How to Implement a Cybersecurity Awareness Training Program

The incidence of cybercrime is increasing rapidly. In today’s constantly changing threat landscape, it is essential to cultivate a culture of proactive cybersecurity awareness to safeguard your network and assets. Cybersecurity awareness training is indispensable for your organization’s success, as your security is only as good as your weakest link.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many people are working remotely, leading to a significant increase in phishing scams. According to KnowBe4’s 2022 Phishing By Industry Benchmarking Report, employees who still need to receive cybersecurity awareness training are at risk. Just under 33% of a company’s employees could fall for a phishing email.

Your team members must:

  • Be aware of potential cybersecurity threats
  • Be able to recognize those threats in the real world
  • Know how to prevent incidents from occurring
  • Know what to do when prevention proves impossible

Creating a regular cybersecurity awareness training program should be crucial to your information security program. Without that and an effective cybersecurity governance plan, you risk falling victim to threats and vulnerabilities caused by inadequate prevention or incident response.

Creating a Training Program

When developing a training program on cybersecurity awareness, it is crucial to start by reviewing your risk management assessment and the security measures in place or planned to protect your organization. The evaluation of potential risk should offer a comprehensive comprehension of the risks and weaknesses you are facing and also give you an understanding of how aware your staff is of security.

Did You Know? Not sure if cybersecurity training for employees is worth the investment? Human failure causes nine out of ten cyber incidents — think of it as a human firewall.

Your training program should cover these five facets of cybersecurity to limit the likelihood of your employees contributing to a breach.

Physical Security

Your sensitive information and infrastructure must be protected from unauthorized physical access. Your staff needs to understand physical security policies in the office or remotely. Policies can include:

  • ID badges/swipe cards/biometrics
  • Guest logging
  • Alarms and surveillance
  • Device lockup

Despite the initial inconvenience, your team must comprehend the significance and rationale behind physical security measures for your systems. When team members have faith in a system, they are more inclined to uphold it and not view it as a hindrance.

Sticky Notes with Password Security

Password Security

Creating complicated passwords can be tedious, particularly when we think no one would try to target you. Nevertheless, it’s imperative to understand the hazards of easily deciphered passwords and to impart superior methods for handling credentials. Instructing your team on this subject can ensure the security of your data.

  • Create strong passwords with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Avoid passwords like birthdays, children’s names, or “password” or “12345.”
  • Two-factor email or text authentication can help protect systems when passwords are compromised.
  • Don’t reuse passwords. Always use a different password for each account you access.

Make sure your team knows that every new device or bit of infrastructure needs new secure credentials, no matter how non-critical a component of your network may seem.

13 Best Practices for Information Security

Threat Recognition

Your team cannot manage threats that they cannot identify. Be sure your cybersecurity awareness training includes examples of all the risk types that could affect your business:

  • Phishing — a new phishing site goes live every 20 seconds
  • Social engineering33% of hacks in 2018 relied on social engineering
  • Malware and viruses — 60% of breaches involve a vulnerability that could have been patched
  • Physical intrusions — 42% of security professionals have concerns about their company’s ability to secure physical spaces containing critical data

If you don’t have a network security specialist on your team who can adequately demonstrate what to look out for, consider using a contracted part-time information security officer to fill the void.


To ensure your information risk management program is effective, your team must be able to connect with cybersecurity officials and leadership rapidly and flexibly. Regardless of the type of communications system you use for reporting cybersecurity incidents, make sure your team understands how and when to use it and who to notify if an incident occurs.

Open communication is critical here. Your team must feel safe and empowered to tell someone if they detect an issue (past, present, or future), even if it’s just a suspicious email.

Incident Response

Once your team knows how to recognize and communicate about threats, it’s time to talk about your incident response plans.

This part of your cybersecurity training for employees should include practical scenarios and instruction on documented policies. Staff should understand precisely what their responsibilities are for:

  • Prevention
  • Detection
  • Containment
  • Remediation

Make sure you include some real-life examples of possible incidents. You’ll get insight into how your staff responds in a crisis and identify areas that need improvement.

Do You Need Cybersecurity Awareness Training?

Depending on your company’s cybersecurity needs and goals, you may want to explore certification options for the organization or individuals. Alternatively, if certification is unnecessary, more straightforward in-house solutions may suffice.

For cybersecurity training, instructors can be sourced from your team, external experts, or both. Certified external instructors are ideal for specific areas of cybersecurity awareness training, while team members can easily handle others.

If you need help creating or implementing a cybersecurity training program for your staff, the experts at AISN are available to assist you. Contact us for more information.


Laurie Head is the Co-Owner and CMCO of AIS Network. She has been working in the IT industry since the mid-90s.