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The Role of Employee Education in Preventing Cyber Attacks

Published on Mar 20 2023

The level of cybersecurity training given to employees determines whether they are a strong first line of defense or a vulnerable, weak link. Since they interact with various devices, employees play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the business’s information infrastructure 

Ensuring a company’s cybersecurity posture requires organizing awareness training programs to address employees’ common mistakes when using emails, the internet, and physical devices. This article highlights the importance of educating staff members to prevent cyber-attacks. 

What Is Cyber Security Awareness Training? 

Humans pose a significant cyber risk, but implementing specific strategies like cybersecurity awareness training reduces that risk. Staff members who have received cybersecurity training can no longer be seen as the “weakest link” in the company’s defenses. 

Trained employees are better prepared to identify and respond to cyberattacks like phishing and malware. Cybersecurity education can take place in various approaches; for example, in a classroom situation, using software, video, or demonstrations; through the examination of risks; or the use of simulated breaches. After receiving proper training, workers should be able to safely make educated choices about using the Internet. 

The Role of Employee Education in Preventing Cyber Attacks 

Preventing Data Breaches 

IBM data breach report estimated that the average cost of a security breach in the United States reached $9.05M in 2022, with the rise in remote work being a major contributor to this figure. Additionally, about 91% of cyberattacks start with phishing emails, and 90% of data breaches are related to phishing attacks. Fortunately, this kind of damage can often be avoided with the help of well-executed cybersecurity training and an emphasis on maintaining a company's security compliance. 

Creating a Cybersecurity Mindset 

Security is the core of any business, and cybersecurity awareness training helps achieve that. To create a cybersecurity culture, chief information security officers (CISOs) must first raise cybersecurity awareness within their companies. 

To create a culture of cyber security, it is best to start at the top-level employees and work the way down. If the people in charge pay more attention to cybersecurity, the rest of the staff will do the same. With this kind of culture, employees will naturally adhere to cybersecurity procedures, eliminating the need for constant reminders. 

Better Detection of Cyber Attacks 

Unknowingly falling victim to a cyber-attack is one of the worst-case scenarios; therefore, detection is the first step in taking preventative measures. Moreover, it is a good approach to inform employees about the harmful impact of cyber-attacks to keep them aware of their seriousness. 

As simple as the following might be, when explained in more detail, it educates employees and raises their level of preparation to detect cyber-attacks: 

  • When the system performance slows down for no obvious reason, it could be due to malware using its resources. Moreover, high data exchange rate without reason could be due to malware sending data back to cyber criminals . 
  • The unreasonably low performance of a device’s battery could be because of spyware and needs to be resolved the earliest before the battery dies over time 
  • Texts, emails, or calls from a known contact at an odd time raise red flags 
  • Clicks, static, or echoes on the device could indicate cyberattacks to disrupt communications or other features 

Resolve Compliance Requirements  

When a company prioritizes compliance management as part of its cybersecurity strategy, it helps to avoid potential fines and protect its reputation. Many regulations, including HIPAA, PCI-DSS, GDPR, and CCPA, emphasize employee training. Incorporating relevant training materials satisfies mandatory compliance requirements in many sectors. 

The Reduction of Anxiety and Stress 

There will be less work done and a more negative mood after a cyber-attack because of the stress everyone will be under. In the event of a cyberattack, employees must have the authority and knowledge to act without continuously consulting cybersecurity specialists. 

Enhancing the Effectiveness of Tech-Based Cybersecurity Defenses 

The company’s technological defenses cannot function without human input, no matter how robust they may be. Firewalls, security alerts, and software updates are just some measures that should be taken. Thus, cybersecurity training is essential to realize these technologies’ potential fully. 


An essential part of any company’s cybersecurity defense strategy is to educate employees. If an employee unwittingly gives cybercriminal access, no number of firewalls will protect the company. Professionally trained employees can identify phishing attempts, uncover stealthy cyber-attacks, and strengthen the company’s technological defenses, all of which will strengthen the company’s cybersecurity posture. 


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