3 KEY FACTORS IN BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE CYBERSECURITY CULTURE
In our age of rapidly developing technology, cybersecurity is crucial to the success of an organization. While cybersecurity measures such as endpoint security software and firewalls serve as the line of technical defense, they are inadequate in building a fully cyber-resilient organization. Employees’ behavior is a significant factor in building a strong cyber defense system. According to Verizon’s 15th annual Data Breach Investigation Report, whether it was stolen credentials, phishing incidents, errors, or misuse, 82% of data breaches in 2021 involved some form of a “human element.”
Moreover, cyberthreats and cyberattacks will only continue to become more sophisticated with growing technology. The most effective way for companies to protect themselves is to address the “human element” by building an organizational cybersecurity culture focused on raising awareness on cyber defense, and establishing strategies that will allow employees to identify and protect the company against attacks.
1. Lead by example
Employees look up to higher management in modeling their own practices. While building cybersecurity culture across an entire organization is challenging, the most influential way to approach an organization-wide movement is for C-suite executives to set the tone for cybersecurity awareness. If management makes cybersecurity practices a priority, and implement changes in day-to-day operations, the employees will follow in their lead.
Furthermore, executives and management must also actively promote key messages to employees. Whether in person or virtually, cybersecurity information must be communicated in precision to ensure that all employees understand the importance of safe online practices. In order to effectively implement change, messaging must be clear, concise, and in terms that employees understand. For example, leadership can start every all-staff meeting with a cybersecurity story or facts to reinforce the organization’s dedication to the cause.
2. Tailor security awareness programs to the needs of each group within your organization
Cyberthreats are getting more complex and sophisticated each day, and organizations must update their training programs regularly to stay ahead of attacks. Planned by the chief information security officers (CISOs) and the human resources (HR) team, these training programs need to focus on actively engaging employees in the learning process. Organizations can achieve this by using of incentives, setting goals and offering rewards when objectives are met.
In addition to employee training, the rise in business email compromises and social engineering attacks show that C-suite executives and board members also require regular training focused on the types of attacks that target higher level management and train them on how to defend against the vulnerabilities of their unique areas.
3. Regularly practice and reinforce cyberdefense strategies in day to day operations
While cybersecurity awareness programs are crucial to training members of an organization, it is important to actively practice the skills and strategies offered by these programs. For example, organizations could have drills simulating social engineering attacks that mimic real-life phishing attacks and other possible real life attack scenarios to stay vigilant and prepared.
Organizations should also adopt a more proactive and collaborative work environment such as encouraging employees to remind one another not to leave their company devices unattended in order to prevent unauthorized access, when encountering anything that might cause a security breach.
Your people are your first line of defense against cybersecurity attacks.
Building cybersecurity awareness is essential to the success of any organization in the age of technology. Organizations should aim to nurture a culture of cybersecurity by actively training employees and continually assessing, updating, and reinforcing their strategies to ensure resilience against cyberthreats and minimal loss if faced by one.
Reach out to Precision Technology, an SIA Best Staffing Company, to talk with our recruiters on how they can help you with finding the top talent to protect your company.