6 Areas Where Employees Should Have Cyber Awareness Training

Cybersecurity is a critical concern for businesses in the modern digital landscape. The increasing use of technology in business operations has resulted in an increased threat from cyber attacks. This makes it essential for organizations to implement cyber awareness training on the key areas of cybersecurity to maintain the security of sensitive data and systems. 

Remember, employees cannot help prevent cyber incidents unless they know how. And consider that if there is an incident, investigators will surely want to know what company policies were written and in effect, and what had been done to prepare staff with this knowledge. The answers to those questions can have wide ranging implications for the company. 

In this article, we’ll explore the six main areas of user training for employees required for business cyber security preparedness, along with additional issues related to privacy, network security, and best practices. 

Cyber awareness training

1. Password Management

Teaching employees about strong password management is one of the most crucial steps in securing a business’s digital assets. Employees should be trained on how to create strong, unique passwords and the importance of avoiding password reuse. They should also be taught about the dangers of writing down passwords or storing them in plain text files. Employees should use password managers, like LastPass to generate and securely store their passwords.

2. Phishing Awareness

Phishing attacks are a common method used by cybercriminals to steal sensitive information and compromise systems. Employees should be trained on how to recognize phishing emails, text messages, and social engineering attacks, and how to avoid falling victim to these attacks. This should include learning how to identify suspicious emails, avoiding clicking on unfamiliar links, and reporting suspected phishing attempts. Impersonation of clients and suppliers, imposters posing as company employees, law enforcement or trusted institutions, and fraudulent documentation (including look-alike websites, email addresses and bank information) are all to be guarded against.

Cyber awareness training on phishing scams

3. Social Media and Web Safety

Social media use has become widespread in the workplace, and it is essential for employees to be trained on the potential risks associated with using social media. This includes the dangers of sharing sensitive information on social media platforms and connecting with unknown individuals. Employees should be taught about the importance of maintaining privacy settings, avoiding oversharing, and using strong passwords for their social media accounts. Be aware that any social media posting that can be connected to an individual can be connected to the company as well.  

Policies should be established and communicated about acceptable web use practices, and how to recognize and avoid malicious websites, including imposter sites, downloading software or drivers from unauthorized or lookalike locations, and popup ‘ads’ or alerts in browsers. 

4. Mobile Device Security

The use of mobile devices in the workplace has increased significantly, and employees must be trained on how to secure these devices. This includes locking screens with strong passwords, installing security software, and avoiding public Wi-Fi networks. It may include a policy of company-owned-only phones and tablets. Employees should also be trained on how to securely store and manage sensitive information on their mobile devices. 

Phone secured by endpoint security solutions

5. Data Handling

Proper data handling is critical to maintaining the security of sensitive information. Employees should be trained on the importance of protecting confidential data from unauthorized access and how to implement secure file-sharing protocols. Staff should also be trained on the proper disposal of sensitive information and the use of encryption to secure data in transit and at rest. 

6. Incident Response

It’s essential for employees to understand the importance of reporting any suspected security incidents immediately. Staff should be trained on the procedures for reporting incidents, including who to contact, what information to provide, and the importance of preserving evidence.

In addition, employees should be made aware of the potential consequences of not reporting incidents promptly and the importance of cooperating with any investigations. Having a clear incident response plan in place and regularly training employees on its details can greatly enhance a company’s ability to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a security breach.

Reporting 10 suspected incidents of attack that turn out to be nothing, is preferable to NOT reporting the one incident that creates a cyber breach of the company.

In addition to these six main areas of training, there are additional considerations related to privacy and network security.

Privacy in the connected world

Privacy is becoming an increasingly critical concern, and employees should be trained on the importance of respecting privacy and avoiding the collection, storage, and sharing of personal information unless necessary. Employees should be aware of the customer and other private data and the reasons why this should not be exposed to the internet or a public-facing web or cloud location. In addition, individual staff members’ private information needs to be protected, for their own safety, but also to reduce the weapons that can be used for impersonation and phishing attacks from bad actors. 

Network Security 

Network security is also essential, and employees should be trained on the importance of maintaining secure networks, including keeping software and hardware up to date, implementing firewalls, maintaining physical security of the infrastructure and monitoring network activity.  

Independent WiFi and network devices should be restricted or eliminated. This includes independent “hot spot” connections, routers, printers with WiFi direct printing ability, IoT devices like smart speakers, cameras, doorbells, and other unprotected devices that connect to the company network or WiFi. 

Policies should be created and enforced on restricting the attachment of non-company owned mobie devices and personal computers to the company network and on portable data storage devices that could accidentally or maliciously lead to exfiltration of private company data. 


An essential first step of the process of hardening an organization against a cyber attack is to have thorough documentation of the policies and best practices within the organization. It starts with an inventory of what the present assets are, what policies are in place, and what needs to be done to bring these up to regulatory and industry standards and security best practices.

This is often a task that is difficult for internal teams to develop on their own, so engaging an experienced security consultant like Lighthouse Integrations to help develop the processes, policies and documents can help accelerate the organization to a higher level of business maturity. As a managed service provider, we can set up and train staff on identity authentication, single sign on and password management systems.

Lighthouse can also build an interactive training program for your staff security education needs, with continuous phishing testing and training and online courseware.


In conclusion, the importance of cybersecurity training for employees cannot be overstated. By educating employees on the key areas of cybersecurity, businesses can significantly reduce the risk of cyber attacks and protect sensitive information and systems. Additionally, implementing best practices, such as maintaining privacy and network security, will further enhance the security of the organization.