipped with the right tools and knowledge. Most importantly, awareness is just the start. Practical simulations are imperative for testing their skills so that they’re ready to mitigate realistic threats.   

However, before you even educate your workers about cybersecurity practices, you consider getting buy-in from executives. Doing so ensures your organisation’s leaders approve of your initiative so they can support it. That way, you avoid roadblocks related to budget and resources. Thus, it will help you create a culture where everyone is on the same page about security issues and procedures within your organisation.

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