Establishing a Strong and Healthy Culture of Cybersecurity

HRCT works with local businesses to make sure they have a strong culture of cybersecurity.

Do you have a culture of cybersecurity in your organization?

One of the most effective and efficient ways for your business or organization to reduce its chances of becoming a victim of cyber threats or cyberattacks is to build a culture of cybersecurity. An established culture of cybersecurity requires employees to have the mindset that cyberthreats and cyberattacks are real and the actions they take can have an impact on those risks.

Cybersecurity culture is critical because it helps protect your assets, from your main devices to your confidential and sensitive data. Your business or organization’s cybersecurity culture should be part of a wider corporate culture of daily actions that encourage all employees to make more informed decisions that align with workplace security policies.

A strong security culture does not just consist of cybersecurity awareness. Security culture will require all employees to know about the various security risks and what needs to be done to avoid the risks. Establishing a strong cybersecurity culture requires developing and processes that will keep the workplace safe.

Your business or organization has spent years and has used a significant number of resources to acquire your assets. If your assets are lost, stolen, or corrupted, there would be a significant impact on your bottom line.

Many organizations spend a significant amount of money on hardware and applications but fail to realize the importance of properly training their employees on security practices. Training and educating employees on how to recognize threats, eliminating poor decisions, and following best security practices can deliver a great return on investment. However, we know this can be challenging to measure.

Trying to measure the return on investment in employee training and education, and building a culture of cybersecurity are not the easiest things to get executives to buy into.  Throughout many organizations, upper management does not believe that employee training and education can reduce their exposure to cyber threats and cyberattacks.

Best Practices for a Cybersecurity Culture

Best practices for building a cybersecurity culture include the following:

  • Ensuring employees are well-informed about the latest cybersecurity threats. It will be better for your employees to know about the dangers surrounding them so something can be done immediately. You would rather take this route than having uninformed employees and hold out hope that your organization will be fine.
  • Understand that you will not be able to pinpoint or eliminate every risk, but when your employees are aware and are vigilant of their actions and surroundings, it can reduce risks to a level that is more acceptable.
  • Actively communicate with your employees, both formally and informally.
  • Take pride in any success, especially any threats and attacks that were stopped in their tracks.

Cultural Attributes of Your Business or Organization

One of the most important attributes your company should have is one that is centered around security – cybersecurity awareness in particular. Every workplace must have an understanding of cybersecurity, and there needs to be an understanding that cybersecurity is not just something that applies to the IT department, it applies to the entire workplace. If you value the future of your business or organization, a strong cybersecurity culture is one you will not only need but will need to promote at all times.

Building a cybersecurity culture will require an active and ongoing approach by everyone in the workplace. If cybersecurity awareness is not one of your cultural attributes, your employees will continue to be viewed as the ”weakest link” in your cybersecurity landscape, and your employees will continue to be one of the leading causes of why your systems or networks are attacked.  If any of your employees fail to acknowledge the importance of having cybersecurity attributes, this could make it easier for cybercriminals to go after your sensitive data.

Education and Training 

Making cybersecurity a priority in your workplace should start by ensuring your employees always take the right actions when it comes to protecting workplace data. Providing cyber education and training as well as having up-to-date security protocols in place will allow your employees to understand what actions should be taken and what actions should be avoided, and this will ensure that your data is not exposed to data breaches.

Do Not Play The Blame Game

Regardless of what tools, resources, communication channels, and strategies you have in place, your cybersecurity culture should not be centered around blaming employees or making them feel afraid or uncomfortable to come to someone about a cybersecurity problem. You want your employees to feel comfortable to come to you and ask for guidance.

You can establish a solid cybersecurity culture by encouraging positivity. You do not want to establish a culture that where employees are working in fear that they will make a major mistake. If an employee does not understand every aspect of your policies, you do not have to shame them or do anything to make them the center of negative attention.

When someone doesn’t grasp your policy or has a problem understanding how to follow the cybersecurity best practices, we encourage you to take those moments and use them to educate. Treat every moment as a learning opportunity, ensure your employees that you understand what they are going through, and use positive and encouraging language during your communication.

Take Pride in Success

With any aspect of cybersecurity, it can be easy to focus most of the attention on the negatives surrounding cybersecurity. It’s easy to feel frustrated and afraid when you read about the ransomware attacks, data breaches, data loss, etc. happening across the country. That feeling of helplessness can become even more overwhelming when you are trying to get everyone to buy into cybersecurity and education. This is why it is so important to take pride in success when you experience it.

Your employees will always be to be the last line of defense against cyberthreats and cyberattacks. A strong and healthy culture of cybersecurity will mean that your employees will receive the education and training they need, allowing them to feel engaged and empowered to act when they believe there are risks and vulnerabilities. Learn more about the importance of creating a culture of cybersecurity by contacting HRCT.