Source: Forage

At a time when a cybersecurity attack occurs every 39 seconds, human error is still the main cause of all cybersecurity issues. It is therefore important to teach employees how to avoid costly mistakes that could compromise the company’s security.

According to a study conducted by Stanford University, close to 50% of the employees admitted that they are “very” or “pretty” certain they have made an error at work that could have led to security issues in their company.

The study further revealed that 88% of all data breaches are caused by an employee’s mistake. Depending on the company’s culture, most employees would not report that they made a mistake which reduces the chances of preventing further data loss.

Considering the fact that most companies have a majority of their teams working remotely, it is paramount to have training so that employees are more alert and aware of potential threats. Many companies know what is important with regard to cybersecurity and how to prevent it. However, most companies fail when it comes to the delivery of the said training.

It is critical to factor in the technical level of employees. This is to ensure that the training is delivered in a way they can all understand, remember and apply.

How to Train Employees About Cybersecurity

  1. Integrate Cybersecurity Into The Company’s Culture

Every employee should be made aware of cybersecurity and the role they play in the area from the first day. This helps them actively play a role in ensuring cyber safety from the onset which is easier than introducing it along the way.

Employees should also be recognized and encouraged for raising concerns about and alerting management to any potential threats. This makes it a more common practice among the staff and encourages them to be on the lookout.

  1. Design ‘Mock’ Threats For Practice

Coming up with mock cyber threats is the best method to teach your staff how to prevent them. This models a real-life threat which helps teach them as well as assess how they react to the scenario.

By setting up mock threats, a company can analyze and find out which departments or employees struggle with links and sites that ought to be avoided. With this information, the company can better plan for more training for the affected teams and understand what needs more emphasis.

  1. Make Cybersecurity Training More Interactive

By creating a game out of the training experience, companies make the information more memorable for the staff. For instance, a company could send simulated attack messages to employees and ask them to spot the messages.

A rewarding mechanism can also be put in place for those who are successful in identifying the threats. Those who fail at the tasks can then be taken back for training to better help them in understanding and identifying cybersecurity threats.

  1. Set Up Hidden Tests

The best way to know a person’s understanding of a concept is to test them on it. After training has been offered on online fraud and risks as well as cybersecurity best practices, hidden tests can then be put in place to asses individual performance.

This is a very useful move especially where employees are working remotely because it assesses their alertness and equally requires them to be alert at all times. Failure to meet the required score should result in an employee going back for training to ensure their cybersecurity abilities are up to par.

  1. Personalize Cyber Security Threats

Another way to make training more memorable is to make them more personal to the employee. By demonstrating exactly what a personal-level cyber threat looks like, one emphasizes the need for caution and diligence when it comes to online security.

This can be done by going through the employee’s emails with them and showing them how threats appear. You can also show them what to look out for when creating passwords. By so doing, you put habits in place before a threat arises.

What to Teach for Enhanced Cybersecurity

  1. Create Strong Passwords

The information about an entire organization as well as customer, supplier, and partner data may be compromised by one person’s weak password. It is very important that employees be taught how to create strong passwords.

Additionally, LastPass’ Psychology of Passwords report revealed that 45% of internet users had not changed their passwords for over a year, even after a data breach. Another 52% were found to reuse previous passwords which makes them susceptible to multiple attacks. This creates a need to also train employees on password best practices such as changing passwords regularly and using password managers.

Source: Technopedia
  1. Use Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor authentication (MFA) combines two or more distinct forms of identification. It entails what the user is such as a biometric verification like a fingerprint, an authenticator app like Google Authenticator, and a password.

Cybercriminals find it more challenging to access targets like computers, networks, and databases because of MFA’s layered defense. The attacker still faces at least one more obstacle to overcome before effectively breaking into the target if one element is compromised or broken.

  1. Beware of Phishing

According to The FBI’s Internet Crime Report for 2022, phishing was the number one cyber threat accounting for close to 40% of all reported cyber crimes. In total, phishing attacks resulted in losses of over $10.3 billion.

Phishing is a type of internet scam in which fraudsters send an email that appears to be from a trustworthy company or individual and requests sensitive data from the recipient. It is critical to train your personnel to recognize such attacks because if they are tricked, an employee could provide the attacker access to a variety of vital data.

Phishing attacks are often thought to be easy to spot and some certainly are with oodles of typos and strange looking email addresses. However, with the rise of generative AI, the ability to pump out reasonably coherent emails at incredible rates is already here.

Don’t Risk Your Business’ Data! Play It Safe


While there are many other things that employees can be taught regarding cybersecurity, the above offer a good foundation to better equip them against cyber threats.

Data breaches are a serious threat to any business, no matter the size or type, especially when they are caused by human error. Employees are often the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain, but they can also be the strongest asset if they are trained and educated properly.

By following these eight tips, you can teach your employees how to protect your business from hackers and cyberattacks. Remember, cybersecurity is not only a technical issue but also a human one. The more aware and prepared your employees are, the more secure your business will be.

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