Guide to Cybersecurity Awareness Training for Employees

Guide to Cybersecurity Awareness Training for Employees

Data Protection | Data Threats

Harden your cybersecurity perimeter by training your employees in how to identify and respond to cyber attacks and threats. Cybersecurity awareness training will equip your workforce with the knowledge and skills to boost your cyber defenses.

What is Cybersecurity Awareness Training?

Cybersecurity training is designed to give your information technology users a fresh perspective on potential threats. Employees generally learn key skills during cybersecurity awareness training including:

  • How to identify the vulnerabilities in organizations
  • Best practices for improved security and how to implement them
  • Safe use of web services and communication tools such as email, instant messaging, and more

We strongly recommend this training for every Chief Information Officer, every member of your cybersecurity team, and as many employees as possible.

Why Businesses Need Security Awareness Training

There is one big reason:

A single cyber attack could cost your business thousands or millions of dollars and damage your reputation.

Cyber Attacks Cost Businesses Money, Time, and Customer Trust

Ransomware attacks, which are the most common, have a direct cost. Criminals will extort your business for money after they steal your data. There are indirect costs as well:

Downtime while the attack is identified and damages repaired.
Higher insurance costs due to increased risk.
Loss of customer trust damages revenue.
These are the main costs of a breach. Cybersecurity awareness training reduces the risks to your business by equipping your staff with the tools they need to guard against attacks.

There is another reason to implement a regular security awareness training program: regulations.

Regulatory Compliance in Your Industry

All businesses have some requirements to keep customer data safe. They also have an interest in protecting their data, proprietary information, and internal communications. However, many businesses also face government regulations about cybersecurity.

Here are some examples:

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires healthcare organizations to employ safeguards to protect patient data.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published its “Start with Security” guide and advises publicly traded companies to incorporate their 10 lessons learned from cyber attacks.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued a voluntary Cybersecurity Framework offering a risk-based approach to cybersecurity.
These regulations are growing and nearly all of them include some form of employee cybersecurity awareness training.

What are the benefits of having cybersecurity-aware employees?

Your employees are the front line of defense for your organization. With the correct education and support, each user can be an important part of your defensive network.

Specific benefits from training include:

Less demand on your IT staff for support with cybersecurity issues.
Increased organizational resistance to attacks that mimic peer-to-peer communication.
Completed training can be advertised where appropriate as a competitive advantage.
Are there any disadvantages to our training? None. The first attack your company avoids will repay all the costs and time you’ve invested in your team.

Security Threats Common Program Address

Criminals threaten businesses with a variety of attack types. Preparing for these attacks is difficult or impossible without effective training. The training provided by our team at Strategic Systems covers the full spectrum of methods used by these criminals.


Phishing is an attack where the criminal poses as a trusted person in order to gain access to the system. These often begin a series of permission escalation steps where the hackers gain greater and greater access to your systems. Phishing attacks can go on for months before they are identified or triggered. Proper training will enable your employees to spot these attempts.

Social Engineering and Physical Threats

Social engineering attacks can be similar to phishing attacks. The difference is that social engineering threats could also include extortion and physical threats against individuals. Staff will need extra training to identify these attacks because they can be very subtle.

Wireless Network

Wireless networks can be an attack surface targeted by hackers in two ways. First, criminals can attempt to gain access to your internal network and then the devices connected to it. Second, they can attempt to gain access to user devices when they connect to external networks. Training will help your staff maintain safe network usage practices.

Data Protection

Many industries process and keep sensitive customer data. Almost all businesses store payment and financial data. This data should not be leaked or compromised. All three of the attack types we mentioned can be used to try to gain access to sensitive data. Full training will help your employees understand the importance of the data and how to protect it.

Malware Threat Prevention

Malware has many ways of making its way onto the devices in your office and department. The classic approach is for employees to download and run an unauthorized software package. But there are more sophisticated ways criminals trick people. Thorough training will help your people spot the malware coming in from the internet.

Password Security

How many passwords do you use? No, really. Think about it for a moment. If you use your password for multiple sites, as most people do, then it could be compromised. Now, multiply that vulnerability by every employee in your organization. We can train your employees to use different and better passwords. We can also recommend password update policies.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policies

Employees commonly use their own smartphones, tablets, and laptops at work. They may enjoy the convenience of using their own device but be unaware of the risks. Our experts can train your staff to protect their own devices. Training will also help your business develop a complete BYOD policy to increase compliance throughout your organization.

Typical Tactics Used to Train Employees on Security Awareness

During a typical course, the instructors give your team knowledge and skills. The cybersecurity training courses generally include:

Case studies demonstrate how criminals target organizations and the damage they cause.
Examples of specific policies and procedures your team can implement.
Pro tips for how to comply with security procedures and regulations without extra hassle or difficulties.
If your company has specific security awareness training needs, we can also put together a custom training package. This will bring the exact knowledge and skills your team needs.

Contact CEI for All Your Cybersecurity Training Solutions

The best time to prepare your team is before the attack happens. Contact our team today to set up a consultation without one of our experts. We’ll assess your needs and plan a training program to prepare your business for the next generation of cyber threats. Contact CEI by filling out the form below, or by calling 919-944-7228.

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