The human factor is a security vulnerability that every business must consider. In fact, as high as 52% of businesses believe their employees are their biggest cybersecurity weakness, according to cybersecurity firm Kaspersky. As a result, your staff is your first line of defense against cyberattacks. Establishing a strong network security awareness program can give your team the knowledge they need to prevent themselves from succumbing to a cyberattack.
A security awareness program is a way to ensure that everyone at your organization understands the cybersecurity risks your company faces. With this program, your team is taught how to avoid situations that put your company at risk. It’s also used as a way to establish a sense of responsibility among your employees. The goal is to increase organizational understanding and practical implementation of security best practices.
To build up cybersecurity awareness in your employees, your program should have four key elements. These elements include communication, checklists, content, and controls. An easy way to remember this is to think of them as the four Cs.
- Communication: Security should be an ongoing conversation at every level of your organization. Upper management needs to regularly communicate to all employees that cybersecurity is essential to your business. You can do this through company-wide emails, presentations, business lunches, or whatever way you prefer to reach out to your staff. Just make sure that the communication is clear, relevant, and interactive.
- Checklists: Checklists are a great way to ensure that cybersecurity best practices are being followed. It can also serve as proof that these measures are actively being spread out across the entire organization. With a checklist, your company can stay organized when developing, delivering, and maintaining a security awareness program.
- Content: Information security awareness training needs to be coupled with supporting content. Items like a security handbook, role-based guides, and more can be helpful in the continuing fight against cyberthreats. When needed, employees can refer back to this material to remind them of their training.
- Controls: We’re all human, it’s inevitable that someone is going to make a mistake at some point. Something like falling for a phishing email or plugging in an infected USB is not uncommon. A control is a guardrail that ensures that an individual and the system they’re using can only do what their roles dictate. If they want to go beyond that, they need the appropriate approval.
A security awareness program is something that affects your entire organization. So, before you can build a security awareness program, you need to get support from the decision makers in your company. They need to be interested in the idea and engaged with spreading the program throughout their department. If each department leader is on board, then others within the department are more incentivized to follow.
Security awareness programs ensure everyone is on the same page and armed with the knowledge to avoid threats. This leads to a more secure business overall. By implementing this type of program, you can experience a number of benefits like:
- Security-Focused Culture: Regular cybersecurity training communicates how much your company values security. As a result, the importance of cybersecurity becomes ingrained in your company culture.
- Empower Your Workforce: You want your employees to feel confident when interacting with data. If they know how to spot cybersecurity risks, they won’t be second guessing their actions.
- Downtime Prevention: A successful cyberattack often causes lengthy downtime. An employee who knows how to spot threats can avoid the need for their equipment to be investigated and repaired.
- Increase Adoption: After taking awareness courses, your employees are going to understand how serious cyber risks are. This leads to a greater desire to adopt security practices.
The Computer Technology Management Services team specializes in cybersecurity. We offer a wide range of security solutions to boost the security posture of your network. If you’re interested in creating an awareness program, we have consultants who can guide you through the process. We can ensure your program has everything it needs to be successful.
Contact us today to learn more about the cybersecurity services we offer.
CTMS is a technology management provider based in Akron, Ohio. For years, our team has offered a variety of technical solutions for our partners in a wide range of industries. Our primary services are IT security, data backup, disaster recovery, and cloud computing, among a host of other IT consulting solutions.