The fight against cybercrime should be addressed not only from a technological standpoint but also from a human one. Employees are vulnerable to attacks such as phishing because cybercriminals trick them into completing actions that appear to be legitimate but aren’t. This is a component that technological defenses against cyber-attacks cannot overcome, necessitating the reinforcement of the human behavior aspect. This is where fostering a strong and healthy security culture comes in.
The need of the hour is to develop a strong security understanding, values, and behaviors. The key to changing employee attitudes and mindsets is to cultivate an organizational culture that values security. However, shaping human behavior is a complex, long-term process that cannot be solved with episodic and short-term initiatives. Here are some recommendations for companies on how to create and maintain strong and healthy security culture.
Security culture encompasses much more than security awareness and enforcing secure conduct. It’s about instilling a sense of security in employees to the point where they take proactive efforts to decrease risk. It’s all about instilling a cybersecurity mindset that prioritizes the organization and its customers. Organizations want their employees to incorporate what they’ve learned about security into their daily routines, building confidence in their ability to make sound security decisions.
Security leaders must ensure that emerging risks in the workplace, as well as best practices in cybersecurity hygiene and policies and procedures, are routinely communicated to employees. Regular communications, security awareness exercises, and mock drills are crucial in keeping employees engaged, particularly those who work remotely. Senior management and board members must treat cybersecurity as a crucial and important strategy for business success, and they must lead by example.
Make security more approachable and relatable
To encourage complete engagement, policy documents on processes, guidelines, and communication channels must be simple to understand. When new security risks or circumstances emerge, security teams must abandon the jargon and use straightforward and simple language to educate employees on what is expected of them. Employees must be aware of where they can ask questions, report issues, and what resources are available.
A healthy security culture is one in which everyone is confident and at ease with security and does not believe it is unduly complicated.
Unfortunately, many businesses regard security as a burden. This never leads to a secure company, and it usually implies that there are some cultural issues outside of IT and security as well.
When companies take a complacent approach to security, it usually means they aren’t focused on continual improvement; instead, they are content to simply exist. And, in general, a company that just exists will almost certainly be hacked at some point.
Effective cybersecurity necessitates being proactive and establishing constant feedback loops in which security teams measure data, effectively convey the data, and identify a solution that incorporates that data.
Reward security-conscious behavior
A strong and healthy security culture does not emerge overnight, and companies should not treat training as a “set it and forget it” exercise. To make a lasting impression, they must incorporate awareness into organizational culture and go beyond traditional awareness training.
Blaming or condemning bad security behavior will almost certainly foster a culture of secrecy, which will accelerate the growth of shadow IT. That isn’t to suggest that users aren’t accountable for their behavior. Instead of condemning people, businesses should celebrate successes and use them as an example for others.