How to Nurture a Culture of Cybersecurity in Your Organization?
The number of cyberattacks reported in the recent past is a clear indicator that hackers are working around the clock. More importantly, they are devising more sophisticated techniques to get through systems that would otherwise be hard to hack. The recent Kayesa VSA, JBS, and Colonial Pipeline attacks are excellent examples. As such, companies have every reason to enhance their data privacy and security to avoid having to deal with the costly aftermath.
For a long time, employees have always been associated with being the weakest security link in a company. This is because hackers usually devise ways to attack individuals through phishing, malware, and spam.
As such, many experts emphasize the need to change the narrative by changing the notion that people are the weakest link in your company’s cybersecurity program. Instead, you can empower them to become one of your greatest cyber assets. By fostering a strong cybersecurity culture, you can present a stronger front against cyber threats, which works better than any single procedure or policy. Such a culture will also outlast employee turnover.
Keep reading to learn how to achieve this goal.
Use an Integrated, Full-Team Approach to Cybersecurity
Anyone within your company can be the weak link that leads to a disastrous attack. This is regardless of their technical skills. Consequently, it’s essential to involve the entire team from the development to the implementation of cybersecurity. Think of the best practices that everyone should learn by heart and adhere to. Teach them how a breach will affect not only their department, but the entire organization.
Your cybersecurity culture should also clearly spell out who has access to the critical assets and the protocols in place for the same. Lack of awareness is the most significant threat that creates a security loophole within your company.
Think of what would happen when everyone within the company is left to their own devices. For example, what is the probability that employees will think about security and do the right thing when it matters? Their action will most likely be as a result of the company culture ingrained into their minds. That is why an integrated cybersecurity awareness training is crucial, and here are ways to make it effective:
Explain What is at Stake
It’s unfortunate that in some companies, many employees have no idea about the value of what they are asked to protect. You must be honest and open with them, and talk to them about:
- Sensitive customer data that they would want to remain confidential if they were the customer
- Business secrets that give the company a competitive edge, such as marketing initiatives
- Information that a company must legally protect
Let your employees understand how all this affects the company’s reputation and the lawsuits that could follow if the information leaked. Employees also need to understand that when working remotely, their households can also become targets of attack. By protecting the company, they also protect themselves to some extent.
Invest in Training
It’s crucial that you also explain all cybersecurity guides and policies. Mandate the IT department with the responsibility to routinely educate employees on attacks. A consistent onboarding program is also crucial to have for all new hires. Ensure your team is well conversant with:
- Phishing attacks and how to spot and avoid them
- The importance of backing up their work
- Password management
- Encryption and digital signing if applicable in your situation
- The procedures for sending or receiving sensitive information
- Account access and authentication
- Policies and best practices
If you don’t have the internal resources to do comprehensive training, let an outside party handle this for you. They can provide the necessary resources to empower your employees to enable them to make informed cybersecurity decisions.
Don’t Use Scare Tactics
According to research, instilling fear in employees to make them comply with cybersecurity rules and regulations is not effective. Communicating only the bad things that will happen when they don’t follow the best practices for cybersecurity will only create anxiety. Employees will also be unable to think clearly when faced with high-pressure situations. In worst-case scenarios, they will not report cybersecurity incidents when they happen for fear of being reprimanded.
Instead of instilling fear, ensure you provide the necessary support to your employees. Nurturing a culture of trust and open communication where employees feel valued and supported is better than trying to instill fear.
Cybersecurity should be a shared responsibility across the entire organization. Your employees, contractors, and consultants must be clear about the significance of cybersecurity to your company’s reputation and bottom line. Furthermore, they must be well motivated to act as the first line of defense against cyber threats. If you want your employees to take ownership of cybersecurity:
- Ensure you share the bigger vision through transparent communication to build trust and clarity
- Foster collaboration by involving them in the conversation. Be open to suggestions and insights.
- Make it easy for them to do the right thing at all times
- Embrace a constructive approach instead of being punitive
- Let the executives lead by example
Define Roles and Expectations
As you bring your employees on board in matters of cybersecurity, you must eliminate ambiguity by clearly defining roles, responsibilities, and goals for departments in the event of a cyberattack. Appoint departments that will promote security outside the IT security. Make it clear that if an incident happens, the security team will find solutions and offer the necessary support.
Shifting the Cybersecurity Risk Mindset
It helps to rethink your cybersecurity risk and shift your mindset from seeing employees as your company’s weakest link. Instead, design an efficient cybersecurity program that brings them on board. You will help to make them your strongest line of defense against attacks. This is possible by using an integrated and full-team approach to fighting cybercrime. By training, creating awareness, and establishing a supportive culture, your employees can protect your company’s online assets better.
Working with a cybersecurity expert in training your employees in cybersecurity issues guarantees you more success. At Intelice Solutions, we provide cybersecurity solutions, and IT managed services to protect your business. Call us today to find out how we can help your company embrace holistic solutions for a truly secure IT environment.