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5 Ways to Create a Culture of Cybersecurity at Work

August 15, 2017 Sarah Challis Articles

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As the world continues to become more interconnected, organizations worldwide are facing the ever-growing threat of cyber attacks. A lot of emphasis is being put into making businesses understand the importance of creating a culture of cybersecurity at work; from the boardroom, right down to the break room.

Why is a culture of cybersecurity at work so important?

A culture of cybersecurity is vital today because the solution to averting cyber attacks is no longer just embedded in creating stronger security controls for your network. It goes beyond that.

Creating a culture of cybersecurity in the workplace relates strongly to what is most organization’s weakest link to breaches – its employees. It is a fact that the majority of breaches involve internal users, most of which occur because an employee was not aware of a certain defense mechanism they needed to help them avoid an attack.

Creating a culture of cybersecurity at work, therefore, is all about making sure that all employees are aware of the most important aspects of network security for the company. It also involves making sure that each one of them knows that they truly have a vital role to play in safeguarding the company.

However, changing a company’s culture is not quick or easy. But with the right focus, it’s far from impossible. You need to start with a strong foundation and build it up, whilst making sure your team is with you all along.

 The 11 Most Critical Protections Every Business Must Have in Place to Protect Themselves from Cyber Attacks and Data Breaches

 

Here are the top 5 ways you can build a strong cybersecurity culture in your workplace;

 

1. Start by focusing on the security basics

Many businesses focus on the latest tricks, programs and security concepts as the only tactics that can protect them. They forget that hackers love to exploit the most basic of mistakes. Focusing on the truly basic security features can help you avert cyber attacks and block hackers from even trying to test how strong your security controls are. Here are some of the basic security measures to focus on;

  • Ensuring a strong password policy is followed: Staff should be informed that having complex passwords makes it harder for attackers to access the system.
  • Ensuring that you patch and update regularly: You need to ensure that your business has a patch update program in place where all systems and software are updated regularly. It should also be able to ensure that emergency fixes are possible.
  • Enable 2-factor authentication: This security measure ensures there is an added layer of security when you are logging in to an account or service. An example is, having a password and a one-time code used simultaneously during any login.
  • Monitoring and limiting access: This security measure is great in lowering the risk of access to certain systems and software by unauthorized personnel. Employees should only be able to access what they need. Unusual login times and behaviors should be flagged and investigated.

These measures are the basics for a good cybersecurity culture.

 

2. Executive organizational security from the top down

Management, as well as business owners, need to go beyond funding security awareness programs and setting implementation rules to take part in the implementation process themselves. They need to be seen engaging the employees in person or on video during training. Executives should also communicate well with middle management in order to encourage employees to incorporate the security practices learned into their everyday work.

 

3. Invest in training your employees

It is said that an organization’s network is only as strong as its least-trained employee. Why? Simply because employees are the weakest link for an organization when it comes to external attacks. They often leave loopholes to hackers and other infiltrators who want access to your network. In most cases, staff do this unknowingly.

Therefore, training on good security techniques can help staff to know when not to open fishy email attachments or when not to use personal devices on the work network. Develop a good training program that will keep the employees motivated and engaged. A good program should have simple and easy to understand topics and should be delivered throughout the year.

 

4. Establish security policies, standards, and procedures

Your organization needs to have certain acceptable behaviors that are set to promote its security culture. For example, ensuring that all employees have and wear identification badges or that work-related files and devices don’t leave the company’s building. Such consistent behaviors can help grow a strong culture of cybersecurity at work.

 

5. Reward and recognize those who do the right thing for security

Finally, offer rewards as a form of motivation to those who follow through with the implementation of various security practices. Everyone loves some reward, and this will be a sure way of keeping your employees motivated to advance the culture of cybersecurity at the workplace. A cash reward for the top score in a cyber attack simulation (for example), can help the organization to thwart a single data breach, resulting in the loss of millions.

 

All in all, remember that creating a cybersecurity culture is the responsibility of every manager, employee, and contractor!

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