Employee cybersecurity training: What your business needs to know

Employee cybersecurity training: What your business needs to know

Cybersecurity is still a hot topic for businesses in 2024 and it’s no surprise why. Almost every day, we learn about the latest scams, hacks, and data breaches, and it’s obvious that small businesses aren’t the only ones at risk. Brands like T-Mobile, MailChimp and JD Sports have all been in the media this year because they’ve fallen victim to a cyber-attack.  

With so many businesses at risk, it’s no wonder we’re also seeing a rise in those prioritising their cybersecurity. Antivirus, device encryption and multi-factor authentication represent just some of the security solutions that businesses across the globe are using to keep their systems and data secure. But have you ever considered the risk associated with your employees? 

Your employees are your ‘people on the ground’. They use your systems every day, accessing data and communicating with clients – a position that many cyber criminals would relish the opportunity to be in!  

So, have you ever considered whether they know the best way to be safe and secure online? Many businesses haven’t and this is often the missing link in their cyber security, a fact that many cyber criminals know and therefore also know how to exploit.  

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of employee security training, including how it will mitigate risk for your business and what to consider if you want to roll out a cybersecurity training program. 

Cybersecurity training and your employees

Technology has revolutionised the way we do business in the last few years. And although it can help us streamline processes and work more efficiently, it can’t take away from the valuable work our employees do. Employees represent the foundations for a businesses’ success, and without them many organisations would cease to exist. 

However, it’s important to remember that employees also represent a significant risk to businesses. Risk factors include the fact that employees are often responsible for spending company money, communicating with clients and customers, and being privy to inside information about the business. With all this considered, isn’t it important that we’re investing in their cybersecurity knowledge? 

Whilst some businesses may unfortunately have some bad actors. Employee-based cyber-attacks are often completely accidental and could have been avoided if only proper cybersecurity training was in place.  

By nature, humans make mistakes and risks can often be overlooked or missed. It’s not unlikely that employees will inadvertently create vulnerabilities or fail to adhere to security protocols every now and then. Plus, cyber criminals will often prey on the human element of their attacks, for example by manipulating employees to take action by making them feel under pressure or stressed. As such, no matter how robust our cybersecurity systems, our employees are often the weakest link. After all, we are all only human.   

The role of employee cybersecurity training

Purpose and scope of employee cybersecurity training  

Cybersecurity training recognises those areas where employees often fail to keep their businesses secure. In turn, it offers coherent and practical training that speaks to these failures and educates employees on how to avoid them.  

Cybersecurity training should be varied, covering topics like how to use their technology securely, how to recognise threats and how to comply with security policies. This will help reduce the likelihood of security incidents happening to your business, enhancing incident responses if they do happen, and generally fostering a culture of security whereby everyone understands their duty to keep your systems and data secure.  

Without any form of training, employees are likely clueless as to how cyber-attacks occur and where they’re responsible for preventing them. It’s your job to give them the tools and education to protect your organisation.

The benefits of a well-trained workforce 
  • Improved threat awareness – well-trained employees are more likely to recognise and respond to potential threats, such as phishing attempts or suspicious activity, meaning you can combat them before they escalate into something more serious 
  • Less chance of human error – cybersecurity training makes employees conscious of potential mistakes and how they could be a threat to your business. As such, they will be more conscious of the dangers of human error and less likely to slip up  
  • Better incident responses – if a security incident does occur, trained employees will be better prepared to respond to it, minimising the impact of the incident  

Designing an effective employee cybersecurity training programme

Okay, you understand the importance of employee cybersecurity training, so what’s next? First you need to think about what cybersecurity training looks like for your business. What areas do you need to cover to ensure your team is fully prepared and protected? 

Identifying training needs  
  1. Assess your employees’ skill level – Gauge the current skill set of your team. How much do they already know about cybersecurity? And where are there gaps in their knowledge? Conducting assessments or surveys is a great way to understand this in the first instance.  
  2. Identifying industry-specific risks – The risks that your business is exposed to will differ greatly depending on your industry. So before choosing a cybersecurity training programme, ensure that it can cover the relevant topics necessary for keeping your business safe.  
Customising training content  

Whilst your training should be customised to suit your business and industry, you’ll need to include the following fundamental topics:  

  1. Start with the basics – No matter your business, size or industry, all employee cybersecurity training should cover some fundamental basics. For example, how to: create strong passwords, spot malicious phishing emails and keep your software up to date.  
  2. Recognising and responding to threats – When it comes to spotting malicious activity, your employees are your greatest asset. Equip them with the information they need to be able to quickly spot and escalate potential threats.  
  3. Make remote working secure – remote or hybrid working is now commonplace for most businesses, so you need to ensure that your employees recognise the unique threats associated with working outside the office and how to prevent them.  
Making cybersecurity training engaging and interactive  

Having a variety of valuable content is great, but what if your employees skim past it without really paying attention? To be effective, your cybersecurity training needs to be engaging and interactive, whilst replicating practical examples. When looking at different types of training, consider including video content, role-play exercises, gamification and scenario-based simulations. These types of content are far more memorable than simply reading a webpage of information, meaning your team is more likely to implement what you’re teaching them in real life. Also make sure to include some form of quiz or test, even if it’s just one question per topic. This is a good way to ensure they’re engaged and paying attention.  

How do I properly measure the effectiveness of my cybersecurity training

The best way to measure whether your training has been effective is by mimicking potential cyber threats when employees don’t know they’re being tested. For example, cybersecurity training software will often give you the opportunity to roll out simulated phishing tests to your employees at random. As they’re doing, they’re day to day tasks, they’ll receive fake phishing emails, encouraging them to click on a link, download a file, or share confidential information, thus testing how they respond in real-time.  

Based on this, you can define key metrics or KPIs to track how effective your cybersecurity training is. For example, what percentage of employees fell for a scam email before you rolled out the training vs. the percentage that did after they’d completed the training? Being able to gain tangible and unbiased results also means you can identify employees who are failing the tests and could therefore benefit from some extra training. Plus, rolling out surveys or asking employees for feedback directly will help you gain an understanding of how helpful your team is finding it or areas where they think it could be improved.  

How Can Sereno Help?

At Sereno, we have tried and tested a variety of employee cybersecurity training, making sure to choose the software that we believe provides the most value and keeps your business safe. Our cybersecurity training provider, KnowBe4, covers all of the examples and benefits outlined in this article. Here are just some of the reasons we recommend KnowBe4 to our clients:  

  • Interactive and varied training content – KnowBe4’s content is varied and engaging, made up of videos, quizzes and gamification, meaning your team are more likely to absorb everything they’re being taught and put it into practice in real life 
  • Frequency – Your employees will be rolled into training courses on a regular basis, meaning they’ll always be up to date with any new or emerging threats. However, this will not be frequent enough that it gets annoying or impacts their ability to carry out their day to day job  
  • Customisable – As your IT Partner, we will pick out the training content that is most relevant for your business, based on your industry, size and current cybersecurity trends. Therefore, you can be sure that your cybersecurity training is customised to the needs of your business  
  • Beyond just cybersecurity – KnowBe4 has a bank of useful training materials that go beyond just cybersecurity, think, GDPR and compliance, HR materials and other regulatory training. You can therefore repurpose some content and roll it out to new starters to streamline your employee onboarding process 
  • Fully managed by us – As your IT partner, we will provide, manage and maintain the KnowBe4 platform, ensuring that your employees are being enrolled in the right training at the right time. We will then analyse its effectiveness and provide you with a detailed report on how it’s performing and where we see areas for improvement  


By choosing Sereno for your cybersecurity training, you can be assured that your employees will be enrolled in essential training that will protect your business, whilst also being engaging and customised. Plus, it will all be fully managed by us and you’ll gain regular insights into how effective it is in keeping your data and systems secure. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you roll out cybersecurity training for your business, please get in touch today.  

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