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  • 15 August 2023
  • 5 min read

How do you make employees aware of cyber security?

Strategies and insights to help you effectively make employees aware of cyber security threats and risks.
FAQ How do you make employees aware of cyber security

Data Protection Officers (DPOs), Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), and security decision makers hold the responsibility of safeguarding your organisation's sensitive information.

However, the buck and responsibility does not stop there. The effectiveness of your cyber security culture and the strength of your security protocols largely hinges on the awareness and actions of your employees – at all levels.

In this blog post, we will explore strategies and insights to help you effectively make employees aware of cyber security.

The human element in cyber security

While advanced technologies and robust firewalls play a crucial role in protecting your organisation's data, it is essential to remember that the human element remains a significant vulnerability. Employees, often unintentionally and sometimes maliciously, can become the weakest link in your security chain. It is, therefore, vital to foster a culture of cyber security awareness to stamp out not only mistakes but also active insider threats.

Leveraging behavioural theories can greatly enhance your efforts to promote cyber security awareness. The Social Cognitive Theory posits that people learn by observing the behaviour of others and the consequences of those actions. Applying this theory, you can encourage employees to become cyber security advocates by highlighting real-life examples of breaches and their aftermath. Sharing stories of successful cyber-attacks can help employees recognise the tangible consequences of lax security practices.

You must also make the most of and take advantage of any communication channels available to you. If your organisation employs an online learning system, make sure it is consistently updated and easy to access. If you have a common room, use your information board to post top tip leaflets or easy to read eBooks and reports. If you have a tightknit team, why not opt for interactive team activities? Small, subtle changes in the way information is presented or decisions are framed can significantly influence behaviour and information retention.

Strategies for effective cyber security awareness

  1. Interactive training: Traditional training methods can be mundane and quickly forgotten. Instead, invest in engaging, interactive training modules that simulate real-life cyber threats. These can include phishing simulations, role-playing scenarios, and gamified learning experiences. Do not fall prey to using the same eLearning for all your employees. Instead, use role-based learning to target department specific issues, employ multiple languages to maximise information recall or partner up with TSC to produce bespoke learning that is truly tailored to you and your employees.
  2. Regular communication: Establish a consistent communication channel for cyber security updates, tips, and news. Whether it is a monthly newsletter or a dedicated Slack channel, keeping employees informed helps them stay vigilant. Whilst this can be simple to do with larger organisations that employ big internal security teams, smaller organisations can use services like TSC’s Raise Awareness or Develop Knowledge subscription to source materials each and every single month whilst giving every single cyber threat and risk the attention they deserve.
  3. Top-down approach: Leadership and executive buy-in is crucial if you want to see the formation of a cyber security culture in the long term. When executives prioritise cyber security and actively participate in awareness initiatives, employees are more likely to follow suit. The concept of executive role models is as old as time and can be observed in many different situations; younger siblings are very likely to emulate their older brothers and sisters, sports teams rely on the captain and leader to set an athletic example and employees watch their executives to see what behaviours are lauded.
  4. Personal relevance: Help employees understand how cyber security affects them personally. Highlight the potential impact on their privacy, financial security, and even their job. If employees feel like cyber awareness training is enhancing their personal security and life outside of work, they will not only respect and value the organisation they work for but practice strong security behaviours in all aspects of their life.
  5. Recognise and reward: Implement a recognition and reward system for employees who consistently practice good cyber hygiene. Publicly acknowledging their efforts can create a positive culture. The ramifications of poor cyber security are massive, so the rewards of strong cyber security should not be overlooked.

Why is cyber security awareness important?

Cyber security awareness is vital because it empowers employees to recognise and respond to potential cyber threats. A well-informed workforce can prevent data breaches, protect sensitive information, and contribute to a secure digital environment.

How can behavioural theories enhance cyber security efforts?

Behavioural theories provide insights into human decision-making processes. By understanding these principles, you can design awareness campaigns that resonate with your employees and encourage them to adopt secure practices.


The human factor cannot be ignored.

By incorporating behavioural theories, utilising interactive training, and implementing effective communication strategies, you can empower employees to become active defenders against cyber threats. Remember, a united and informed workforce is a potent shield against the ever-evolving landscape of cyber security challenges.

Stay vigilant, stay informed, and stay secure.

If you would like informationabout how The Security Company can help you to formulate a cyber security training and awareness program for your organisation and how we help support security leaders in setting up a fresh cyber security awareness framework ... please contact our Head of Business Development and Sales, Jenny Mandley.

The Security Company's vast library of customised and non-customised products and services are tailored for small, medium and large organisations and are available in a variety of languages. We also offer bespoke solutions for organisations that desire training and awareness materials built from the ground up.

Written by
Nas Ali
Cyber security and awareness content creator focused on emerging threats and the next wave of cyber security risks like AI, deepfakes and tech 4.0 initiatives in order to build towards a more secure organisational culture.
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