With technology advancing every day, so do the security risks that come along with them. There is a need for strong security in the constantly evolving digital world, and it all starts on the ground floor, with your employees. Today, we’ll be discussing how to cultivate a culture of security and tech-savviness in your team through policies and training. All security risks start at the user level, so your users must be as secure as any technologies you have in place.
Emphasize The Importance of Security
Your employees may have an arbitrary understanding of cybersecurity. They know it’s important, but they may not know how important it really is. Hold a meeting that focuses on the potential risks that a cyber attack will have on their livelihood. If there are any rifts between your IT team and employees, now is the best time to fix that bridge.
There is an unfortunate culture of employees seeing IT staff as invasive while IT staff view employees as harmful and clueless security risks in a lot of corporate environments. The stress of work could cause severe damage to IT and employee relations and can manifest passive-aggressively.
From the top, teach the importance of security. If you teach the heads, then their respective people will soon follow. Top-level agreement means there won’t be any discourse with everyone else, or if any, it will be minimal.
Cybersecurity is not just the responsibility of the IT department, but the entire company. Everybody is open to attack, and so, attitudes have to adjust accordingly to prevent data loss.
Change Employee Habits
A lot of activities by employees tend to go unnoticed. Falling into a routine is a dangerous thing, especially if said routine is rife with security risks. How people behave is dictated by how they think.
Once security is important in their eyes, you can start teaching them new habits. For example, one of the biggest security risks has always been passwords.
A lot of users get lazy with their password creation, or carelessly leave notes of their password out in the open. Weak passwords have been the fall of many organizations. Start teaching your employees safe security habits such as strong passwords, practicing the use of BCC [Ci9g1] in emails, and regular virus scans.
Teach Them What These Secure Practices Do
Now they understand the risks of poor security and have secure habits, but they still need to understand exactly what they are doing. If a person is doing something just because someone told them, they will go about it the wrong way, especially if they don’t know what they’re doing.
A deeper understanding of the nuance of security practice motivates employees to take things more seriously past “I’m doing this because my boss tells me to”. Not to mention, an understanding of security means they take that attitude home, so it gives them more time to adjust their mindset and prevent any potential data breach.
Communicate Clearly with Employees
Communication is key to strong security infrastructure. Go to your employees’ level of understanding instead of throwing tons of information at them that they do not understand. A dry PowerPoint presentation will not win you any victories, especially when it is done in a mandatory meeting.
Keep your words simple and concise. Teach your employees concepts that they are familiar with then work up from there. Do not be vague about any policies or training, because a single misunderstanding could mean a massive security risk in the future.
The best way to cultivate a culture of safety is through normalization. Start small, teach one team data safety practices and have them do it for weeks on end under observation. If practical, reward them if they have been exemplary in that training.
Other teams will observe this and start developing it as a habit. By the time you start another team’s training, they will be a lot more receptive to your training.
Social pressure doesn’t have to be a negative thing. If you use it to make for strong change within the company, it will be worth it. Peers are a powerful tool, make sure to use them to your advantage.
Create Official Security Policies for the Workplace
To ensure compliance, make sure to have all the safe security practices compiled into a workplace policy. This ensures your employees’ compliance and gives clear guidelines on what to do for improper security practices.
Cybersecurity needs close collaboration with IT staff, and anything major should be notified to the company at large. Without a set of rules for employees to follow, it will be hard to analyze security breaches, because there was no record of how said breach even happened.
Compliance risk management needs established policy as a groundwork, because that policy is what lets you analyze data and prevent future security risks