Shift to a Dynamic Cybersecurity Culture
If you want your employees to more cybersecurity aware, develop a cybersecurity culture. This will help you manage the cyber threats that involve all aspects of your business, including human resources, infrastructure, and digital information.
In the report, ‘Perspectives on transforming cybersecurity’, one of McKinsey & Co’s conclusions is that, “Culture change makes malicious, co-opted, or negligent risk events less likely, and puts the company in a preventive rather than reactive posture.”
In other words, when organizations have a strong cybersecurity culture, they can identify security breaches and respond accordingly much faster.
5 Steps to Develop Your Cybersecurity Culture
Cybersecurity culture is a set of values, behaviors, and attitudes that should be embraced by all employees to build trust and reduce risk. The five steps below are tried-and-true methods for establishing a successful cybersecurity culture in your organization:
Step #1: Begin by Asking Yourself, “How Well Do I Know My Company’s Cybersecurity?”
The first step in protecting your organization is understanding the risks and threats. Here are three key areas to explore:
- Risk assessment
With the rise of cyberattacks and cybercrime, the importance of keeping your data safe cannot be overlooked. The best way to avoid falling victim to an attack is by conducting a risk assessment. This will give you the knowledge you need to implement changes in how you handle information and implement security measures like encryption.
- Cybersecurity awareness training for employees
It is important that you ensure that your employees receive essential cybersecurity education and training.
- Cybersecurity policies and procedures
Protecting your company’s information is a challenge for many businesses, but policies and procedures will help you. These create a framework, so employees understand what to do when they discover or suspect suspicious activity.
Having explored these three areas, you can then proceed to the next step.
Step #2: Establish and Update Security Standards Within Your Organization
With so much data stored on your systems, including in the cloud, you must make sure that your security standards are up to date. Use the information that you have collected in step one to help you define relevant policies and procedures.
As technology continues to advance, and rules and regulations evolve, you should maintain your policies and procedures to continually align with threats and internal and external compliance issues.
Step #3: Provide Regular Cybersecurity Training to Employees
As you continue to digitize your business, securing infrastructure becomes increasingly difficult. Cybersecurity training is a must for businesses who want to protect their information and avoid a data breach.
Regular cybersecurity training ensures employees are aware of the latest threats, and have the necessary skills to protect your data. These sessions cover everything from preventing phishing attacks to identifying suspicious emails.
Step #4: Proactively Monitor and Improve Your Cybersecurity Policies and Procedures
Even the most well-configured cybersecurity solutions and processes can be vulnerable to threats, such as phishing, man-in-the-middle attacks, and data theft.
An effective way to combat these threats is through proactively monitoring your cybersecurity solutions and processes. This helps you to avoid costly losses or attacks, and make appropriate changes to your systems which, in turn, reduces the likelihood of cyberattacks.
To effectively monitor your cybersecurity solutions and processes, you need a team that is proactive about identifying potential issues before they occur. This team may consist of both internal members, who have the technical skillsets necessary for monitoring systems, and external members who have industry knowledge or experience with similar types of systems.
Step #5: Cultural Shift: Always Assume a Cybersecurity Breach Has Occurred
The growing number of security breaches and concerns have led to a cultural shift among employers. They now require their employees to assume that an incident has already occurred.
You see, it is no longer enough for companies to have cybersecurity policies in place – you need to shift your employees’ mindset. They need to assume that a breach has occurred.
This way of thinking will help them to be proactive with their privacy and security habits. They will be more vigilant of unusual behavior within your systems and data.
Finally, make sure that when your employees report suspicious activity, it is followed up immediately. If it turns out to be a false alarm, don’t embarrass the reporting employee. Thank him or her for their vigilance – because one day, that vigilance could be your company’s savior.