What Is Cyber Security Awareness Training?

What Is Cyber Security Awareness Training?

In business there exists a perilous tendency to dismiss staff training as a mere ‘nice-to-have’ or an optional supplement alongside the conventional suite of cyber security services provided by managed service providers.

However, given that a staggering 95% of cybersecurity issues can be traced back to human error, the significance of training becomes paramount for businesses seeking comprehensive protection. The question then arises: what precisely does cyber security awareness training entail?

Cyber security awareness training is a vital form of staff education encompassing structured programs designed to furnish employees with the skills and knowledge necessary to safeguard the organisation against cyber security threats. The primary objective is to equip staff not only to identify but also to swiftly prevent and respond effectively to cyber attacks.

Encompassing a spectrum from fundamental password best practices to recognising intricate social engineering tactics, cyber security training aims to instil confidence and competence in staff, enabling them to circumvent or adeptly manage any cyber security challenges the organisation may encounter.

It’s crucial to note that cyber security awareness training constitutes a specific segment of broader IT training, a topic we’ve explored extensively in another blog. Consequently, educating your staff on cybersecurity best practices can conveniently be integrated into a broader IT skills training day or session.

What Does Cyber Security Awareness Training Involve?

Delivering cyber security training to staff does not adhere to a one-size-fits-all approach. Tailoring cyber security measures to an organisation is often more effective, considering factors such as the number of employees, the business sector, types of systems in use, working environments, budget constraints, existing staff capabilities, and any prior training as a foundation.

Despite these variations, several fundamental aspects should be present in all effective cyber security awareness training courses. These include:

Password Security Practices

A robust cyber security training program should comprehensively cover best practices for creating and maintaining strong passwords. Employees should be familiarised with common pitfalls associated with ‘weak’ passwords, such as using easily compromised examples or sharing passwords with colleagues. The training should emphasise the characteristics of a strong password, as outlined in Microsoft’s official guidance.

Additionally, staff should be educated on the significance and functionality of password managers, along with the benefits of multi-factor authentication (MFA) as an added layer of security.

GDPR & Safe Data Handling

A significant component of IT training revolves around GDPR compliance. Despite its potentially dry nature, failure to adhere to GDPR legislation can expose businesses to legal consequences and heightened vulnerability to cybercriminal activities. Cyber security awareness training typically covers the laws around data handling, levels of data classification, proper methods for disposing of sensitive data, and strategies for maintaining compliance.

Phishing Vigilance

Phishing remains a simple yet effective method for hackers to gain unauthorised access to information. Cyber security training should educate staff on core phishing methods and various types, emphasising the importance of staying vigilant and reporting suspicious activities. This empowers employees to verify email senders, avoid suspicious links, and promptly report potential phishing incidents to the IT team.

Guidance on Safe Browsing Habits

As a subset of phishing, cyber security training often includes guidance on safer browsing habits. This serves as a reminder for staff to keep software and web browsers updated, understand the risks associated with file downloads, connect only to secure networks, and exercise caution before sharing private information on public networks.

Social Engineering Awareness

Hand-in-hand with phishing, staff should be knowledgeable about social engineering tactics. This aspect of cyber security training is particularly relevant for those working in hybrid or office settings. Training should elucidate core elements of social engineering threats and sharpen staff awareness regarding attempts by cybercriminals to gain unauthorised access to information.

Education About Malware

Cyber security training courses invariably educate staff about malware—malicious software designed to infiltrate computer systems and cause harm. This includes profiles of different malware types (viruses, ransomware, spyware) and guidance on safe file-sharing practices. Emphasis is also placed on the importance of installing and updating reputable antivirus software.

Protect Your Systems with Mansys

Now that we have outlined what an effective cyber security awareness training program should include, it’s time to assess your knowledge. If you are seeking IT support or specific IT security services, reach out to the team at Mansys to explore how we can assist in securing your business.


What is the purpose of Cyber Security Awareness Training?

Cyber Security Awareness Training aims to educate individuals and organisations about potential online threats, best practices for securing digital assets, and how to recognise and respond to cyber attacks.

How often should Cyber Security Awareness Training be conducted?

The frequency of Cyber Security Awareness Training can vary, but regular sessions, at least annually, are recommended to stay updated on evolving cyber threats and reinforce security protocols.

What topics are typically covered in Cyber Security Awareness Training?

Training programs often cover a range of topics, including password management, phishing awareness, data protection, secure browsing habits, and the importance of keeping software up to date.

Who should undergo Cyber Security Awareness Training?

Cyber Security Awareness Training is beneficial for individuals at all levels of an organisation, from entry-level employees to executives. Everyone who interacts with digital systems should have a basic understanding of cyber threats and how to mitigate them.

How can organisations measure the effectiveness of Cyber Security Awareness Training?

Evaluation methods may include simulated phishing exercises, quizzes, and monitoring security metrics over time. The goal is to assess how well participants retain and apply the knowledge gained during the training sessions.