In some cases, it is not the technology that makes overcoming cyber security challenges difficult; it’s the people. Also known as bad actors, hackers are aware of these weaknesses. That’s why it will take more than strong IT capabilities to keep one’s company safe. It requires your whole company to be “all in.” In other words, it is important that you create a cyber aware company culture. It is one of the best ways to keep bad actors at bay, and it starts with strong corporate communication and continuing education. Below are some tips that can help you increase cyber awareness within your organization:
Develop a Formal Cyber Security Plan
If you have an in-house IT team, get them to develop a formal and well-documented cybersecurity training program. It is important to review and update this plan on a regular basis. Many companies make the mistake of creating cyber security plans and then leave it to become dusty when one or more staff members leave the company. In addition, appoint a cyber security advocate from every functional group, e.g., marketing, sales, finance, HR, and more. This can help cast a wider net when it comes to learning about targeted phishing.
Conduct Password Education
Unfortunately, many hacking-related breaches were the result of bad actors leveraging weak and stolen passwords. Oftentimes, employees are not aware of these risks or do not care at all. That’s why password education is an important topic to include in cyber awareness training. One must constantly encourage and remind his or her employees to use complex password structures. In addition, no one should be allowed to use the default password after the initial login.
Explain the Dangers of Inbox Negligence
Many hackers find email systems as one of the easiest access points for penetrating a company’s security defenses. Cyber criminals can breach these points by embedding malware in email attachments. It is time to start addressing targeted email attacks through intensive employee training, especially during the onboarding process.
Test Staff Members
To help your employees become more cyber aware, consider holding regular meetings, training sessions, disseminating employee newsletters, putting up posters, and more. Regardless of the method you choose, the main point is to be consistent. Beyond training, you must test your staff members to ensure that they understood and retained the cyber security information you have imparted upon them. For example, you can send out mock phishing emails and see who falls prey to the false hack. If many employees become “victims,” it means that your team requires more advanced training.
Lead by Example
Both employees and contractors, whether entry-level or senior management level, need to feel that cyber security is important to the organization. A viable way to ensure that this happens is to help your executive leadership team value cyber safety. This will create a trickle-down effect to all corners of the workplace. Today, cyber security and cyber awareness are no longer the sole responsibilities of one’s IT department. It takes a village to keep cyber criminals out of the company’s network.