It has been widely reported that the global shortage of skilled cybersecurity personnel is threatening the security of businesses, with a recent study by The World Economic Forum revealing that 60% of businesses admitting they would find it challenging to respond to a cybersecurity incident owing to shortages of skills in their team.

Research into the UK cybersecurity labour market revealed that half (51%) of all private sector businesses identify a basic technical cyber security skills gap, accounting for around 697,000 businesses. Furthermore, industry body ISACA found that 69% of those businesses that have suffered a cyber attack in the past year were somewhat or significantly understaffed.

According to experts, the skills gap is not set to close any time soon, if anything, these shortages are expected to intensify. Last year the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) predicted there would be an annual shortfall of 10,000 new entrants into the cybersecurity market but in its latest report, released in May, that was revised to 14,000 every year. This means that, over time, we can expect business defences to become even weaker and more exposed.

Businesses must train all employees on cybersecurity awareness

While training is certainly not a replacement for skilled cybersecurity professionals, these statistics highlight the need for increasing general cybersecurity awareness training among employees; not just relying on cybersecurity professionals to safeguard the businesses’ infrastructure and protect its data.  


At DeltaNet, we conducted research into Google’s online search habits over the last four years and found that there has been 114% increase in the demand for cybersecurity training in the workplace which suggests that employers are realising this need and turning to alternative training methods to address this issue.

“In today’s world, cybersecurity needs to be part of everyone’s job; every employee has a role to play,” says Jason Stirland, Chief Technology Officer at DeltaNet International.

“Despite the importance of recruiting, retaining and certifying a cybersecurity team, organisations cannot really secure themselves until all employees are aware of cyber threats and know how to prevent data breaches. This means ensuring that all employees, at all levels and in all jobs, have the knowledge and awareness necessary to protect themselves and their company’s data. The breach will always be a possibility until they do.”

According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breaches Investigations Report, 82% of data breaches involved a human element. This includes incidents in which employees expose information directly (for example, by misconfiguring databases) or by making a mistake that enables a security breach to take place (such as, downloading a malware infected attachment or using a weak password).

“Untrained staff are a huge, if not the biggest threat to a business network as they can effectively open doors to threats, bypassing even the best cyber defences. Over the past year, organisations across the globe have been dealing with employees returning to the workplace, navigating office-based, remote and hybrid workers. Unfortunately, many businesses forget the importance of training their hybrid and remote workers about cybersecurity best practices – weakening the organisation’s resilience to any security breaches. IT professionals should identify any skills gaps in the organisation and ensure all employees understand their role in safeguarding the organisation’s infrastructure and protecting its data.”

What should cyber security awareness training entail?

Cybersecurity awareness training should form part of a multiyear training strategy to educate, test employees’ existing knowledge and reinforce what they have learned. Ensuring that training is refreshed at least annually will help to embed a culture of compliance and create a vigilant workforce.

Training should ensure that employees know how to recognise and report suspected malicious cyber activity, practice good cyber hygiene and safeguard their personal devices and home networks.

As a minimum, a good cybersecurity training program should include:

·       Cybersecurity Awareness

·       Phishing Awareness

·       Data Protection Awareness

·       Setting a Secure Password

·       Keeping Information Secure

·       Social Media Awareness

·       Fraud Awareness

·       Using Email and the Internet Securely

·       Securing Mobile Devices

DeltaNet’s Cybersecurity Training is trusted by businesses all over the UK, and offers a complete, cost effective solution to your training needs. Our courses offer a comprehensive overview of the key information that you and your employees need to keep your information secure and your business safe and compliant. For more information visit and to browse our course collection, click here.


During Cybersecurity awareness month this October, we’re offering access to 17 of our Cybersecurity awareness eLearning courses for free! To access the free courses, sign up here by 31st October 2022 for free access to the platform for seven days.   

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From the pandemic to the cost of living crisis, the upheaval of the last two years has taken a toll on people’s mental health, and provided a perfect breeding ground for drug and alcohol abuse.

For many, recent factors such as prolonged isolation, significant work changes and political uncertainty have contributed to feelings of stress, anxiety and depression – now made worse by fears of a bleak winter ahead as energy costs spiral.

Some may turn to drugs and/or alcohol as a coping mechanism, however, regular overuse or misuse of these substances can worsen existing issues and even create further problems, not least at work.

After all, consuming alcohol negatively impacts an individual’s ability to concentrate, problem-solve, and react to problems quickly. It can also impede their judgement, memory and decision-making skills. This will naturally concern employers, as it could increase the potential for mistakes to be made, as well as pose real health and safety risks.

Even in low-risk industries, working while under the influence may affect an employee’s attendance, performance, professionalism and relationships with colleagues, all of which have negative business consequences. Of course, there will also be concerns for the employee’s health and wellbeing.

Unfortunately for employers, the issue is intensifying. According to IOSH, the pandemic has increased the number of employees misusing drugs and alcohol; positive drug tests in the workplace have increased 54% since 2019, and 25% of employees admit that drugs and alcohol have affected their work.

On top of this, research points to a link between financial hardship and poor mental health, which may in turn prompt people to self-medicate. Given the fall in ‘real’ incomes that the UK has experienced since late 2021, and the stress and worry this is causing for many people, it’s likely that alcohol dependence may become a deeper problem.

Because of this, it’s essential that employers know how to spot the signs of substance misuse and what to do if they suspect that an employee may be struggling.

First, know what to look out for

Knowing the signs of drug and alcohol misuse will enable managers and team leaders to intervene early so that they can support employees and prevent workplace issues before they arise.

Indicators of drug and/or alcohol misuse at work include:

  • More frequent absences
  • A drop in performance
  • Behavioural changes
  • Conduct issues
  • Changes in appearance

Of course, these aren’t always indicators of substance misuse; the employee may also be struggling with family stress, illness or a work problem. It’s therefore important not to jump to conclusions – if an employee is exhibiting any of the behaviours outlined above, a sensitively handled conversation in private would be advisable to try to understand the reasons why and to work out how to manage this.

Address concerns carefully and compassionately

It’s important for managers to handle potential substance misuse or abuse at work tactfully.

Openly accusing someone of using drugs or coming to work drunk or high can be feel like an attack and lead to heated confrontations, which will only make matters worse. It could also result in the employee resigning and making a successful constructive dismissal claim.

If you suspect that drugs or alcohol are influencing an employee’s actions, it’s a good idea to document the specific behaviours causing suspicion and worry. You can then present these observations to the employee in an objective, compassionate and non-accusatory manner with the aim of identifying ways to help.

Drug and Alcohol Awareness Training can help your employees recognise early warning signs in themselves and their colleagues. It will empower managers to be able to provide effective, meaningful support to employees who may be struggling. For more information on our Drug and Alcohol Awareness Training for employees click here.

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