Blog Post July 5, 2022

3 Simple Steps to Creating a Cybersecurity Culture

3 Simple Steps to Creating a Cybersecurity Culture

88% of data breaches are caused by an employee’s mistake, researchers from Stanford University found. Balancing technical and social elements of an organization can address the most significant cybersecurity vulnerability: people.

Security awareness is crucial, and it must be integrated into everything a company does. Still, the harsh reality of cybersecurity awareness is that security culture has not been able to keep up with the threat landscape. When people are left with the responsibility of their own devices, do they make the right decision when faced with a malicious link? Well, let’s see.

What is Security Awareness Training, and Why do You Need it?

Cybersecurity awareness training is a form of education that security and IT professionals use to mitigate employee risk. Practical security awareness training causes employees to feel accountable for their actions and understand the security risks associated with their efforts in identifying cyberattacks. Lessons and programs help employees and users understand their role in their company’s security plan to help combat malicious activity.

In 2021, data breaches cost on average $4.24 million, a 10% rise from 2020, according to IBM’s 2021 Data Breach Report. These costs can cause many organizations to fold. As a company, you are responsible for equipping your employees as your first line of defense by setting them up for success. Below are a few ways to build a productive and proactive security culture for your employees and organization.

Ways to Build a Culture Focused on Security:

  1. Security Belongs to Every Department

Cybersecurity has evolved and become an essential part of your organization. Security belongs to every employee regardless of department. All parties are accountable and actively contribute to the organization’s security culture. This can be achieved by equipping each person with security basics and the knowledge to judge threats.

Cybersecurity awareness is an ongoing activity, while training is a proactive action that needs to be taken on behalf of your organization. Grow your security culture by having teachable moments through mock threat campaigns, training, and teachings using real-world examples. After employees have been provided with the proper awareness and knowledge, then comes accountability.

  1. Recognize and Reward Employees for their Security Efforts

Actively seek out opportunities to celebrate employee success. When an employee completes mandatory cybersecurity awareness training, give them something in return. A simple reward or gift card motivates people to get their training done and will cause them to remember the cybersecurity lesson that gave them $50 to their favorite retail store. When the goal is to proactively defend your employees from falling victim to cyber schemes, the return on investment outweighs the cost of the reward.

The other side of a sustainable reward is career growth for team members in dedicated security roles. This will motivate your team to remain dedicated to your organization’s values and overall mission, which will protect your brand reputation and security protocol. If cybersecurity is necessary for your company culture, prove it by providing your security professionals with good and long-standing growth opportunities.

  1. Implement a Proactive Defense Program

Practical cybersecurity awareness training emphasizes engaging your employees to reduce user risk. It is best to implement a robust training program that doesn’t just deliver a one-off session that overwhelms employees with information that they will soon forget until the next training. For training information to become salient, it needs to be persistent and delivered in small doses (quarterly is suggested) to fit every employee’s busy plates.

Proactive defense programs use real-life de-weaponized attack campaigns to test employees, including phony email phishing attacks. They also implement training to ensure your organization complies with set policies and industry regulations as well as track and continue to train high-risk users who fail attack campaigns. According to the Foundry Security Priority Report, 62% of organizations have planned to outsource some of their security functions over 2022; with employee awareness training being a top reason, third-party options are considered the most cost-effective solutions.

How to Play your Part:

The type of culture that you build at your organization directly impacts your success. If security is not a part of that culture, it will likely fail. The suggestions above are just the beginning—there’s so much more to securing your organization, but this is a great place to start. After all, wouldn’t you rather be proactive instead of reactive?

Keep Learning:

  • Beyond Compliance Security: Awareness Training that Protects Every Organization
    • Not all security training and testing programs are created equal. Discover how building and deploying effective programs involve more than simply putting together a presentation, taking attendance, and deploying a phishing tool test.
  • Remote Work and The Human Error: 3 Major Challenges
    • As the world begins to return to our new sense of normalcy, opting for remote work has reached record heights. With such significant change comes growing pains, and security risks soar as the line blurs between home and work- read the top 3 challenges now.
  • Threat Intelligence: The Human Element of Cybersecurity
    • Threat Intelligence is actionable, timely, and provides context to threats. Explore what organizations should invest in threat intelligence and what threat hunting is about.

Next Steps:

  • Request a demo with an Adlumin cybersecurity expert if you are ready to get started.