Building a Cybersecurity Culture in Your Business

As cyberattacks continue to become more prevalent, there’s a need to embrace a new mentality as far as employees are concerned. For a long time, employees have been referred to as the weakest link to security. This is because hackers usually target company systems, networks, and devices through phishing methods directed at employees. Statistics show that 90% of cyberattacks happen because of human error and behavior. 30% of phishing emails end up being opened, and 12% of the malicious links are clicked.

However, as the attacks become more sophisticated, it’s clear that hackers are moving away from using individuals as an entry point.

Consequently, there is a need to change this narrative and embrace a new mindset where employees become the best line of defense against cybercrime. For this to happen, there is a need to build a cybersecurity culture within your company.

What is Cybersecurity Culture?

A cybersecurity culture entails creating a mindset in employees that cybersecurity threats exist and their actions impact that risk. Doing so is crucial because it helps protect your company assets, both in hardware and software forms.

Your cybersecurity culture needs to be part of the broader corporate culture. This way, employees become inclined to making thoughtful decisions when using your company networks and systems. They also become accustomed to taking day-to-day actions that align with your company’s security policies.

Why build a Cybersecurity Culture?

A cybersecurity culture entails more than creating awareness. Instead, it calls for the workforce to understand the security risks and how to avoid them. In other words, when building a cybersecurity culture, you strive to enforce an operational strategy that keeps the entire firm safe. Acquiring and creating your data assets takes a long time and countless resources. If the data gets lost or compromised, the aftermath could impact your bottom line for years to come.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, ransomware has become a fast-growing threat to businesses. Therefore, it’s now more important than ever to invest in employee training and support as far as cybersecurity is concerned.

Building a Cybersecurity Culture Starts with Your Team

Unfortunately, many corporations in today’s uncertain economy undervalue and overlook security. However, ensuring that employees are well-versed with security matters as the threat landscape evolves can benefit your company. A well-designed cybersecurity program generates numerous benefits and promotes a healthy culture.

Creating a strong company culture can flow into and out of the internal security center. The aim is to encourage all teams within the organization to stay on top of security issues urgently.

Training for a Cybersecurity Culture 

For most employees, security issues can be complex and tedious. In such cases, it’s the most unconventional method of training that yields the most results. Take, for example, the case of the Talking Rain Beverage Company. It started posting cybersecurity tips and tricks inside the bathroom doors to educate employees. Furthermore, employees who seemed to perform well in the “training” received valuable awards. Those who didn’t complete their training in time had to work with the HR team to catch up.

Another component of this training that brought success was leveraging real-world scenarios. The company sent fake phishing emails to see how the recipients would react.

Most companies would prefer to train employees the conventional way. This includes providing them with the necessary resources and having them sit through a class setting to learn. Whichever method or approach you use, the idea is to instill the required knowledge and bring your team up to speed with issues like:

  • Password management
  • Identifying and avoiding phishing emails
  • The importance of creating backups for their work
  • Policies and best practices
  • Account access and authentication
  • Procedures for sending or receiving sensitive information

Bringing the Executives into The Picture 

If you want to see changed behavior in your team members, actions must accompany the messages. There is no better way to do this than to have the executive team lead from the front.

An excellent idea on how to do this is to run red and blue team types of activities. For example, have one team trigger an attack while the other team explains how to defend itself against it. Have the executive team involved in such activities to help them understand the company’s risk and tolerance levels and categorize them accordingly.

Dos and Don’ts of Building a Cybersecurity Culture 

The first place to get started when trying to set up a cybersecurity culture is to understand that threat tactics don’t work effectively with employees. On the contrary, they are only likely to create anxiety and inhibit the correct thought process when an emergency happens. Instead, do:

  • Use constructive and collaborative criticism when dealing with employees who don’t adhere to the company’s security culture.
  • Everything possible to win the trust and support of your employees
  • Be honest with your employees about your security priorities
  • Define roles, responsibilities, and expectations
  • Test your teams monthly for more significant security rewards.
  • Report program results to the C-suite as often as necessary
  • Create open communication systems where employees can report suspicious emails or malicious activities.
  • Use interactive training before employing the testing tactics on your employees.

Avoid:

  • Being too overbearing or forceful with the training program
  • Excluding other stakeholders, managers, and relevant IT teams from the process
  • Using the same phishing test every time
  • Using complicated concepts in the training

Most importantly, don’t forget to remind everyone about the importance of a robust security culture. Let them know that security extends beyond the office to their homes too.

Final Thoughts

We cannot stress enough the importance of building a cybersecurity culture in your company. In a well-established culture, employees will not have a problem taking responsibility at an individual level for your company’s security. With the correct knowledge and training, they will be ready to move from being security risk factors to security advocates.

However, building the right security culture is not an overnight thing. It takes time and calls for investment in resources. The process also requires the right set of skills and knowledge. It will work in your favor if you involve the input of a professional cybersecurity firm to help you in this process. You stand to gain more and spend less on the entire process. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, contact our team today to book a consultation with experts in the field.

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