When it comes to cybersecurity, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. Sometimes that can be unsuspecting and untrained employees. Simple mistakes can have major implications for your company. Just setting a policy isn’t enough – here’s how you can get your employees on-board with your security strategies.
Many employees simply aren’t aware of the security implications of their actions. It’s important to explain the types of cyber attacks your company is vulnerable to, what a data breach might mean for the company in terms of costs, and how important everyone’s efforts are.
Once your team understands the problem, they can become part of the solution. It’s important to educate them on how to recognize and respond to various types of threats like phishing scams. Phishing accounts for more than 80% of security incidents, making it crucial for everyone to be aware of them. Conduct regular tests of your employees to keep them on their game.
Also educate your employees on best practices for their passwords. Passwords should have to meet certain criteria to be used on any device connected to the company network.
Getting employees to follow security practices means management has to as well. Leadership behavior matters as much – if not more – than that of the employees they lead. Security practices must apply equally to all employees, because a mistake at any level effects everyone.
Security should be part of the culture of your business. Everyone should understand the importance and expectations from the day they are hired, and training should be conducted regularly.
Employees who do not follow security practices should be held accountable. Strict policies should be in place, and consequences known and followed through on.
At the same time, reward your teams for following good security practices. Show them how their hard work is paying off – the phishing scams that were avoided and reported; the number of days without an incident. Avoiding a security breach is a team effort and should be celebrated and rewarded as a team.
Keeping your company secure is an on-going process, and needs to involve every employee. In order to get buy-in, it’s important to establish a culture of security with clear expectations, inform your employees of the risks, and provide education and training so they can become an active part of your company’s defense.