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Security Awareness Training for Employees: Why It Matters and Where to Start

One of the most critical factors in ensuring the success and longevity of a business is the safety and protection of its digital infrastructure. While many companies focus on implementing state-of-the-art hardware and software solutions, the weakest link often poses the most significant risk: the employees. This article will explore why it is necessary for employees to be trained regarding security awareness and provide tips on the best ways to get started.

The Need for Security Awareness Training

Human error is the leading cause of cyber-attacks. A report by IBM revealed that 95% of cyber-attacks can be traced back to human error, such as misaddressed emails, weak passwords, and phishing attacks. This underlines the importance of security awareness training for employees. Training your staff to be more vigilant and proactive in identifying threats can help reduce the risk of such attacks.

Another reason why security awareness training is essential is that cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated. Hackers are continually finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in digital infrastructure, and traditional protection methods no longer suffice. For instance, modern cyber-criminals easily bypass firewalls and antivirus software. However, security awareness training can help employees stay informed about the latest threats and how to protect themselves, making them less susceptible to falling prey to these attacks.

The Quantum Computing Threat

The rise of quantum computing presents a new and significant threat to digital infrastructure. Quantum computers are known for processing large amounts of data in a fraction of the time it takes a traditional computer. Although the technology is still pretty new, it has the potential to crack even the most robust encryption algorithms used to protect sensitive data. Your company’s most valuable data, such as client data, might risk being stolen or compromised.

The quantum threat highlights employees’ need for extra vigilance and security awareness training. Hackers are already gearing up and investing in quantum computing, indicating that the danger is genuine and not just hype. Therefore, employee training must ensure everyone knows the risks and threats.

You might be thinking that this technology is still highly restricted. Well, it is only a matter of time before it trickles down to use for the average person. And that future is not very far away.

Identifying Potential Risks

One of the most critical aspects of security awareness is teaching employees how to identify potential risks. This is essential since most cyber-attacks are initiated through social engineering techniques.

For instance, phishing emails masked as authentic messages can trick employees into opening attachments or clicking on malicious links. With sufficient training, employees can be taught how to identify these threats, making protecting themselves and the company’s digital infrastructure easier.

Here are some of the potential risks and threats to look out for:

Phishing scams

These are email-based attacks designed to trick users into clicking on a malicious link or downloading a file that contains malware. Phishing can be done via messaging, too, by closely impersonating companies or people.

Social engineering attacks

These rely on manipulating human behavior to obtain confidential information. For example, a hacker may pose as a trusted individual or organization to trick an employee into divulging sensitive information.

Weak passwords

These can lead to unauthorized access to company data. Employees should be pushed to use strong, unique passwords that are difficult to guess.

Unsecured devices

These computers or mobile devices lack secure access controls or are not updated with the latest security patches. They can provide a gateway for hackers to gain access to sensitive data.

Best Practices for Security Awareness Training

Now that we have highlighted the need for security awareness training, knowing how to get started is essential. Here are some best practices to consider:

1. Conduct Risk Assessment

The first step in establishing an effective safety recognition program is identifying the level of risk the business faces. An honest assessment can help identify current vulnerabilities and determine how best to protect the company’s digital infrastructure.

2. Emphasize the Importance of Security

Employees need to see the significance of cyber security and how their actions affect the company’s overall security posture. Training sessions should outline the risks and emphasize the importance of adhering to company security policies. They should be encouraged to check contact information using PhoneHistory or a similar service to confirm whether they are being manipulated.

3. Implement Interactive Training

People learn differently, and it is essential to use various training methods to keep employees engaged. Interactive training can include quizzes, group discussions, case studies, and simulations. Making training interactive and engaging will increase employees’ ability to retain information.

4. Use Real-World Examples

Sharing real-world scenarios, events, and news stories highlighting the damaging effects of a data breach or cyber-attack can increase employee awareness and improve their understanding of the risk.

5. Make Security Talks Common

Establishing a security culture can help foster security awareness among employees. This can involve publishing regular security blogs, reminding employees to adhere to security policies, and acknowledging and applauding good security behavior.

Measure the Success of the Program

Measuring how well your employee training went is key to determining its effectiveness in reducing the risk of cyber-attacks. Here are some main things to consider:

Phishing Simulation Results

Regular phishing simulations can help identify areas for improvement in employee behavior—track metrics such as click-through rates, reporting rates, and the overall success rate of simulated attacks.

Employee Feedback

Ask for feedback from employees on the training program to understand its effectiveness in increasing their knowledge and awareness of potential risks.

Incident Response Time

Measure the time employees report potential security incidents after receiving training. A decrease in response time indicates a more effective training program.

Reduction in Security Incidents

Track the number of security incidents before and after implementing the training program. A reduction in incidents suggests the program has been successful.

Regularly assess your training program by conducting evaluations and analyzing metrics. Use this feedback to improve and refine your training program continually.


Protecting a company’s digital infrastructure is critical for any business’s long-term success and sustainability. With the rise of sophisticated cyber-attacks and the looming quantum computing threat, prioritizing security familiarity training is more crucial than ever.

With the appropriate training techniques and best practices, it is possible to create a security culture and increase employee awareness of potential risks, reducing the likelihood of cyber-attacks and ultimately protecting the company’s reputation and bottom line.