With the Internet of Things revolutionizing the way we live and work, security threats are becoming increasingly relevant, making it imperative for organizations to build a foolproof security system.
According to a recent study, 80 percent of corporate security professionals admitted that ‘end-user carelessness’ is a huge security threat to an organization. Consequently, people make the foundation of an unbeaten security system.
Security awareness training programs do not always work because every employee may or may not be aware of the risks and effects of security issues. Moreover, software updating, and installing firewalls, surveillance cameras, and access control system cannot build a tough security system, in the absence of a positive security culture.
Focusing on a strong security culture encourages employees to comply with the security guidelines and meet the organizational expectations. Team members, who recognize the importance of security, openly discuss the security concerns at the workplace and come up with constructive suggestions to manage them.
If you are looking at protecting your organization in the current threat landscape, here are six things you must consider to build a robust security culture.
- Build Ownership amongst Employees
Security is not just the responsibility of a particular department in the organization. Each employee must be made accountable for building a sustainable security culture.
The company’s director, top management, and supervisors must be at the forefront of the security awareness initiatives. The top officials always drive the cultural changes in an organization. When top executives lead by examples, security becomes a priority for each team member.
Updating the vision and mission and incorporating security as a part of the organizational objectives will enable employees to recognize that security non-negotiable.
Encourage individual team managers to attend organizational security talks and conferences, enabling them to interact with the top opinion leaders in the security domain.
Numerous technology firms such as Lintech offer tips and best practices in the field of organizational security. Studying this information can also help employees appreciate the security concerns faced by an organization and motivate them to talk to their respective teammates about their role in improving the security system.
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- Go beyond Creating Awareness
Security awareness programs include compliance with the security standards such as PCI and HIPAA and other federal regulations. However, by merely focusing on the compliance aspect, a security awareness program may not cut ice with all the employees.
Training managers must strive to change the behavioral aspects of the staff, strengthening the overall security culture of the organization. Security awareness training must be seen as a continual process with regular improvements and adaptation to the changes in technology and the nature of the business.
Security is crucial in every aspect of one’s life. An increasing number of people are exposed to threats such as phishing, password challenges, and data thefts that can cause security concerns in a wider context. Relating the security awareness programs to the employees’ personal life (outside office) can encourage them to behave in a responsible manner. Conversely, they will improve the company’s security culture by being watchful and security-conscious.
- Use the Security Development Lifecycle Approach
The Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) is a software development process that involves a combination of tools and awareness training. It offers a holistic approach towards building a culture of security awareness.
Organizations are now realizing that security efforts aren’t optional when developing software. SDL includes a set of activities such as threat modeling, assessing the security requirements, and security testing, that each employee in the organization agrees to perform before a software or system release.
With SDL, a developer can build secure software and proactively address security compliance issues, reducing the project’s overall costs.
- Introduce Reward Programs
A good security behavior must be recognized and rewarded. Incentives and rewards for compliance is a great way to motivate employees to actively participate in the security awareness programs.
If a team member has successfully completed a security awareness program and is implementing it on a regular basis, he/she must be recognized in public. This will motivate the other team members to adhere to the security guidelines, building a strong security culture in the organization.
Celebrating success in public makes employees feel motivated and valued. Use the intranet, the company newsletter, the internal marketing brochures, and monthly or annual employee meets as a platform to recognize such team members. You can also offer monetary incentives such as cash rewards or gift cards for the purpose.
- Make Security Awareness Programs Fun and Engaging
Using lengthy PowerPoint presentations and videos to communicate the importance of security can get boring. Engage your employees in the security awareness training by making it a fun and interesting exercise.
Run regular simulated security attacks in your organization, helping your staff recognize and deal with suspicious activities. You can also share the statistics with the entire organization and recognize employees who were able to identify a malicious email or activity.
Encourage a healthy competition between departments and announce rewards for those identifying phishing emails or reporting suspicious incidents or transactions. Periodic tests, email tips, and quiz competitions too can help engage employees, making security a priority for all.
- Don’t Miss out on Remote-Working Employees
Your employees and on-field staff can log in to the company network from their homes, airports, and coffee shops.
The company information, client database, and other confidential work files are at a huge risk when your team member logs into an unknown network. Consequently, these employees shouldn’t be left out of the loop on the company’s security practices.
Encourage your employees to use a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN), a trusted way to transport private data across an unknown network. VPN uses security methods such as encryption to ensure that only authorized users can log in and access the network.
If most of your employees work remotely or are in telecommuting job positions, you can purchase a VPN for the entire organization, creating a secure link between your business network and the employees’ remote device.
With the pervasive use of technology, organizations are increasingly getting exposed to the varied threats and security breaches. People are an integral part of an organization’s security system and must be actively involved to improve the company’s security system. Use the above-mentioned considerations to build a strong security culture in your organization.