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7 Tried and Tested Ways to Make Cybersecurity a Company Culture

7 Tried and Tested Ways to Make Cybersecurity a Company Culture

According to Verizon Data Breach Investigation report, Phishing and stolen credentials are two of the most common techniques hackers use to target companies. What’s worse is that half of those breaches took months to be discovered.

This happens because cybersecurity is not ingrained in the company culture. It is not a priority and most companies don’t invest much in training programs and work towards improving employee awareness. That is why they end up bearing the high financial cost and deal with the reputation damage at the same time. If you don’t want your business to be on the receiving end of it all, you should make cybersecurity an integral part of your company culture.

In this article, you will learn about how you can make cybersecurity a part of your company culture.

1.    Share the Responsibility

Cybersecurity is the responsibility of the IT department. Most companies and employees think this way. If you want to make cybersecurity a part of your company culture, you should ditch that mindset. Every department should share the responsibility and every employee should play their part. To make this happen, you will have to start from the top.

Make cybersecurity an integral part of the mission and vision because it reflects your company’s direction. Once employees see top level executives taking cybersecurity seriously, they will also follow in their footsteps. Once your employees start believing that security belongs to everyone and is not the responsibility of your IT department, you will see a drastic change.

2.    Invest in Cybersecurity Mentor Program

Building a culture of cybersecurity starts from increasing employee awareness. Organize cybersecurity training programs that highlights the importance of cybersecurity and help your employees learn about new techniques hackers are using to target business.

You can also implement a cybersecurity mentor or ambassador program. The best things about these programs is that these mentors are either cybersecurity experts with years of experience or a victim of cybersecurity attack. They have been on the receiving end of it and might have learned the lessons the hard way, so you don’t have to. Learn from their experiences and never repeat the same mistakes they made. It will be a great learning experience for employees and will help you to improve your cybersecurity in the long run.

3.    Privileged Access Security

When a hacker targets your business, the first thing they try to gain access to is your privilege accounts which are in most cases admin accounts. This gives them complete control over your system, and they can do whatever they want from there. That is why businesses should do everything to secure their privilege accounts.

Start off by adding more security controls to your best dedicated servers and make it tough for cyber attackers to gain access to your account. Implement advanced authentication methods such as biometric authentication. Implement role-based access controls which give employees only those privileges which are required to complete their tasks.

4.    Use Multi Factor Authentication

Passwords are vulnerable as hackers can easily guess or crack passwords by using sophisticated tools. If you are only using passwords as the only line of defense, your privileged accounts might be at a greater risk. Use multi factor authentication to add few more steps before letting a user access their account. Yes, this might make the login process a little more cumbersome for your employees, but it is surely the right step if securing your admin accounts is your priority.

This will add an additional layer of security. This means that even if the hacker succeeds in guessing your password, they won’t be able to access your accounts. By implementing multi factor authentication, you can prevent identity theft and data breaches, which are two of the most common type of motives hackers want to achieve.

5.    Maintain Good Password Hygiene

Even if you are using passwords, make sure to follow password best practices. Implement a strong password policy that will force employees to set complex passwords. Use a combination of alphanumeric, symbols and special characters to make it tough for hackers to guess your passwords. Avoid using dictionary words as your passwords. Use different passwords for all your accounts so that hackers won’t get access to all your accounts if they succeed in getting access to one. If setting different passwords for all your account seems a daunting challenge to you, use a password manager but avoid using the same passwords for all your accounts.

6.    Listen to Employees and Peers

There are instances when your employees and peers know more about the potential risks to your business better than you do. Instead of relying on your own perspective, it is better to listen to your employees and peers. You never know they might highlight a business risk that you might have skipped. Listening to different employees brings new perspectives and allows you to see cybersecurity from different angles. This will allow you to identify potential threats and take measures to protect against those threats.

7.    Reward Employees

Last but certainly not the least is to recognize and reward employees who are doing the right things as far as cybersecurity is concerned. Once other employees see their peers getting rewarded for following the best cybersecurity practices, they will not only follow those guidelines but also try to engage in a healthy competition with each other. This helps you to enhance the cybersecurity of your company.

Look for opportunities to celebrate success. For instance, one of your employees pass the security awareness program with flying colors, you should reward them. The reward can be in any form, but it will motivate them and help them go the extra mile in future. You can either reward them with a cash prize, send them to attend a conference or promote them to a higher position in the organization. The possibilities can be endless.

Should cybersecurity be a part of your company culture or not? Share your opinion with us in the comments section below.

Stanislaus Okwor is a Web Designer / Developer based in Lagos - Nigeria. He is the Director at Stanrich Online Technologies. He is knowledgeable in Content management System - Wordpress, Joomla and PHP/MySQL etc

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