Collaboration is vital in ensuring cybersecurity. Although the saying “there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team'” is well-known, many businesses face challenges in rallying their employees to prioritize information security. Each company has distinct requirements in terms of budget and compliance. Just like other aspects of cybersecurity, there is no universally suitable resource for training. It can be challenging to find the perfect match for your organization, but this compilation can serve as a helpful starting point.
Free cybersecurity training resources
Having limited resources, small businesses often face the challenge of training their employees. However, there are nine security awareness training options available for free, listed in alphabetical order, which can assist in bridging this gap.
1. Cofense sample lesson
Cofense is a company that offers solutions for raising awareness about phishing, detecting and responding to phishing attacks, as well as gathering intelligence on phishing threats. As part of their services, they provide a free course that can be downloaded, which concentrates on practicing safe web browsing, securing websites, and steering clear of malicious sites and links. The course incorporates study materials and a quiz that can be utilized for efficient phishing training and keeping a record of outcomes.
2. CompTIA security awareness training
CompTIA, a technology trade association, offers an entire webpage solely dedicated to diverse security awareness training subjects. While the resources lack quizzes, they do feature role-specific videos, such as the one tailored towards executives and finance employees. The topics covered encompass the following:
- Security awareness training for Employees
- Password best practices
- Identifying fake websites and phishing emails
- Detecting phishing emails
- Tips for cybersecurity with network segmentation
- Device policies and security advice for executives
- Security advice for executives and finance employees
- How to create an incident response plan
3. Cyber Explore: The Fundamental of Cyber
Cyber Explore – The Fundamentals, developed by The National Counterintelligence and Security Center, comprises three complimentary modules that provide an introduction to various aspects. These modules cover areas such as computer component identification, understanding attack methodologies, and selecting appropriate security measures. Despite being slightly technical, the series presents explanations in simple language, making it a comprehensive overview suitable for the majority of employees.
4. Department of Health and Human Services security awareness training
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is enforced by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is responsible for ensuring compliance with one of the strictest data privacy laws. To assist healthcare providers and their business associates in meeting the regulation’s requirement of documenting employee training, HHS provides complimentary security awareness and training resources. These resources are aimed at alleviating the burden on small practices and other organizations, and consist of various materials.
- Cybersecurity awareness training
- Cybersecurity essentials training
- Phishing training
- Information security for IT administrators
- Role-based training for executives and managers
5. Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Exchange
The DoD Cyber Exchange provides seven online courses and thirteen resources to assist organizations seeking free training modules. The website includes “Cyber Sam,” a dedicated page that showcases cybersecurity awareness cartoons featuring.
The following online courses can be advantageous for non-military organizations.
- Cyber Awareness Challenge
- Social Networking and Your Online Identity
- Identifying and Safeguarding Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
- Phishing Awareness
6. Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE)
FedVTE, a platform developed by the US Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), provides users with six hours of complimentary online courses along with downloadable PDF lessons. The course categories encompass:
- Fundamentals of cyber risk management
- Risk management framework
- Critical assets and operations
- Threats and vulnerabilities
- Risk analysis and mitigation
- Security controls
- Mitigation strategy maintenance
- Response and recovery
7. Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (CDSE)
To fulfill its mission, the CDSE, a federal agency, strives to safeguard the US government’s employees, maintain credibility of contractors, and safeguard technologies, services, and supply chains. The agency’s CDSE training website offers numerous free resources to enhance cybersecurity awareness as a part of its mission.
- Case studies
- Job aids
- Security awareness games
- Security posters
- Security shorts
- Security training videos
8. Mailfence Email security and privacy awareness course
Mailfence offers a free content-based security and privacy awareness course, which provides end-to-end encrypted email services. The course is structured into three parts, focusing on the following topics:
- Data protection
- Device protection
- Securing email accounts
- Password hygiene
- Social engineering
- Email privacy
- Online privacy
- Virtual machine
9. SANS Security awareness work-from-home deployment kit
SANS Institute, a highly regarded certification organization in the cybersecurity industry, was founded in 1989. In March 2020, SANS introduced the Security Awareness Work-from-Home Deployment Kit to assist companies in enhancing security measures for their remote workforce. This comprehensive kit comprises the following components:
- Deployment guide
- Tips for working from home securely
- Tips for secure video conferencing
- Information about securing kids online
10. Wizer security awareness simply explained
There are both free and paid subscription options offered by Wizer, the security training platform. The free version encompasses the following features:
- Security awareness training videos
- Unlimited number of users
- Progress reports
- Department-specific modules/tracking
11. Phishing Risk Test
In order to implement a security awareness and training program for all employees, it is crucial to assess the vulnerability of both the workforce and organization to a cyber attack. By utilizing Infosec’s Phishing Risk Test, you can conduct a complimentary simulated phishing test to determine the number of employees who fall for such tactics and establish your initial phish rate.
In just a few minutes, you can utilize the Phishing Risk test to upload your employees, choose a phishing template, and promptly send out your test. The results of the test are gathered and your baseline phish rate is delivered within 24 hours by the Phishing Risk Test’s automated system.
12. Google Phishing Quiz
By taking Google’s phishing quiz, you can assess your employees’ capacity to identify warning signs of phishing emails, without incurring any costs. The quiz comprises eight sample emails and requires participants to determine whether each email is genuine or a phishing attempt. Once answered, the quiz highlights the particular elements in the email that signify its nature either as a legitimate message or a phishing scheme.
13. Infosec IQ security awareness and training
To effectively prepare all employees for cybersecurity threats and ensure the organization’s security, it is essential to implement a security awareness and training program. Infosec IQ, a top-notch security awareness platform, equips you with necessary tools, training content, and assistance, enabling you to train your workforce effectively and significantly mitigate security risks.
You can freely access Infosec IQ’s complete platform, which includes all training modules, assessments, phishing templates, and other features, to assess if it is the suitable security training tool for your organization.
14. Infosec security awareness resource center
Are you in search of security awareness posters, infographics, and training toolkits that are free of charge? The security awareness and training resource center offered by Infosec is the perfect destination. In addition to complimentary training tools, you will also have access to webinars, case studies, ROI measurement tools, and additional resources that will assist you in initiating security training right away!
15. OpenDNS Phishing Quiz
Encourage your learners to take OpenDNS’s Phishing Quiz, which resembles Google’s Phishing Quiz, as it assesses their skill in recognizing suspicious web pages by providing a landing page and URL. Ask them to record their score to evaluate your workforce’s proficiency in identifying such pages.
16. Infosec Skills free trial
While security awareness and training may be suitable for the average employees, it is essential to consider the technical skill training needs of your IT and security staff. You can explore their proficiency with a complimentary trial of Infosec Skills, a resource abundant in practical training that aids IT and security professionals in refining their skills, staying updated on emerging security risks, and elevating their professional growth.
You can either try Infosec Skill for free or opt for a 30-day trial of Skills Teams to establish and oversee a training program for your IT and security personnel.
17. FTC cybersecurity tools for small businesses
The FTC provides small businesses with a comprehensive range of informational resources and training tools to enhance their knowledge about their most significant cyber vulnerabilities and offer employee education. The FTC’s resources encompass informative guides, handy tip sheets, and valuable advice to aid in your initial steps.
18. National Cybersecurity Alliance Resources Library
To ensure the safety of their employees both in the office and at home, organizations can depend on the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA). NCSA offers a variety of resources in their library such as tip sheets, infographics, videos, and more, all aimed at assisting organizations in keeping their workforce protected.
19. Cyber Safe Work Posters
Every month, Cyber Safe Work offers a complimentary security awareness poster. You can distribute these posters regularly to your employees to prioritize cybersecurity throughout the year, or integrate them into your existing security awareness and training regime.
Continuing to enhance employee security skills is crucial, considering the clear advantages it offers. In the event that your security tools are bypassed by a cyber attack, the onus falls on your employees to safeguard your organization. While utilizing free security training tools, like the ones mentioned earlier, can assist in evaluating vulnerabilities and initiating the education of your workforce, only a continuous and comprehensive training strategy can adequately equip employees and maintain your organization’s security.
Security awareness and training platforms have been designed to provide continuous security education and simulated phishing training in order to keep your workforce ahead of malicious individuals. Additionally, these tools enable you to keep track of training performance, monitor completion rates, and assess your organization’s risk profile over time, ensuring that you remain secure and compliant throughout the entire process.