Creating a culture of security, as you’ve likely gathered, is not a static process. The key to staying ahead of cybercriminals is consistent review and updates. A common mistake organizations make with their security awareness program is failing to plan long term. Often times, they get caught up in the initial roll-out of their training, but forget to plan on updating their program periodically. New types of attacks are consistently generated, so it is important that senior management and the IT department work together to stay ahead of the hackers. The key to maintaining a strong security posture is consistent review and updates.
The process of creating a security culture does not end after awareness training is complete. In fact, each of the preceding steps in this series have built upon one another to get your organization to this point. Now is when the ongoing task of keeping cybersecurity front-of-mind begins.
If you’ve followed our first three steps for creating a culture of security, you’ve set you, your employees, and your organization up for success in these final two steps. The assessment has revealed key strengths and weaknesses in your current cybersecurity environment. Creating buy-in has developed the framework for a company that values security. Your awareness training has provided all key stakeholders with the necessary tools for spotting and mitigating potential cyberthreats.
If asked to describe your cybersecurity awareness training program, what would you say? What does your training consist of? How often does training occur? Are employees engaged in the training? How often do you update the content? Do you follow up on what was taught after the training concludes?
If you were asked to answer any of these questions, you may quickly realize that your cybersecurity awareness training is inadequate. Worse yet, you may recognize that your training plans are a massive waste of time and resources.
Security comes down to three things: people, process, and technology. Process and technology, are largely handled by senior management and the IT department. Yet, people remain the leading cause of data and security breaches, with human error responsible for 52 percent of such incidents.
While this high rate of incidence is largely due to a lack of training - which we’ll discuss in our next post - the process must begin by developing a company culture that values data security.
The responsibility for protecting the company’s assets, including employee and customer data, is one that must begin to be seen as shared rather than assigned.
You wouldn’t take a road trip without first checking your oil and tire pressure, or fly in an airplane that hasn’t had its regular safety check. Similarly, you shouldn't initiate company culture change without first assessing your current security posture. The initial assessment will expose critical risk factors and set the course for policy and procedure updates. Some organizations embark on a program to strengthen their security infrastructure without first performing a comprehensive assessment. That’s a mistake. They risk misallocating resources and failing to address their most critical vulnerabilities.
The rise in corporate cyber-attacks costs businesses billions of dollars. From startups to large publicly-traded corporations, it is rare that a day goes by without another story of a cybersecurity breach.
A quality IT department or outsourced IT firm is the first step in the defense against cyber threats. These professionals implement the basic tools to prevent many attacks. However, even with the most well trained, staffed, and funded IT department, your business remains just one click away from undermining those protections.