Many small businesses conduct themselves directly online. Having employees who are not properly trained in cybersecurity can increase the risk of a cyberattacks. Adequate cybersecurity training is important as employees can often be the first line of defense against cybercrimes and data security threats.

If employees are trained properly and are empowered with the right information on how to avoid cybersecurity risks, some data breaches that might impact financial information or employees’ and customers’ personal information could be avoided.

There are criminals dedicated to using technical intelligence to wreak havoc on businesses and deplete them of very critical and confidential information. They can access everything from a company’s financial records to their top employee’s personal password and even view everything, including employees’ browsing history. As disturbing as that might sound, it is the world we live in now. Your employees can help put a stop to this! It isn’t as daunting as it may seem.

Employee Cybersecurity Training Tips

A great way to avoid the potential financial losses and reputational damage of a cyberattack is with cybersecurity training for employees as part of their onboarding. Train your employees about emails from the start. Here are some tips.

Don’t open that suspicious email. Emails are one of the most common methods cybercriminals use to access a company’s confidential or proprietary information. Show employees examples of fraudulent emails and explain why it is not a good idea to open them. If they see spelling errors, grammar errors, or if they are addressed oddly, these are red flags that the email may not be safe to open. Even if the email appears to be from someone they know personally, like a coworker they lunch with daily, the employee should not open the email if something looks off. Instead, they should call their coworker’s known phone number and confirm the email is legitimate before opening it.

Update passwords. Impress upon your employees the importance of not using simple and guessable passwords—it can put the whole company at risk. The longer and more varied the password is, the more secure it will be. Ask employees to avoid using the same password for everything, as well. Another typical risk employees engage in is having the browsers save their passwords.

Consider password services. Hackers make a living out of cracking passwords. They use special circuit boards to help shorten the amount of time it takes to crack a password. Consider having employees use a password manager service to help ensure password security against hacking. These are just as easy to use as a browser-saved password.

Include remote employees. Let remote employees know how crucial it is to maintain good cybersecurity practices by logging in through a remote VPN connection or taking a similar precaution provided by the company’s IT team. Ensure any staging or sandbox environments are only accessible via VPN or whitelisted IP addresses.

What you can do to help. Learn how to perform a cyber risk assessment for your business. Keep the physical premises secure. If there is a server room that stores data, keep it locked and ensure only authorized personnel are allowed to enter that room. Assign someone to this responsibility. And be sure to revoke permissions from employees that leave the company.

The High Cost of Cyberattacks

The reason training employees and IT teams on cybersecurity is so important is that it can help avoid the financial pitfalls that are likely to follow if a cyberattack was to occur. What is the cost of a cyberattack? Last year, there was a staggering number associated with cyberattacks—data breach costs rose to an average of $9.44 million in the U.S.

Some employees will take the training to heart and implement the practices they learned into their everyday work lives, while others will be laxer. In 2021, a survey revealed that 79% of employee respondents still engaged in risky cyber behaviors.

The Important Role of Cyber Insurance

While prevention is still the best course of action, thinking about minimizing the effects of a cyberattack is also an important strategy. Cyber insurance, a type of business insurance, can help reduce the financial and reputational impact that can result from common cyberattacks like ransomware, data breaches, malware, and other cyber risks.

Our world will continue to live and breathe online, and most business is conducted there. For a business to thrive, employees must understand that cyberattacks pose a risk and will likely not be declining in the future. It benefits everyone to get ahead of the risk instead of dealing with the aftermath of a cyberattack. Your business can work as a team to keep the cybercriminals out.

Acrisure Cyber Services offers a comprehensive cybersecurity risk mitigation and response solution to make sure your business is protected against cybersecurity threats and losses.

The insurance products described are placed by Acrisure, LLC and/or its insurance producer affiliates. The non-insurance cybersecurity and related cyber services described are provided by Acrisure Cyber Services, LLC, an affiliate of Acrisure, LLC.

American Public Entity Programs, LLC are public sector insurance professionals specializing in the underwriting, risk management, and marketing for public entity risks. We are a strategic trading partner of Acrisure and have been designated as a double Acrisure Circle of Excellence wholesale broker. For more information, visit