Productivity is Being Lost Because of Employee Struggles with Technology

Productivity is Being Lost Because of Employee Struggles with Technology

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Research by Adobe reveals a costly problem: organisations are losing productivity because of inefficient technology adoption by employees. This highlights a critical gap in digital skills, despite a growing focus on digital solutions in today’s workplace. 


The research investigates Australian knowledge workers’ attitudes toward digital technologies and productivity. It pinpoints the factors that both boost and hinder their efficiency. By doing this, the study identifies the most crucial digital tools and processes for fostering a productive and satisfied future workforce. 


A staggering 80% of workers rely on technology for their daily tasks, yet a digital literacy gap exists, with a limited number achieving true expertise. The persistence of paper-based workflows compounds this challenge in many workplaces. 


However, proficiency does not match this dependence. While few admit to struggle, a significant gap exists. Over one-third report just scraping by, and only about 10% claim expertise or access to top experts. This highlights a critical need for digital skills development to bridge the gap and unlock the full potential of technology in the Australian workforce. 


9 Steps to Building a Cybersecurity-Savvy Workforce 

The urgency for cybersecurity awareness training is undeniable. With lawmakers, compliance standards, and cyber insurers mandating such programs, organisations are taking action to combat a growing threat.   


The Price of Vulnerability: Staggering losses due to phishing scams and identity theft highlights the vulnerability of Australians in the digital landscape.  


Human Error: The Biggest Chink in the Armour: Alarmingly, 95% of cyberattacks exploit human error. This underscores the critical role of user education in bolstering an organisation’s cybersecurity posture. 


AI and Social Engineering: A Rising Threat: The emergence of AI-powered social engineering tactics compels organisations to reassess their security measures. Effective training empowers employees to identify and thwart these sophisticated attacks. 


By prioritising cybersecurity awareness training, organisations can significantly reduce their attack surface and protect valuable data. 


Cultivating a Culture of Cybersecurity Awareness: Employee Engagement is Key 


Building a robust cybersecurity posture relies heavily on transforming employee attitudes. Ideally, employees should embrace accountability for their online behaviour and recognise the potential consequences of risky actions. 


Beyond Technical Knowledge: While understanding social engineering and phishing tactics is crucial, it’s equally important to emphasise the broader impact of security breaches. Employees should be aware that a single impulsive click on a suspicious link can have devastating consequences for the entire organisation. 


Building a Security-Minded Workforce: Practical Steps  

Here are actionable steps to cultivate a cybersecurity-aware workforce and foster a positive security culture: 


  1. Establish a Cybersecurity Baseline

 Effectively addressing security gaps requires understanding your current state. Conduct a comprehensive assessment that evaluates employee security perceptions, training frequency, incident rates, and phishing susceptibility (click-through rates). 


  1. Define Clear Goals and Objectives: Cultivating a Security Mindset

Your cybersecurity awareness program functions as a cultural transformation initiative. The objective goes beyond mere awareness; you want employees to actively embrace security best practices. 

Setting SMART Goals: Establish Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals to guide your program.  

Example Goal: Empower employees to become a human firewall against cyber threats through comprehensive training on social engineering and phishing tactics. 


Measurable Objectives: 

  • Decrease the percentage of employees susceptible to phishing attacks. 
  • Increase the number of reported security incidents.  
  • Enhance the effectiveness of your organisation’s incident response procedures. 

By setting clear goals and measurable objectives, you can track progress and ensure your program is achieving the desired outcomes.  


  1. Develop a Multi-Faceted Plan

Create a comprehensive plan outlining the actions needed to achieve your goals and objectives. This plan should encompass several key elements: 

  • Security Policy Updates: Review and update your security policies to reflect current threats and best practices.  
  • Training Frequency: Determine the optimal frequency for security awareness training based on your organisation’s risk profile and employee needs.  
  • Training Delivery Methods: Utilise a variety of engaging training methods, such as online modules, interactive workshops, and simulated phishing exercises.   
  • Resource Allocation: Identify the resources required to implement your program effectively.  
  • Target Audience: Specify the employee groups who will receive security awareness training.  
  • Implementation Timeline: Establish a clear timeframe for rollout and ongoing program maintenance. 

By implementing a well-defined plan, you can ensure that your program targets, operates efficiently, and delivers measurable results in fostering a security-conscious workforce. 


  1. Secure Leadership Support: Building a Strong Foundation

Executive buy-in is essential for the successful implementation of your cybersecurity awareness program. Since cultural change often starts at the top, leadership endorsement serves as a powerful catalyst. Executive buy-in is essential for building long-lasting cybersecurity defences. 


  1. Effective Communication: Launching the Program

After securing leadership support, we will effectively communicate the program to all employees. Begin by engaging managers and department heads, leveraging their influence within their teams. Explain the program’s purpose, rationale, and expectations for both employees and leadership. Following these initial discussions, proceed with the program rollout according to your established plan. 


  1. Ongoing Reinforcement: Embedding Security Habits

Regular reinforcement is crucial for transforming desired behaviours into lasting habits. Your strategy should encompass: 

  • Consistent Training: Schedule regular security awareness training sessions.  
  • Targeted Reminders: Send periodic reminders to keep cybersecurity top-of-mind for employees. 
  • Policy Updates and Communication: Clearly communicate any updates to security policies and procedures.  
  • Maintaining Vigilance: Emphasise the importance of continuous vigilance against cyber threats.  
  • Engaging Phishing Simulations: Conduct regular, yet mindful, mock phishing exercises to hone employee skills in identifying, blocking, and reporting suspicious emails.  Avoid creating “phishing fatigue” by ensuring exercises are realistic and educational.  
  • Incident Response Training: Simulate real-world security incidents through fire drills.  These exercises equip employees with the knowledge and confidence to respond effectively and identify the appropriate contacts in case of a security breach.   

By implementing a multi-pronged reinforcement approach, you can cultivate a culture of cybersecurity awareness that becomes an ingrained part of your organisation’s daily operations.   


  1. Targeted Training for Maximum Impact

Cybersecurity expertise and risk profiles vary across your organisation. Departments handling sensitive data may require specialised training, while new employees may benefit from foundational knowledge.  

Tailoring the Approach: By understanding individual needs, you can deliver targeted training that resonates with each employee group.  


  1. Fostering a Positive Learning Environment

The goal of your program is to cultivate a culture of security awareness, not shame employees who make mistakes. Prioritise well-being and education over fear-based tactics.  


Positive Reinforcement Strategies: 

  • Celebrate Successes: Recognise and reward employees who demonstrate strong cybersecurity practices. 
  • Gamification: Incorporate gamification elements to make training engaging and interactive. 
  • Incentives: Consider offering incentives to encourage participation in training programs. 
  • Targeted Training & Testing: Match training and testing difficulty to individual experience levels for optimal learning outcomes. 


  1. Continuously Measure and Improve

Regular program evaluation is essential for sustained success.  

Assessing Your Program’s Effectiveness: 

  • Security Assessments: Conduct periodic security assessments to measure risk reduction.  
  • Employee Surveys: Gather employee feedback through surveys to gauge behavioural shifts and sentiment towards security practices. 


Celebrating Success & Adapting for Growth:  

  • Communicate Positive Outcomes: Share program results with leadership to highlight its effectiveness.  
  • Continuous Improvement: Leverage lessons learned from assessments and surveys to refine policies, practices, and training methods.  
  • Addressing Shortcomings: Proactively address any identified gaps in the program and adjust your approach accordingly.  

By implementing a data-driven approach to continuous improvement, you can ensure your cybersecurity awareness program remains effective and adaptable in the ever-evolving threat landscape. 



Cybersecurity awareness training is no longer optional; it’s a critical component of any organisation’s security posture. With escalating cyber threats driven by human error, regulatory requirements, and the demands of cyber insurers, prioritising security awareness training is an essential investment. By following these actionable steps and fostering a positive learning environment, you can cultivate a security-conscious workforce and build a resilient defence against cyberattacks. 

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