What Are The 6 Types Of Security Awareness Training?

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Sebastian Salla Published: January 30, 2024

There are six types of security awareness training: General Employee Training, Management Training, Technical Administrator Training, Financial Administrator Training, Product Development Training, and Regulatory Training.

Each type of training fulfills a different purpose, and they all aim to ensure employees are equipped to deal with the cyber security scenarios they'll commonly encounter in their day-to-day work.

In this blog, we'll detail the purpose, content, and target audience of each type of training.

1. General Employee Training

Target Audience: All Employees.

General employee training ensures every employee within a business has a foundational level of knowledge about a wide variety of cybersecurity topics, particularly those they are likely to encounter on a day-to-day basis.

This type of training typically aims to reduce the likelihood of employees falling victim to cyber-attacks while also improving their response if they do still fall victim.

Training Content: General employee training should cover cybersecurity fundamentals, ransomware awareness, phishing awareness, physical security, and situational awareness. If employees work from home or work with classified material, they should additionally be assigned remote working, insider threat, and defense-in-depth training.

General Employee Training featuring an image with a full team of employees.

2. Management Training

Target Audience: Executives and people managers.

Executives and people managers face unique cybersecurity challenges. They're pivotal in the success of fostering a positive culture of cyber awareness, are targeted in whaling attacks, are impersonated in executive phishing attacks, and are responsible for making key risk-based decisions.

Management training aims to provide managers with the necessary guidance to:

  • Make the correct decisions when it comes to cybersecurity protections by providing managers with frameworks to calculate risk effectively.
  • Avoid falling victim to whaling attacks by understanding the advanced and targeted social engineering techniques used by cybercriminals.
  • Establish clear processes to reduce the likelihood and effectiveness of executive phishing attacks on their staff.

Training Content: Management training should provide guidance on how to detect and prevent whaling attacks, executive phishing attacks, and outline the expectations of managers to foster a positive culture of cyber awareness among team members.

Management Training featuring an image with executives wearing corporate attire.

3. Technical Administrator Training

Target Audience: System administrators, network administrators, and privileged IT users

IT administrators have the keys to the kingdom. They often have the highest levels of system access and are meant to keep IT systems and networks both available and secure. Because of the access they hold, IT administrators are prime targets for cybercriminals, who will often go out of their way to compromise their access or find gaps where they may have accidentally made the system they're meant to protect vulnerable to cyberattack.

Training Content: Technical administrator training should provide guidance on what IT administrators can do to prevent falling victim to common administrative pitfalls and how to stay vigilant of the many techniques attackers will use to try and compromise their credentials or system access.

Technical Administrator Training featuring an image with an employee doing a wide range of work at thier workstation

4. Financial Administrator Training

Target Audience: Finance team members and employees who handle financial transactions.

The most critical asset of any company is its cash. If this cash is compromised, even for a short duration, it can have long-term impacts on a company's viability and reputation.

Financial administrator training aims to educate employees on the following:

  • How to detect and respond to business email compromise attacks.
  • Company-specific safeguards to prevent financial fraud and cyber attacks.
  • What the financial delegations are for any employee looking to purchase goods or services on behalf of the company.
  • How to remain in compliance with laws and regulations governing financial data security.

Training Content: Financial administrator training should provide guidance on the common financial pitfalls that could compromise a company's cash flow, particularly for employees who have access to company cash or credit.

Financial Administrator Training featuring a person sitting on a stack of gold coins

5. Product Development Training

Target Audience: Software developers, Software engineers, and product managers

Secure product development training is all about teaching developers and product managers to create applications that are not only functional but also secure against cyber threats.

Training Content: Secure product development training should provide guidance on the following:

  • How to avoid common programming pitfalls that lead to software vulnerabilities.
  • How to comply with industry compliance frameworks (e.g., SOC2 and ISO27001).
  • Why it's important to adhere to change management, version control, and incident management practices.

Product Development Training featuring hands working on a webpage

6. Regulatory Training

Target Audience: Employees who need to comply with industry regulations.

The intent of regulatory training is to ensure that employees understand their obligations to uphold and comply with the laws, regulations, and guidelines that apply to their role or the industry their company operates in.

Training Content: Regulatory training should be comprehensive and tailored to the specific needs of the company. Generally, the training should cover company policies and procedures, regulatory obligations, real-world case studies, role-specific requirements, and what can happen if regulations or policies aren't adhered to.

Regulatory Training featuring two people shaking hands


All six types of security awareness training play a pivotal role in creating and maintaining a positive culture of cybersecurity.

The effectiveness of these training programs hinges on their relevance to the specific roles of the employees. Tailoring training to the needs and responsibilities of different groups ensures that each session is engaging and applicable. For example, while General Employee Training provides a broad understanding of security practices, Technical Administrator Training dives deep into system administration, which isn't relevant for someone working in Human Resources or other non-technical roles.

Moreover, these training programs should be operationalized with minimal disruption to the employees' daily work. This can be achieved by:

  • Scheduling Training Sessions Wisely: Align training sessions with the workflow of the departments. For instance, avoid scheduling them during peak business hours or close to project deadlines.
  • Utilizing E-Learning Platforms: Online training courses allow employees to complete training at their own pace and convenience.
  • Providing Regular Updates and Refresher Courses: Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, and so should the training content. Periodic updates and refreshers are essential to maintaining an awareness of emerging threats.
  • Incorporating Interactive Elements: Engage employees with interactive content like group quizzes, role-playing, or gamification to enhance learning retention.
  • Monitoring Training Effectiveness: Use metrics and feedback to gauge the effectiveness of training courses and identify areas for improvement.
  • Fostering A Culture of Continuous Learning: Promote security awareness as an ongoing commitment rather than a one-time event.

Ultimately, the goal of security awareness training is not just to check a compliance box but to embed a strong sense of ownership among employees to maintain cyber safe.

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Sebastian Salla

A Security Professional who loves all things related to Cloud and Email Security.