Cyber attacks are a growing concern for companies across all industries. Recent times have shown that cyber criminals will attack hotels, AI companies and even hospitals. Breaching a company’s systems may seem like a difficult feat, but often cyber attackers manage to get through using the simplest methods.
It is often mistaken that cyber security is solely for IT departments, but they only handle one part of it. Employees operate through company systems on a daily basis, sending information in and out. Due to the access employees have to systems and information, they are often the targets of cyber attacks. Owing to the commercialisation of cyber security, with different threat actors providing multiple services to each other, cybercriminals know that their malicious computer software (malware) will not be blocked because they are testing every hour against the very same defences companies buy.
All employees need to be made aware of the obligation and responsibility they hold when it comes to keeping company systems secure. The people within the organisation are the greatest security asset and not the weakest link that so many others would try and have you believe. We have not done a good enough job of helping our staff, myself included in my time as a CISO. If given the right help through effective security awareness training and phishing simulations, employees will be able to deal with any imposing cyber threats.
Introducing a cyber security aware culture, supported by real time accountability, is really the only solution to shielding businesses from cyber attacks. A cyber security culture is not bound by specific departments, but stretches to every corner of the company. Every individual plays a part in being the first line of defence. Once all employees are aware of their shared responsibility, the culture can begin to grow. The most successful programs are supported from the top down.
Cyber security awareness training is a cost effective approach to building culture, however doing it once would not be enough. Running regular cyber attack simulations will help companies identify their weak points and will give them ground to begin isolating and improving their defences. By identifying each employee’s weak points companies can implement focused training on improving only what they need to, saving you money and time.
Cyber threats are always adapting to fit current affairs or adapt theory styles to more deceptive templates. Regular training simulations should be updated to match cyber trends ensuring employees are always prepared for an attack. A culture is not built in one moment, which is why training should take a small and often approach, to keep employees on top of their game.
Setting goals and measuring the progress of your cyber training is an essential step in keeping systems safe. Identifying vulnerable areas, which may be a department with many temporary workers, and put measures in place to strengthen them. Set specific KPIs to keep track of your efforts, and to help understand where you next need to improve.
Lastly, a culture cannot only be built of training. Your employees are turning into the most valuable part of your cyber security and should be rewarded and kept motivated throughout the process. Show employees that their cyber knowledge can go beyond the workplace and will help to keep their personal details secure. Reward employees that have been cyber heroes, motivating those around them to do the same.
Once a solid culture is in place, companies will be able to meet their legal and regulatory compliance requirements with ease. Along with the constant rise of cyber attacks, transforming your team into your first line of defence will prove to be invaluable in today’s times.