Building A Cybersecurity Culture In The Workplace

building cybersecurity culture

In the event of a cyber-attack, your team’s ability to respond and defend against a threat is largely influenced by your cybersecurity culture. Your people are the first and strongest line of defense. However, getting everyone on the same page when it comes to cybersecurity can be a challenge, especially given the reality of security fatigue. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by potential threats, but ignoring them will only leave your business vulnerable.

What is Cybersecurity Culture?

Culture evolves. In the last few years, the focus has shifted from a reliance on technology solutions to looking at the behaviors of individual users.

Building a cyber-aware culture involves more than training employees. A company that has a strong cybersecurity culture, engrains a sense of responsibility, awareness, and proactive engagement among employees at all levels.

The Biggest Roadblock

Assuming knowledge of good cyber-hygiene basics is a pitfall. However, the real hurdle isn’t about enlightening your team but motivating them. This includes leadership as well.

A recent survey conducted by the NCA and CybSafe highlighted a harsh reality. 40% of respondents cited motivation as the primary obstacle to taking security actions. This number surpasses capability and opportunity as barriers to effective cybersecurity.

Many believe that since their information is already accessible online, there’s no point in protecting themselves further. To be proactive in cybersecurity, we need to shift away from apathetic attitudes such as the belief “it won’t happen to us.”

Motivation is the driving force behind any successful change or transformation. Without it, even the most capable individuals and teams can become complacent. So, how can we motivate ourselves and our colleagues to take cybersecurity seriously?

Who Is Responsible For Developing A Cybersecurity Culture?

One crucial element is leadership. Whether you’re a team leader or a CISO, you can play a pivotal role in motivating change. Your responsibility goes beyond just knowing the best practices. It involves guiding your team, setting an example, and ensuring everyone is moving towards the common goal.

Remind employees that cybersecurity isn’t just the responsibility of the IT department. Everyone plays a part.

Look at the chart below to see how your department can get involved.

Cybersecurity Culture Infographic
Infographic: Building a Cybersecurity Culture

How To Build a Human Firewall

It’s easy to be under the false impression that work devices are already secure. Unfortunately, this is a belief that many in your office might hold. However, software and other tool sets won’t keep you 100% protected. An essential layer of cybersecurity is human behavior.

Once you have everyone on board, then you can begin to work on the details. To ensure everyone is on the same page, establish clear policies as a roadmap for your team. Make sure they are well-documented and easily accessible to everyone involved. It’s important to review and update these policies regularly to ensure they remain relevant.

You need to recognize that threats may originate from anywhere—externally or internally. Enforce stringent access controls, review permissions regularly, and employ multi-factor authentication for sensitive systems.

2022 was the best year for ransomware and cybercriminals. We must build our security with the assumption that if you haven’t been breached yet, you will in the future.

It’s important to assume that all users on your network could pose a threat to critical resources. Have you heard of “zero trust?”

Zero trust is not a new product or service. It’s not replacing your current security measures, it’s a new mindset. We are now assuming that all users could endanger our critical resources.

Why is this more crucial now? The answer lies in the increasing trend of remote work and human failures.

With more users working from home, there is a greater need to access systems beyond the perimeter and firewall. To enhance security, it is recommended to limit network access and utilize access control, which provides an extra layer of protection.

This means that before allowing access to your network, you should verify both the user and the device.

With 41% of executives admitting that their security initiatives haven’t paralleled digital transformation (TechRepublic), it’s vital to stay updated. Engage with professional cybersecurity entities, seminars, and webinars to stay informed of emerging threats and evolving best practices.

What we consider a best practice today may not hold next year.

What Makes a Good Training Program

Those old PowerPoints you recycle annually for awareness training aren’t going to cut it anymore. What you invest in your training initiatives will correlate with their effectiveness.

According to the Annual Cybersecurity Attitudes and Behaviors Report, half of all employees (53%) have not undergone any cybersecurity training.

How confident are you in your team’s ability to implement these behaviors?

  • Ensuring Good Password Hygiene
  • Using MFA
  • Installing The Latest Device Updates
  • Recognizing And Reporting Phishing
  • Backing Up Data

The biggest threat facing your organization is business email compromise. These scams are running rampant, convincing people to open attachments that seem important, such as a “past due” invoice or a “resume.” These phishing emails are designed to trick people into clicking without thinking. To protect your business, it’s crucial to train your employees to recognize these types of scams and avoid them with ease.

Don’t overcomplicate it. Organize regular training sessions to educate your team about the latest threats and best practices.

Keep it interactive and use real-world examples and case studies to illustrate the importance of cybersecurity.

The rise in social engineering attacks reinforces that executives also need regular training.

Don’t be in the dark about your team’s proficiency in recognizing threats. Gauge threat recognition proficiency through simulated attacks and use training reports to pinpoint and bolster any weak spots. Your defense is only as strong as your weakest link.

Foster Open Communication

You should take the consequences of a cyberattack seriously. From financial loss to reputational damage, there is a lot on the line for your company. However, installing fear in your employees is not the pathway to cultivating a secure environment.

Your employees might come across something suspicious or click something they shouldn’t have. Use it as a learning experience.

Encourage employees to report any suspicious activity without fear of reprisal. A clear reporting structure and procedure for potential incidents enable us to do this. The last thing you want is for your people to be too scared to come to you or engage in shadow IT practices.

Highlight when employees spot phishing attempts and make sure everyone, even new hires, is well-versed in cybersecurity practices from day one.

Everyone should understand their role in protecting business assets.

A Continuous Commitment

Cybersecurity is not a checkbox activity, but rather an ongoing commitment. It’s not just about having the right technology but also instilling the right mindset and behavior at all levels of your organization. By promoting a cybersecurity culture that prioritizes awareness, responsibility, and proactive engagement, you can effectively safeguard your organization against potential threats.

Secure Your Business with Just Solutions' Cybersecurity Services

Don’t leave your business’s cybersecurity to chance. At Just Solutions, we’re committed to assisting you every step of the way. From network assessments to comprehensive cybersecurity training programs, our team is ready to help. Learn more about how we can work together to create a reliable cybersecurity strategy.