When Do Employees Need 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 to maintain the security of sensitive data and systems. 

Remember, employees cannot help prevent cyber incidents unless they know how. In the event of an incident, investigators will undoubtedly want to know which company policies were written and in effect, as well as what measures had been taken 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. Train employees on creating strong, unique passwords and emphasize the importance of avoiding password reuse.  We also recommend teaching them 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 other social engineering attacks 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. Guard against 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. 

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. Teach employees 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 also be linked to the company. 

Establish and communicate policies about acceptable web use practices to educate employees on how to recognize and avoid malicious websites, including imposter sites, downloading software or drivers from unauthorized or lookalike locations, and popup ‘ads’ or alert 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. We also recommend training employees on securely storing and managing 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. Train employees on the importance of protecting confidential from unauthorized access and how to implement secure file-sharing protocols. Also, train staff on properly disposing of sensitive information and using 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. Train staff on the procedures for reporting incidents including identifying who to contact, specifying the information to provide, and emphasizing the importance of preserving evidence. 

Additionally, make employees aware of the potential consequences of not promptly reporting incidents and emphasize 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

Emphasize the importance of maintaining secure networks to employees through training. This involves updating hardware and software, including firewalls, securing physical infrastructure, and monitoring network activity to maintain network security.

Restrict or eliminate independent WiFi and network devices. 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. 

Establish and enforce policies that restrict non-company-owned mobile devices and personal computers from connecting to the company network. Implement policies for portable data storage devices to prevent data exfiltration, whether accidental or malicious.


Thorough documentation of organization policies and best practices is an essential first step in fortifying against cyberattacks.  It starts with inventorying current assets, existing policies, and outlining the steps needed to meet regulatory and industry standards.

This is often a task that is difficult for internal teams to develop on their own. Hiring an experienced security consultant like us to aid in developing processes, policies, and documents can expedite business maturity. As a managed service provider, we can establish and educate staff on identity authentication, single sign-on, and password management systems.

We 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. Employee education in cybersecurity reduces cyberattack risks, safeguarding sensitive information and systems. Additionally, implementing best practices, such as maintaining privacy and network security, will further enhance the security of the organization.