Cyber security training for SMBs: 8 free resources


In 2016 cyber crime affected over 2.9 million companies in the UK at a total cost of £29.1 million. Despite this, UK workers fail to adequately protect their data and devices and businesses prioritise productivity and convenience over security.


But there’s no denying it: cyber crime is on the rise. With increasing success rates, cyber criminals are becoming bolder by the day and small businesses are easy targets.

‘Hackers prey on the knowledge that small businesses tend to have lower defences than larger organisations, usually due to lack of financial and human resources’ says cyber security expert Sarah Green.

‘By their very nature, thriving small businesses are innovative and niche, which again is very attractive to the bad guys who may be interested in customer data and intellectual property and know exactly how to pick out the weak targets.’

We here at Pensar believe that knowledge and training go a long way towards protecting your business from cyber threats. But just 25 percent of small firms gave their staff cyber security training in 2017.

If you don’t know the enemy, you can neither defend yourself from them nor defeat them. Here are some recommended courses, resources and articles on cyber security that you can use to train your staff in cyber security best practices.

Cyber security training courses

With so many free, government-approved cyber security training courses available, there has never been a better time for you and your colleagues to learn about cyber security.

1. ‘Responsible for Information’ for SMEs

Responsible for Information’ is free resource aimed at staff in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. It helps both employees and business owners understand information security and the associated risks. The course takes approximately one hour to complete and you don’t need any extra software or resources to take it. Download the PDF to get started.

2. Future Learn: Introduction to Cyber Security

This free online course helps participants understand online security to protect their digital life at work. It also helps people recognise and counteract online threats, reducing the chances of falling victim to a cyber attack.

The Open University created this course with support from the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Programme. It is a GCHQ certified course with the Institute of Information Security Professionals, providing accreditation upon completion.

The Government provides these training courses because they know there’s a need and a demand for them. However, if you want something more detailed or something that gives you a lot more than just an introduction to the world of cyber security, you’ll most likely have to pay for a more advanced course.

3. Training 2000: Cyber Security Training Courses

Training 2000 provides cyber security training to SMBs across every industry sector in the North West of England. Their training courses provide information to all levels of your company, from C-suite to computer and customer-facing staff members.

‘Their training means my business is doing everything it can to protect my client’s data,’ says Mark Chung, Director of Lancashire Marketing Solutions Ltd. ‘I would strongly recommend any size of business contact Training 2000 today before they fall victim to a cyber attack.’

4. SANS Institute: Cyber Security Training (London, 25-30 September 2017)

The SANS Institute is the global leader in computer and information security training. Their programmes now reach more than 200,000 security professionals every week, providing current and practical technical IT security training.

SANS London September 2017 takes place between the 25th and 30th September at the Grand Connaught Rooms. Participants can choose to take part in nine hands-on cyber security courses and certifications, all held in a classroom-like environment under the supervision of a SANS Instructor. If this interests you, sign up now.

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Free cyber security resources

5. IT Security News Sites

Keeping up with the latest IT security news is a good way to learn about new developments in cyber security. Here are some of the best (and most reliable) sources of IT security news:

  • Krebs on SecurityAfter suffering a hack in 2001, Washington Post reporter Brian Krebs became obsessed with cyber security. Since then he has become one of the best-known names in cyber security.
  • Security AffairsThis is an award-winning blog written by ethical hacker, Pierluigi Paganini. The site features both news and interviews with actual hackers. If you need the latest news and want to know your enemy, this is the site for you.
  • WeLiveSecurityComing from the brains at ESET, this is an editorial outlet for the latest IT security news, views and insights without scaremongering. It aims to cater to all skill levels, from expert coders to people looking for advice on how to secure their data effectively.
  • Webroot Threat Blog. Webroot is a cyber security firm delivering next-generation endpoint security and threat intelligence to customers. They know the world of IT security and their weekly Cyber News Rundown brings readers the latest happenings in IT security.

6. National Cyber Security Centre: 10 Steps to Cyber Security

As a part of GCHQ, the National Cyber Security Centre provides free guidance in their whitepaper ’10 Steps to Cyber Security.’

The whitepaper includes an introduction to cyber security for executive/board-level staff, a detailed look at common cyber attacks and ten technical advice sheets. The technical advice sheets cover many aspects of cyber security such as:

7. Pensar: Free Security Evaluation

Cyber threats are expensive and evolving. Sign up for a free, impartial security evaluation, and we’ll highlight the vulnerabilities in your business. We will also explain how to:

  • Ensure your hardware and software remain secure
  • Keep up with software and hardware patches
  • Secure your network from cyber threats
  • Eliminate email threats
  • Train your employees to follow best practices

A little prevention could save your business a fortune in cures. Be proactive, and dodge cyber criminals before they get the chance to hit you.

8. Recommended articles on cyber security

In the realm of cyber security, the stakes are only getting higher for small and medium-size businesses. The best way to combat cyber security threats it so be armed with knowledge.

Here is some recommended reading on cyber security:

Training protects your company

It has become much easier for cyber criminals to attack businesses. But you can avoid falling victim to a costly cyber attack by making sure that you and your employees receive proper cyber security training.

We hope that these resources are useful to you and your business. If you need more cyber security consultation, get in touch today.

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