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Creating a Cybersecurity Culture

Creating a Cybersecurity Culture

What is a cybersecurity culture?

We’ve mentioned more than few times that complete cybersecurity requires more than just a software defense. Establishing a cybersecurity culture at the workplace is regarded as one of the most effective factors for keeping a secure workplace and minimizing the opportunities for a hacker to infiltrate your enterprise.

Just like any culture, it’s a set of values, norms, and expectations that a company follows to ensure synergy throughout. One great example of implied culture is Netflix—the content giant expects a level of professionalism and perseverance among its employees. They reinforce these values through their recruiting process and corporate atmosphere.

A cybersecurity culture can be established the same way— strategically stressing the importance of safe and secure practices in the virtual world.

Why is it important?

If you’re not already aware, your employees pose the largest vulnerability to your business.

Your employees are the first line of defense against a potential threat—keeping them knowledgeable on hacking trends and red flags are the easiest way to halt an attack before it begins. A cyber-conscious culture will keep your establishment proactive to threats rather than reactive to a hacking situation and can save your enterprise from a premature demise.

2018 saw its fair share of damaging data breaches­; Amazon, Facebook, Macy’s, Kmart, Adidas, Under Armour, and Delta Airlines made headlines for breaches throughout the year. Before you even begin to think that your business is “too small to fall [victim to a cyber crime],” you must understand that smaller cyber attacks are on the rise. With a growing number of businesses switching to a digital workplace, it’s naive to believe the threats will slow down any time soon. In our previous blog, we spoke about the difference between a big-time hacker and career cybercriminals, demonstrating that many small-to-mid-sized business cyber attacks do not make headlines.

Beginning Steps

Culture begins and ends with leadership, often following a top-down adoption (lead by example). Promoting the leadership of an organization to adopt a serious attitude toward cybersecurity is a crucial step in ensuring conformity. A great place to begin is through a training course that outlines methods and measures for safe cyber-practice in the workplace, especially to C-suite and upper-level employees handling sensitive information.

To that extent, all employees should be trained to understand company-wide security measures. For existing employees, hosting a cybersecurity training day is a great place to start. New employees should be trained while onboarding, giving them a brief overview of common threats, how to identify them, and expectations for employees to follow, such as not using personal email or browsing NSFW (not safe for work) sites on corporate devices or networks. Stressing importance in the beginning phase of onboarding will stress it’s importance while setting the standard for a virtual protocol.

Another great way to keep security top-of-mind is to periodically hang posters around the office or pass out brief reminders. Creating a culture means keeping ideas top of mind. Using visual reminders is a great technique to ingrain the importance of cybersecurity throughout the organization. JDL Group offers plenty of informative resources that could be used for this purpose.

Next Steps

By far the best way to reinforce a cybersecurity culture is to host a cybersecurity workshop at least once a year, if not more. Hosting a luncheon in exchange for your employee’s undivided attention will truly reinforce the importance of cybersecurity at your enterprise. At these meetings, you should have leadership address cybersecurity issues and remind employees of their commitment to keeping the company safe and secure. Presenting recent attacks will give employees a realistic idea of the destruction an attack can cause. (To stay on top of all things cybersecurity, follow us on social media!) We recommend handing out a small checklist of actionable cyber security items that employees should follow either during or after the workshop. Some examples are:

  • Changing passwords
  • Updating hardware devices (computers, IOT, projectors, etc)  
  • Updating any software or operating systems
  • Backing up documents both on and offline

We have a full cyber-consciousness checklist on our website, feel free to use it or create your own. If your business has an employee Newsletter, inserting brief reminders can support the culture as of the utmost importance to the business as well.

Final Steps

The final step toward creating a robust cybersecurity culture is to enforce realistic rules, such as changing passwords every few months and backing up data weekly. Holding the individuals of your team accountable for the team’s security will strengthen the culture of the whole, making it a priority and setting a high expectation bar for digital etiquette.

If you’re planning to increase security measures in 2019, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation for your business.


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