How resilient are your team members? For educators in secondary and tertiary institutions, the challenge is not only to protect the organisation or institution’s data, but also to foster a culture of cyber security awareness and resilience among their faculty and students. Cyber security awareness should not be confined to computer science or IT courses. Integrating basic security principles across various subjects can help students and staff understand the importance of protecting data.

Cyber security awareness training

Organising training sessions for both faculty and students is crucial in keeping the community informed about the latest cyber security best practices. While they may seem repetitive, short courses can serve as a reinforcement, or timely reminder to check all the basics. Short bite-sized courses can cover topics such as password management, recognising phishing attempts, and safe browsing habits. Using interactive elements and real-life scenarios can make these sessions more engaging and memorable, and over time, embed it as second nature.

Talk about it

Discussing recent cyber security incidents that have impacted schools or universities can help to highlight the real-world consequences of cyber threats. This approach can help in making the abstract concept of cyber threats more tangible, fostering a deeper understanding of the importance of cyber security measures.

Promote a culture of security awareness

Creating a culture where cyber security awareness is second nature involves more than just education; it requires active participation. Positive encouragement goes a long way - ensuring students and faculty practice good cyber as business as usual can include reporting any suspicious emails or SMS, this can help in maintaining a secure environment. Recognition of your cyber champions can encourage the continued behaviour which in turn uplifts the rest of the community.


Encourage collaboration between departments to share resources and knowledge about cyber security. Partnerships with IT departments and inter department heads can provide additional information and resources for cyber security awareness programs. Reviewing how to respond to an incident, whether it be a report of online bullying, or non-consensual sharing of materials, educators should be aware of what is happening on campus amongst faculty and student body.

Encourage critical thinking

Teaching students and faculty to critically evaluate the information they encounter online and to consider the security implications of their digital actions can cultivate a more cautious and thoughtful approach to internet use. Critical thinking skills are essential in recognising and mitigating potential cyber security threats.

The goal here is to create an empowered community that not only understands the importance of cyber security awareness, but also actively contributes to the positive culture. By integrating cyber security awareness into the curriculum, conducting regular training, utilising real-world examples, promoting a culture of security, and encouraging critical thinking - educators can play a pivotal role in preparing students and faculty to navigate security awareness safely and responsibly.