In today's digital age, ensuring that employees report cyber security incidents promptly is critical for any business. Despite having advanced security tools to do the heavy lifting, the human element remains irreplaceable in spotting and addressing threats. But are your employees actively reporting these incidents, or are they letting potential risks slide?

Why Employee Reporting Matters

Your employees are your first line of defence against cyber threats. Imagine one of your team members receives a suspicious email appearing to be from a trusted supplier. This classic phishing attempt could lead to a significant data breach if not reported and addressed swiftly. Shockingly, less than 10% of employees report such phishing emails to their security teams.

Why Employees Might Not Report Incidents

There are several reasons employees might not report security issues:

  • Lack of Awareness: They might not understand the importance of reporting or what constitutes a security threat.
  • Fear of Repercussion: Employees may fear getting into trouble if they are mistaken.
  • Assumption of Responsibility: They might think it’s someone else’s job to handle security issues.
  • Previous Negative Experiences: If they’ve been shamed or blamed for past mistakes, they’re less likely to speak up.

Education and Training: Making It Engaging

A significant step in fostering a culture of security is through education. But forget the boring, jargon-filled sessions. Instead, opt for engaging, interactive training that uses real-life examples. Simulating phishing attacks and demonstrating the potential consequences can make the risks more tangible. When employees see how their actions can prevent disasters, they’re more likely to report suspicious activities.

Simplifying the Reporting Process

Even if employees are willing to report issues, a complicated process can deter them. Ensure the reporting process is straightforward and accessible. Implement easy-access buttons or quick links on your company’s intranet, and regularly remind employees how to report issues.

Building a Positive Reporting Culture

Creating a culture where reporting security issues is seen as a positive action is crucial. Here’s how:

  • Encourage Open Communication: Leaders should set the tone by sharing their experiences and emphasizing the importance of reporting. Also, by using, and appropriately distributing relevant threat intelligence, employees can be kept up to date with what to look for, making them feel part of the team.
  • Appoint Security Champions: Designate security champions within different departments to support their peers and make the reporting process less intimidating.
  • Celebrate Successes: Share success stories where reporting helped prevent major issues. This not only educates but also motivates employees.

The Trend of Spend Among Businesses

According to the "State of Information Security Report 2024," 45% of businesses have increased their focus on employee education over the past year. Budgets for cyber security awareness and training programs are also on the rise, with significant portions of businesses expecting budget increases.

This is good news, because it shows that a lot more businesses are taking the importance of cyber security and employee awareness seriously. However, the stats show that there are still some that are not, and these ones are allowing themselves to be at higher risk of a cyber attack. Is it really worth the risk?

Encouraging Continuous Learning and Reporting

To maintain a secure business environment, it's essential to encourage continuous learning and a non-punitive approach to reporting mistakes. The faster issues are reported, the easier and cheaper they are to fix, keeping your business secure and thriving.

By making it easy and rewarding for your employees to report security issues, you’re not just protecting your business; you’re also building a more engaged and proactive workforce. If you need help implementing these strategies, we’re here to assist.


We have 2 security awareness training options available. To find out more click on one of the options below:

Security Awareness Training Service – Interactive and tailored online training exercises and phishing simulations.

Instructor Led Security Awareness Training Session – A 45 minute online session for up to 15 employees. This Cyber Security overview covers some of the most common tactics used by cyber criminals and helps to raise your teams awareness and keep them safe online. A Q&A section is included to encourage an inclusive approach.


Concluding Comments

Encouraging your team to actively participate in reporting security incidents can significantly enhance your organization’s cyber security posture. Open communication, continuous education, and a positive reporting culture are key to achieving this goal.

July 03, 2024 — Paul Stanyer