5 min read

Cybersecurity awareness training

Cybersecurity awareness training

What is cybersecurity awareness training?

Cybersecurity awareness training is the formal education of business security to non-technical employees. It focuses on the 'human element', helping all employees to understand basic best practice and know their part in a business' cybersecurity.

Why is it important?

Cybersecurity awareness training plays an important role in countering cyber threats. The weakest link in IT security is typically people, which is why cybersecurity awareness training is important. An employee can easily open the gates to a cyber attack by: 

  • Accidentally clicking on a spam link
  • Not updating their computer or programmes
  • Not follow security policy or procedure
  • Download from an untrustworthy extension or programme
  • Misplacing a USB stick

As we become more connected and cyber criminals become more sophisticated, having a basic awareness level to spot a scam or know how to respond.

Building a culture of cybersecurity best practice and an awareness of threats is crucial for any modern day business to prevent an attack. But how can this be achieved? Cybersecurity education and ongoing training is a crucial part of the answer.

The training is really helpful in engaging workforces and giving them confidence to create passwords, filter through suspicious emails or browse the internet, no matter whether they are remote working or office based.

Cybersecurity training can help to increase your employees awareness of good practice and remedy bad habits. It keeps staff aware of the latest tricks cyber criminals are using to infiltrate businesses, while simulation attacks can 'test' your employees ability to spot a scam and understand where extra training is needed.

Find out more:

Book time to discuss cybersecurity awareness training with one of our security experts.


What if I'm a small business?

Cybersecurity awareness training is suitable for every business size, even if you have just a few employees. It is also suitable at every level and for all job functions and departments.

Cybersecurity training options

We have listed various cybersecurity training options suitable to small businesses, that won't break the bank.

Automated cybersecurity and awareness training

On demand, automated cybersecurity education and awareness training tools have become really popular during lockdown. There are many platforms out there, but we would recommend using KnowBe4.

Team members access personalised courses and are sent automated email reminders to complete short video tutorials. The videos are light hearted, funny and very engaging. They can also be watched on demand.

Team members receive scam alerts by email to warn you about the latest cons. For example, during 2020 and 2021, many alerts have warned about various Coronavirus themed ploys. They also advice on what to do if you are targeted or if you accidentally click on a spam link. The awareness training also sends simulation email phishing attacks to ‘test’ team members awareness.

The advantages of automated cybersecurity and awareness training are:

  • It's all automated so you don't have to think about it once it's set up, other than to review team members progress.
  • Ideal while team members work from home as they can be accessed anytime and anywhere
  • Removes the effort to check diaries and organise workshops
  • Videos are quite funny, making what can be a ‘dry’ topic, engaging and easy to understand
  • As admin, you can check the progress of your team and gauge if team members are falling for email phishing scams. You can set more training in areas where it is needed
  • The training has deadlines and can be made compulsory to complete.
  • Training can be a part of employees CPD to ensure it is completed and embedded into company culture.
  • Each training video lasts around 10 minutes, making it easier to fit around day to day priorities.
  • Training is not delivered in one burst, but is ongoing. Differing to workshops, because it is drip fed, cybersecurity remains at the forefront of team members memory, with constant reminders of best practice.

The disadvantages of automated cybersecurity and awareness training are:

  • It's hard to beat face-to-face interaction
  • Emails can be ignored

Find out more:

Book time to discuss cybersecurity awareness training with one of our security experts.


Traditionally businesses could hold ad hoc cybersecurity workshops. It involves an expert going to your work premises for half or a whole day to present cybersecurity best practice. The advantages of workshop are:

  • Face-to face interaction is a rich form of communication and we find it has a great impact on employees on the day; they're engaged and quickly grasp the theories and importance of cybersecurity
  • Workshops can be adapted to a business and can be relevant to the business' systems and cyber threats
  • Employees go away really eager to implement what they have learnt
  • Physical workshops can be turned into online seminars during lockdown
  • Online seminars can be easily recorded (providing everyone agrees to the recording) and watched back. They can also be used by new starters as part of their induction

The disadvantages of workshops are:

  • It's hard work to schedule a time and date where everyone in your team is available. It means that phones need to be covered while employees are away from their desks too
  • While employees are remote working, holding workshops is simply not an option. Moving workshops into online seminars removes face-to-face communication, which makes this type of training so appealing in the first place
  • Employees increasing work flexible hours. Some people begin early or finish late, so it's increasingly difficult to arrange workshops
  • While employees are eager on the day, if the training is not refreshed or if there are not regular prompts, best practice can go out of the window. Just like anything, if it is not ingrained into your culture or a part of your primary job function, then it can quickly become forgotten
  • Attacks change frequently, as criminals try out new forms of attack and work out the the most efficient way to extort money
  • It's unlikely that you will re-watch a recorded online seminars if they lasted more than 1 hour

What cybersecurity training do we recommend for a small business?

We recommend enrolling staff members onto automated cybersecurity and awareness training as a basic and fundamental action. The long list of advantages, as listed earlier in the article, speaks volumes. Also, it's very reasonably priced, even for a start-up or SME.

Everyone who works at Superfast IT undergoes this training and I would recommend it to team members at every level!

While workshops and masterclasses are not practical at the moment, due to coronavirus restrictions (while workforces work from home), we would still recommend automated cybersecurity and awareness training over workshops, even once they do become feasible.

While workshops can be a great way of up-skilling staff quickly and introducing cybersecurity to employees, the benefit of continuous learning outweighs any kind of one off training.

Ultimately, cyber threats continue to change and being aware of the latest scams is critical to protecting your data.

How else can we improve our business' cybersecurity?

Seek expert help

While vulnerabilities are often caused by poorly maintained systems and weak passwords, these can be solved fairly easily by working with a good IT support company. They will keep your systems up-to-date, deploy security software, and enforce password policies

Be informed

In addition to seeking expert advice, we also suggest following the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Keep up to date with their news on LinkedIn and Twitter from the leading government authority.

Developing policies which define your cybersecurity posture and inform your team of their responsibilities

An SME business should have a security policy, GDPR documentation and processes. This is an important part in defining roles and responsibilities. An employees needs to know what to do if, for example they click on a spam link or their laptop is stolen - who do they contact? What are the next steps? Find out what a security/cybersecurity policy framework looks like in our SME cybersecurity best practice guide.

Embed cybersecurity into your culture

If you feel that your employees are not on board and don't take cybersecurity seriously, then action needs to be immediately taken. With the best will in the world, having security policies not followed, will make your cybersecurity ineffective.

This, of course, starts at the top. Business leaders need to lead by example and make cybersecurity a top level business objective. A culture issue, then becomes a HR issue. Get HR involved and make cybersecurity training a part of every employees CPD. The way that it is communicated could become an internal marketing initiative too, so, getting your marketing and communications team involved in creating messaging is also an option.

Make cybersecurity training compulsory

It is unlikely that cybersecurity will be the top of an employees priorities, unless it is their primary job function. Compulsory training with deadlines will ensure every team member is taking part. Automated cybersecurity and awareness training is a great means of enforcing compulsory involvement.

Want to know more?

Talk to one of our experts to understand if cybersecurity training is needed in your business.

What are the cybersecurity threats to my business?

6 min read

What are the cybersecurity threats to my business?

Understanding the risks of cyber threats to your business, enables you to it place the right level of cybersecurity controls to your business. Even...

Read More
What is Cyber Essentials?

7 min read

What is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is a simple, yet very effective scheme backed by the UK Government. It is designed to help protect companies, regardless of their...

Read More
Cyber Security Glossary

14 min read

Cyber Security Glossary

Cyber Security is a new business discipline. Many cyber terms and phrases sound alien as they have only been in existence for a short number of...

Read More