Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity at Your Business

Every business faces cybersecurity challenges no matter the industry or size, which means proactively protecting your assets and customers should be a priority. No amount of security policies or procedures will prevent a breach if your employees do not understand the importance of cybersecurity and how they can help prevent an attack.

Establishing a culture of cybersecurity from the break room to the boardroom is the best way to keep your business secure. Here are some ways you can make sure everyone in the organization knows how to stay safe in the workplace.

Start at the top: Cybersecurity is no longer just an IT issue. If you want to create a safe and secure culture within your organization, then it’s critical the leaders of your business take ownership of the company’s approach to cybersecurity. Leadership is uniquely positioned to make decisions when it comes to cybersecurity measures and can coordinate a risk management strategy across various levels and departments of the organization. It’s important that these employees stay updated on cyber risks, pay attention to relevant industry updates, and are prepared to make fast decisions in the event that a breach occurs. Most importantly, these employees need to lead by example to inspire all staff members to practice online safety.

Establish an employee cybersecurity policy: All businesses should develop and maintain comprehensive employee policies for protecting business data and sensitive customer information. Your policy should clearly communicate the following in order to limit the potential for attacks: 

Password management requirements:

  • Locking computers and devices
  • Keeping anti-malware and other software programs updated
  • Detecting phishing emails and other common scams
  • Permitted social media use and the importance of applying privacy settings
  • Accessing the network remotely
  • Reporting security incidents, as well as lost or stolen devices
To help you get started, the SANS Institute offers cybersecurity policy templates.
Invest in training: Employees should not only understand what’s expected of them according to the company cybersecurity policy, but also be trained to recognize malicious activity. Cybersecurity awareness training teaches employees to understand vulnerabilities and common threats to business operations. Training should be part of your employee onboarding process, but you should also schedule annual refresher courses. You can even perform a simulated attack so employees can practice spotting and reacting to a breach.

Communicate with employees regularly: The threats businesses face are constantly evolving. Create a plan for how to best communicate updated cybersecurity information to all employees. Make sure they are aware of popular types of attacks and the measures your business is taking to protect against them.

Celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM): Observed every October, NCSAM is a great opportunity to reinforce the importance of cybersecurity. Your business can show your support by signing up to be a NCSAM Champion. Champions get access to a toolkit of online safety awareness and education materials they can use to support the month. They also receive updates leading up to and throughout October on resources, upcoming events and ways to get involved.

Reward employees: If an employee demonstrates a high level of cyber awareness by raising the flag about an attack or circulating news about a new common threat, recognize their efforts. A gift certificate, movie tickets, or dinner for two goes a long way when encouraging employees to get involved.

You can find more tips to help protect your small business from cyber threats here on our Simply Speaking blog. To reach our Customer Service Team with any questions, please call 866-224-1379.

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