Cyber security

Tips for training employees about cyber security awareness

10 October 2022

There are a number of reasons why cyber-attacks and security threats to businesses are on the rise in the UK. 

From an increasing number of employees working from home and remotely; to the use of employee-owned devices; and also unsecured connections and more – all leading to vulnerabilities and opening up opportunities for potential network and infrastructure intrusions. How can you prevent your business from becoming affected by emerging cyber threats?

The answer lies in educating your employees about cyber security and offering ongoing cyber awareness training in the workplace.

Why is cyber security awareness important for staff?

Cyber security awareness for employees is important because it protects a business’s data from theft and damage. This could be protecting confidential data such as sensitive information, personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), intellectual property, personal information, or governmental and industry information systems.

Employees are effectively the first-line of defence for your business, meaning they are best placed to safeguard and gate-keep your systems, infrastructure and data. By educating workers to be cyber security aware you’re adding another layer of security and protection to your business.

How does employee cyber awareness benefit businesses?

When employees are cyber security aware, it benefits your business in three key ways. Firstly, it means they understand what cyber threats are, secondly they also know the potential impact of a cyber-attack can have on a business. And thirdly, employees will also be knowledgeable about the steps required to reduce the risk, and how they can prevent cyber crime from infiltrating a business’s online systems, infrastructure and working environment.

How unauthorised access to your IT systems is achieved:

Hackers, cyber criminals, malicious actors and unauthorised users can gain access to a business’s network, data and systems via any of these 8 methods:

Device loss or theft
Social engineering tactics
Malware and ransomware
Zero-day exploits
Macro and script attacks
Botnet attacks
Neglecting to carry out patches, antivirus updates and other critical upgrades


8 best practices and tips for delivering effective cyber security employee training


1. Invest in employee training with a security awareness programme

The best way to increase employees cyber security awareness is building a structured and in-depth security awareness programme that is delivered to staff regularly – this could be delivered every year, or few months, if needed.

By investing in regular training, you can help increase employee awareness and ensure they’re identifying suspicious activity and threats, minimising lost or missing devices and security is always at the forefront of their minds.

The key to achieving this is to ensure that your cyber security training and messaging is easily understandable, relatable, and diversified.


2. Encourage that care and ownership is taken over their devices

You can achieve this by teaching the difference between personal and corporate use; making it mandatory to have a work account that’s subject to monitoring, restricted installations and web filtering; remaining vigilant to loss and theft; and ensuring that security patches and updates are made.

3. Teaching employees how to spot suspicious activity

This can include watching out for the sudden appearance of new apps or programmes on their device, unusual pop-ups, slowing down of the device, new extensions or tabs in the browser, and the loss of control of a mouse or keyboard. It is beneficial to employees to provide real examples of cyber security breaches and teach them how to recognise the signs of phishing and social engineering attacks.

4. Reinforce confidentiality

You can reinforce confidentiality through periodic password changes and password security training, ensuring best practices are followed and not using universal passwords, and always opting for multi-factor authentication (MFA) and other secure log-in methods.

5. Ensure your training programme covers essential cyber security topics and compliance training.

You should focus specifically on phishing, social engineering, passwords, MFA and more.

6. Consider conducting practice tasks and a “real” phishing simulation.

Sometimes, the best way to learn is through real experience. By conducting a monthly (or even every few months) phishing simulation your employees will be able to put into practice everything they’ve learned about phishing emails, and increase the likelihood that they’ll remain suspicious and not make simple mistakes.

7. Consider using online cyber security courses and resources

There are a number of online courses, resources and materials that have been produced by professionals in the industry, such as the NCSC, that are free to use.

Take advantage of these resources as they can help your organisation keep up with the latest developments and information and reinforce cyber security awareness.

8. Make cyber security awareness a priority & an ongoing conversation

With cyber threats and attacks on the rise, making employee awareness training a priority can be just the preventative action you need to take in order to reduce your organisation’s exposure to them. Prioritising employee education within your organisation means that the topic stays at the forefront of peoples’ minds. When you make awareness training an ongoing conversation in your company, it allows you to stay on top of the latest trends, maintain staff awareness and keep vigilance high.

To keep cyber security a regular conversation in your company, you can follow the latest trends and send out announcements or updates with any important news, developments and training. Furthermore, you can also convey clear messaging through infographics or even by providing video explanations. For example, you could cover topics such as password security and MFA, minimising personal data collection and storage, and more.

What should cyber security training include?

what to include in cyber security awareness training overview graphic

Cyber security awareness training for employees needs to carried out regularly, every couple of months or yearly is recommended, and it should cover these 8 topics:

Responsibility for company data
Document management and procedures
Unauthorised software
Internet use
Social engineering and phishing
Social media policy

How often should I train employees on cyber security?

It is recommended that you deliver cyber security training to your employees every 4 to 6 months. This will ensure that knowledge is retained by all, you’re continually reinforcing and promoting cyber security best practices in the office, and are educating staff with the latest updates and information.

What is a cyber security policy?

A cyber security policy is a document that details a company’s cyber security defence strategy. Within the document, it clearly explains assets that must be protected, any threats to those assets, and measures or security controls that have been implemented to address the threat.

The policy should also outline how updates and patches will be installed to limit future attacks and prevent vulnerabilities. It will also detail how company data will be backed up, who is responsible for maintaining and enforcing cyber security in the business, and who will respond and resolve incidents if they occur.

Related posts

Contact us – We take cyber security seriously

Keeping our clients’ systems, infrastructure and data safe and secure is Bluecube’s main priority.

We’re at the frontline of cyber-attacks, recovering organisation who have been victims. We don’t rely on theories or intelligence reports. With first-hand experience, we only make real-world, fact-based decisions when protecting our clients.

Give Bluecube a call today on 0845 257 8010, or fill out our online enquiry form and one of our team will be in touch with you shortly.