How to train employees on data security awareness

Building data security awareness is essential for protecting your company. A successful data breach could not only see your company lose important data, but result in costly regulatory fines and a damaging loss in brand reputation among customers and partners.

How do you train employees on data security?

Successfully training employees on data security involves identifying the right topics, building or finding training material, and creating a schedule for when the training will take place.


What data security awareness topics should I train employees in?

Identifying the right topics is essential to successfully raise data security awareness in your organisation. You should consider the risks that your end users are likely to face and through what medium.

As almost all end users will use email and the internet in their day-to-day work, you should include training in secure use of these for every employee. Through the email and internet, end users will also come in contact with threats like phishing, malware, ransomware and drive-by-downloads, so it is essential to also include training on these topics.

If employees use online services as part of their work, you will also need to train them on secure password use and multi-factor authentication to ensure that they are taking the necessary steps to prevent damaging breaches.

To find out more about which data security topics to train your employees in, read our guide to the 12 essential security awareness topics.


Where can I find data security awareness training material?

You can always build data security awareness training material yourself, but in doing so you will run into a couple of difficulties. While it allows you to customise material to ensure it is relevant specifically for your company, you will end up using a lot of your valuable time in writing and editing content. Building engaging training can also prove difficult.

Lectures based on slide-show presentations are one of the most common forms of data security awareness training - especially for companies that build their training themselves. Yet this type of training is rarely successfully in actually grabbing the attention of end users and getting them to remember learning objectives.

Video and interactive content is far more likely to get your users to stay engaged and actually learn from their training than text-based content or slide-shows. Well-produced video content is relatable and fun for end users to view, while providing up-to-date advice on the best data security measures that end users can apply in their day-to-day work life.


There are a number of vendors for data security awareness training. usecure has a library of courses on all essential data security awareness topics, as well as fun video courses that are certain to keep your end users watching even as they learn about all they can do to help protect data in their company.


What schedule should I train end users on data security with?

Almost as important as how you train end users is when you train end users. Traditionally, many companies performed annual training sessions consisting of a lecture and a slide-show presentation. These were often accompanied by print-outs and reminder emails on helping keep data safe. Unfortunately, annual training usually meant that end users would forget all about data security for 11 months of the year.

Performing training regularly is essential to keep security awareness on the top of users' minds. Learning happens best through repetition, and being exposed to data security topics on a regular, monthly basis allows end users to retain more of their learning and make them more likely to actually apply it to their day-to-day work life.

Making training a regular, monthly exercise rather than having one annual session also has the benefit of allowing you to break down training into small components. This means that users will have less to digest at once, making them more likely to stay engaged for the duration of the whole training session, as well as allowing them to more easily remember the contents of their training.


Your one-stop solution to data security awareness training

usecure contains a library of data security awareness training courses on all the essential topics, from phishing to using a VPN. The courses are followed by a series of questions that help your end users retain their knowledge by having to recall it from memory - and you will also be kept up-to-date on the learning progress of your end users.

Auto Enrol allows you to deploy an individualised, monthly training programme to all your end users with just a few clicks. The training programme starts off with a questionnaire that test each of your end users to identify their weakest areas of knowledge first - and the automated training programme will then deploy to address these weakest areas first.

The usecure Guide to Security Awareness Training 2021