Building a Security Awareness Culture In an Organisation
A strong security culture not only interacts with the day-to-day procedures, but also defines how security influences the things that your organisation provides to others. Those offerings may be products, services, or solutions, but they must have security applied to all parts and pieces. A sustainable security culture is persistent and not a once-a-year event, but embedded in everything you do. An organisation’s confidential intellectual property is its most valuable asset. As cybersecurity threats and attacks become increasingly focused on enterprise organisations, business leaders are faced with the challenge of finding ways to ensure their data is difficult to obtain. As threats continue to increase and evolve, it is imperative organisations constantly train their entire workforce on what signs to look for and how to avoid being hacked or becoming a victim of an attack. Security training is not solely for the IT department. Instead, employees within all departments should be kept up to date with all security awareness training initiatives.
Security awareness is the process of teaching your entire team the basic lessons about security. On top of general awareness is a need for application security knowledge. Application security awareness is for the developers and testers within the organisation. Awareness is an ongoing activity, so never pass up a good crisis. Bad things are going to happen to your organisation, and many times they will be tied directly to a security problem. Grow your security culture with these teachable moments. Do not try to hide them under the rug, but instead use them as an example for how the team can get better. Developing a comprehensive security awareness program should not be considered a destination, but a journey. It requires dedicated oversight and should be ongoing, with engaging exercises. It should certainly not be seen only as part of a compliance or an audit initiative since that is likely to result in ticking off checklists rather than implementing any lasting behavioral change.
Build a strong security community
A strong security community is the backbone of sustainable security culture. It provides the connections between people across the organisation. Security community assists in bringing everyone together against the common problem, and eliminates an “us versus them” mentality. Organisations that invest in security awareness training for their employees reduce the risk of cyber attacks. Implementing effective strategies including dynamic watermarking, encryption, BYOD policies and cloud security precautions are ways organisations can ensure their intellectual property is kept safe. As we have seen within the last several years, no matter what, IT security incidents will happen. Since incidents are a given, a smart organisation will do everything possible to learn from each incident and build organisational resistance and resilience. Just as the recovery phase of incident handling focuses on tightening procedures and updating system configurations so that the incident is less likely to happen in the future, organisations should take the time to make employees aware of the consequences that particularly challenging incidents caused, and issue tips a general user can use to help avoid similar occurrences.
To cement a sustainable security culture, build fun and engagement into all the process parts. If you have specific security training, ensure that it is not a boring voice over a PowerPoint presentation. If you engage your community through events, do not be afraid to laugh and goof around some. Executive leadership is integral for companies that opt to implement a “clean desk” policy, under which screens must be locked when unattended and laptops must be secured via cable locks. They essentially set the example in choosing to follow these secure behaviors; if they resist, employees do not have any clear incentive to comply, either. Business leaders who emphasise risk analysis can also contribute to a positive security culture at work. An organisational cyber security culture depends not solely on the work of one group but instead on the contributions of all personnel. By delegating security personnel to focus on security basics, employees to engage in interactive security awareness training, and executives to provide a consistent pro-security tone, you can create a holistic cyber security culture in which everyone has a stake. Creating a cyber security culture is the responsibility of every employee, manager, and contractor to prevent against a cyber breach or cyber attack. Engaged employees who receive ongoing awareness training and communication fosters a strong cyber security culture.