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Considering our modern dependence on technology and digital communication, it is critical we embed security into every aspect of an organization. According to a recent report by Cybersecurity Venture, annual cybercrime damage will reach $6 trillion in just three years, but security culture has not kept pace with the threat landscape.
Instilling a culture of security in employees often begs the question: do employees make safe security choices when left to their own devices? Do they make the right choices when an email sender asks them to click on a link?
A disruptive, engaging, rewarding and valuable security culture is necessary for a successful cybersecurity program. Regardless of where your business resides on the security culture spectrum, there are always things to improve upon to reinforce that culture.
Create a security culture for everyone
Many organizations maintain the belief that the cybersecurity department is solely responsible for carrying out cybersecurity best practices. However, CIOs and CISOs need to ensure that every employee across an organization is aware of the potential threats they face, whether it takes the form of a phishing email, password sharing or the use of an insecure network. Cyber-attacks and attack vectors are polymorphic, which is why it is so important to create a culture of cybersecurity vigilance. Employees also need to have a comprehensive understanding of why they have to be aware of and how to carry out threat mitigation practices.
Security awareness training is a great solution to foster cybersecurity know-how, best practices and understanding company-wide. Security education can be provided with various tools including online gaming, open discussion forums and mock phishing training. (For more information, read our post Benefits of Mock Cybersecurity and Phishing Exams.)
Implement cybersecurity policies
Every organization should have formally documented, tailored security policies. For example, an official cybersecurity policy which includes the rules and procedures that everyone across the company must follow. Another is a general policy which typically consists of the company’s security vision and mission and how each employee’s efforts will count to achieve them. As a best practice, these policies should be updated on a regular basis and evaluated for improvements to minimize risk ultimately. Furthermore, the security protocol should be regularly communicated to all the employees.
Consider working with a reputable, experienced Cybersecurity Advisory Practice to help assess your current cybersecurity posture, including policies, incidents and history.
Encourage employees to report incidents
To be able to spot security issues sooner and respond faster, management should request that everyone report such incidents and anything that is even remotely suspicious. Reporting security issues should be simple and reaching out to the IT department directly should suffice. Individuals who have contributed to the detection and identification of security incidences should be recognized for their efforts at either corporate meetings or in internal communications to demonstrate to other employees that they are highly encouraged to do the same.
Reward and recognize the employees who demonstrate smart security practices, but conversely, don’t punish individuals who are not similarly successful. When someone completes mandatory security awareness training, motivate them with rewards. Along with positive reinforcement, there is also growth potential for those with a penchant for security.
Building a cybersecurity culture is the responsibility of every employee, manager and contractor to mitigate cyber threats. Many organizations are already working toward making a security cultural shift because they recognize that they must face security risks collectively, and that can only happen with a solid security culture foundation.
Did you know?
Align CybersecurityTM offers tailored, layered and advanced cybersecurity solutions encompassing Vulnerability Assessments/Penetration Testing, Cybersecurity Risk Management as a Service (Align Risk CSR), Customized Cybersecurity Programs, Third Party Management, Managed Threat Protection (Align Guardian), Cybersecurity Training and more.