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6 Reasons Why Cyber Awareness Training Fails: How to Improve It

It’s not exactly breaking news, but with the rise of technologies like deepfakes and AI-driven scams, phishing attacks are becoming more frequent and complex. You want to keep your information secure and prevent security incidents. But let’s not sugarcoat it: staying ahead of cyber-criminals is a real challenge these days.

You’re investing in Cyber Security training, doing all the right things—or so it seems. Yet, somehow, the training isn’t sticking. Your team finds it tedious and zip through it, which leaves your organisation wide open to social engineering attacks, the top culprit behind cyber breaches.

You’re probably wondering why your cyber awareness training often falls flat and how to make it both informative and engaging. You’re not alone in this—many companies face these same challenges and worry about the security risks. 

So, let’s unpack why your current approach may be off-target and explore some actionable steps to make a real difference.

6 Reasons Why Cyber Security Awareness Training Programme’s Don’t Work

How often are you updating your security training materials? Cyber threats never stop evolving — and neither should your Cyber Security training.

Sadly, many pre-packaged training options that integrate easily into your Learning Management System (LMS) just aren’t quick enough to adapt. This delay can lead to your employees tuning out, as they might not connect with the outdated scenarios presented.

To prevent human error, effective security awareness training must address the threats that are relevant today. It should feature specific, timely examples that show these threats are real and could be impacting businesses just like yours right now.

Here’s how you can tell if your training needs a refresh:

Image of a man reading a big user manual

Another reason your Cyber Security training might not be hitting the mark? It’s missing a human touch. Cyber Security can seem like it’s all about complex tech and something only the IT team handles.

But really, it’s about people. Storytelling can transform this from a distant concept to your everyday reality, showing you how your actions can protect or endanger your business.

Here’s how you can bring stories into our Cyber Security training:

  • Real Incidents, Real Impact: Share stories about actual security breaches that affected companies like yours. Discuss what went wrong, the fallout, and how it could have been prevented through employee behaviour. It’s about understanding the consequences of our actions.
  • Celebrate Your Cyber Heroes: Talk about colleagues who’ve made a difference. Maybe they spotted a scam email or enforced a crucial security step at just the right time. These aren’t just feel-good stories—they show the real impact your team can have.
  • Meet a Cyber Character: Use a fictional character who faces various Cyber Security dilemmas. Follow their journey and help your team see firsthand the dos and don’ts of Cyber Security in action. Think of it as learning from someone else’s mistakes—and successes.
Image of a tall man holding a shield on his body

Are you using a one-size-fits-all approach to security awareness training? If so, it’s time for a change. Different teams face different risks, and your training needs to reflect this reality.

Here’s how you can tailor your training to make it more effective:

If your Cyber Security training feels like it’s falling flat, it might be because your top leaders aren’t fully on board. Leaders set the tone for the entire team.

If they seem indifferent, thinking it’s just another item to tick off or something the IT team is nagging about, that attitude can spread, creating a culture where security is sidelined.

Here’s how you can turn this around:

Is your Cyber Security training too focused on ticking compliance boxes? While it’s important to meet standards like GDPR or ISO27001, real security goes much deeper. This approach can make it seem like compliance is the main goal, rather than actively protecting your business from genuine threats.

Here’s how you can shift the focus to better safeguard your company:

Another common issue with cyber security awareness training for employees is its infrequency. Annual cyber awareness training isn’t enough to protect against evolving threats. Research shows that people often forget their security training after six months. This can result in gaps in their awareness.

Employees might struggle to identify threats like phishing attempts as their training becomes a distant memory. 

Here’s how to keep staff Cyber Security awareness training fresh and effective:

Image of an online call with 9 different people on a call on the screen

Maximising Engagement in Your Security Awareness Training Program

Engaging your team in cyber awareness security training can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, but it’s achievable with the right approach. By tailoring your training to be highly personalised and relevant to both your team and industry, and ensuring the messaging is spot-on, you can maximise the benefits of your training investment. 

Need a bit more guidance from a security expert about training courses and phishing testing? Don’t hesitate to book an expert call or contact us at 0121 663 0055 or via email at We’re here to help you strengthen your security posture.

Ready to achieve your security goals? We’re at your service.

Whether you are a CISO, an IT Director or a business owner, Equilibrium has the
expertise to help you shape and deliver your security strategy.

About the author

Amelia Frizzell is a skilled Marketing Manager at Equilibrium Security, specialising in Cyber Security content writing since 2016. She blends her marketing expertise with Cyber Security insights to produce practical, informative content that educates your business and promotes security awareness/best practice.
Amelia Frizzell
Marketing and Operations Manager

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