Data security is non-negotiable for any business. It’s important to keep company files protected and away from hackers’ prying eyes. As organizations embrace technology to improve productivity and efficiency, cybercriminals are also upping their game. This makes security more important than ever.
According to data by Cybersecurity Ventures, cyberattacks will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021. Your business can succumb anytime to cyberthreats such as malware, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and phishing. Given that your employees will always be the weakest link to your cybersecurity, it’s important to invest in a good security culture.
Your IT culture is comprised of what users do when they are literally left to their own devices. What do they do when faced with suspicious-looking emails or links? How do they handle phone calls that ask for their personal information?
A good security-conscious IT culture will not only foster better security habits, but will also keep employees engaged and committed to data protection. Over time, a good culture will provide long-term returns on investment (ROI) in the form of profit retention and high customer trust.
How do you apply this in your business? Here are some ideas:
#1. Instill the idea that cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility
Many users believe that cybersecurity is the job of the IT or security department, as they are the ones maintaining all of your company's hardware and software assets. This should not be the case. In a good security culture, everyone does their part in keeping data secure.
Remind all employees that whatever they do online can significantly affect your operations. Let’s say one of your employees clicks on an innocuous-looking link and enters their personal information on the page the link leads to. They later find out that the page is a phishing bait. It’s too late at this point to undo everything, as cybercriminals have already gotten a hold of their data and login credentials, which can be used to steal confidential company information.
This can also apply to those who carelessly download email attachments. Cybercriminals are notorious for injecting malware into files, and once they have been opened, the malicious code can spread to other PCs via your network, which can lead to extended periods of downtime.
#2. Cultivate a culture of vigilance
Just because you conducted a cybersecurity awareness training program in the past year doesn’t mean you won’t have to do it again. Cybersecurity is a continuously evolving landscape, and it’s important for all your employees to become aware of the latest developments around it.
Keep all your employees informed of the latest security threats today. For instance, the presence of multiple grammatical errors in phishing scams has been a dead giveaway in the past. But now, hackers have improved their writing skills and are using real email layouts of the company they’re imitating to make the communiqué look more legitimate.
It’s also crucial to learn awareness first before accountability. Show your employees how to do the right thing through cybersecurity awareness and hold them accountable for the decisions they make. This way, not only do they learn to be proactive, but they also become aware of their mistakes.
#3. Reward those who do the right thing
It can be difficult for each and every one of your employees to follow all the security protocols that you’ll be implementing in the office. But those who do should be recognized and rewarded. A simple cash reward can easily motivate your staff to apply the security lessons they learned.
Once someone gets recompensed, they will be quick to tell others that they received cash for practicing what they have learned. While they may be working towards a cash goal, keep in mind that this technique will help keep your data secure, and the money you spend will also outweigh the ROI on preventing data breaches.
You can also provide opportunities for team members with a passion for security to grow into a dedicated security role through advancement. Make security a career choice within your business. They can subsequently teach other employees better security habits.
#4. Build a security community
Within a security culture, there should be a security community. The latter provides the connections between people across the organization and assists in bringing everyone together against a common problem,
There are three different security levels within the organization: the advocates, the security aware, and sponsors. Security advocates are the leaders that are passionate in keeping data secure. The security aware are those who aren’t as eager as the leaders but still realize the need for better security. The sponsors are from management who help shape the cybersecurity direction of the business.
This community can hold mentoring sessions weekly or monthly to discuss the latest developments in security. Security communities create a sense of unity and assure employees that everyone in the office is committed to keeping the company’s information protected.
#5. Make security engaging
When employees hear the word “security,” they usually associate it with lengthy training sessions or boring PowerPoint presentations. This shouldn’t be the case. To foster a successful security culture, make sure to keep your staff engaged in the process.
If you’re holding a talk regarding cybersecurity, you can include games that involve your employees. For instance, quizzes about good security habits can be a good way to keep people on their toes. For every correct answer, reward them with small gifts so they can be motivated even further to apply what they’ve learned.
Conduct live phishing exercises so you can have an idea of how your employees will react in a real situation. Send out fake emails and see who will fall for the bait. Once the results are in, provide the necessary training to those who failed with the exercise.
You deserve peace of mind when it comes to your business’s security. Here at USWired, our comprehensive security plans protect you from all threats 24/7/365. What’s more, we tailor our services to your organization’s needs. Interested? Give us a call today.