Selecting a Cybersecurity Awareness Training Program for your Business

A group of people taking a cybersecurity awareness course

Of all the cybersecurity controls you can put in place for your business, an awareness program has the potential to make the biggest impact. After all, your end users are the first line of defense for your company, and 74% of cyber attacks start with an end user. This article equips you with a roadmap for choosing and implementing an effective cybersecurity awareness program. It covers identifying key components of a robust training program, selecting the right program based on your business needs, integrating cybersecurity into your company culture, and the actionable steps to ensure the training you choose translates into real-world cybersecurity awareness among your employees.

Understanding the Need for Cybersecurity Awareness Training

A cyber-aware workforce significantly reduces the risk of security incidents that lead to financial losses. This is because employees trained in recognizing and avoiding cyber threats are your first line of defense against hackers. Simple actions, like identifying a phishing email (and knowing what to do when you click on one!) or using multi-factor authentication, can prevent the majority of cyber attacks.

Moreover, many cyber insurance providers now require evidence of comprehensive cybersecurity awareness training as part of their policy conditions. By demonstrating that your team is educated in cyber best practices, you’ll enhance your eligibility for insurance and potentially lower your premiums. Insurance companies often view businesses with trained employees as lower risk, which can translate into significant cost savings for your business.

It’s a common misconception among small business owners that their companies are too insignificant to be targeted by hackers. However, the truth is that small businesses are often seen as easy targets because they may not have robust security measures in place. According to the 2023 Verizon Data Breach Report, small businesses and enterprises are victims of cyber attacks at exactly the same rate. This suggests that being “too small to hack” isn’t a reality these days. Implementing a cybersecurity awareness program is a proactive step towards protecting your business assets and reputation.

In summary, cybersecurity awareness training is an essential investment that pays off in more ways than one. Not only does it fortify your business against cyber threats, but it also positions your company to take advantage of lower insurance rates. This dual benefit makes cyber awareness training not just a security measure, but a strategic financial decision for savvy business executives.

Key Components of an Effective Cybersecurity Awareness Training Program

Now that you’ve decided you need a cybersecurity awareness program for your company, the next step is picking one. There are dozens of options with a wide variety of price points, so a product comparison site like G2 might help narrow your options down. At a minimum you’re looking for four key things:

Comprehensive Content Coverage: It’s important to cover all key areas like phishing, password safety, following rules, and handling complex threats. This ensures everyone knows the basics and more advanced topics.

Engaging and Interactive Training Material: Using videos and interactive elements makes learning fun and helps people remember better. Giving real advice on what to do in different situations can also make a big difference.

Regular and Ongoing Training Sessions: Keeping training frequent helps everyone remember the important points and stay ready for new types of cyber threats that keep coming.

Testing and Measurement: Using tests and practice scenarios helps find out what everyone has learned and where they might need more help. This way, you can make sure everyone is up to speed.

Steps to Selecting the Right Cybersecurity Awareness Training Program

Beyond just product features there are a lot of other things to consider when selecting a cybersecurity awareness training program. Here’s a

  1. Assess Your Business’s Specific Needs: Start by understanding the unique threats your business faces. Different industries have different risks, so identify what’s most relevant to your organization.
  2. Look for Customizability and Relevance: Choose a program with content that’s relevant to your employees’ daily activities and risks they may encounter. For example, if your company has field technicians that need to connect back to central databases, training on the risks of connecting to public or unsecured WiFi will be important.
  3. Evaluate Training Delivery Methods: Consider how the training will be delivered. Online programs are easiest and generally the cheapest, but in-person training is more effective. Also consider a hybrid approach. Lots of businesses get phishing training online, for example, because it’s easiest to deliver that way. Learning how to use an MFA tool on a phone will be easier in person.
    You should also evaluate the new crop of awareness tools that deliver in-context education. For example, some products can send realistic phishing-style emails to staff on a periodic basis, but if a user clicks on the email instead of getting compromised they’re sent to a training program.
  4. Check for Compliance and Regulatory Alignment: Make sure the program meets any specific regulations or compliance requirements your industry faces. This is most important for businesses in sectors like finance, healthcare, or any area with strict data protection laws. Even for businesses that don’t target those spaces, the patchwork of state laws around cybersecurity will almost certainly be relevant to your business, and to your selection.

Embedding Cybersecurity Awareness into Company Culture

Although basic cybersecurity awareness training checks the boxes and can help you potentially qualify for better insurance rates, your company will be better off with cyber awareness woven into its culture. Your goal here should be making cybersecurity not a collection of “don’t dos” but an awareness of the best practices that minimize your risk of breach. Here are a few things to consider adding to your company’s standard processes:

  • Encourage open discussions about cybersecurity at all levels of the organization, from board meetings to coffee breaks.
  • Recognize and reward secure behaviors publicly to set positive examples.
  • Integrate cybersecurity into your core values and mission statement, making it a part of every employee’s performance evaluation.
  • Foster a culture of curiosity and learning where employees feel comfortable reporting incidents without fear of retribution.

Once you have these steps in place you can turn cybersecurity from a checklist item into a living, breathing aspect of your company’s DNA.


The insights in this article are designed to give you the knowledge to both choose an effective cybersecurity awareness program and to embed these practices in your organizational culture. But there’s a lot to consider in selecting a program, and to get the most benefit when renewing your cyber insurance policy you’ll need to have the program in place and documented ahead of time.

If analysis paralysis is keeping you from selecting and implementing a program, an expert advisor can be invaluable. Arch Access is the trusted cybersecurity partner to help you implement best-in-class cybersecurity protections before an incident comes up, and we’re here 24/7 to help when things go wrong. Contact us at to learn more.