Creating a cybersecurity culture has always been a central part of every effective cybersecurity strategy. However, the recent global shift to remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic has truly highlighted its importance.
What Is Cybersecurity Culture?
The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) defines (PDF) cybersecurity culture as the knowledge, beliefs, perceptions, attitudes, assumptions, norms, and values of employees regarding cybersecurity and how they manifest themselves in people’s behavior with information technologies.
Having a strong cybersecurity culture is important because employees are the first line of defense against cyber threats. An organization can have the latest and greatest Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) system, next-generation firewall (NGFW), and other cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions, but that’s not enough to address the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain: people.
In fact, most experts agree that employees are one of the biggest weaknesses in IT security, which is why a strong cybersecurity culture characterized by a collectivity responsibility for data security can have such a profoundly positive effect on the entire organization, allowing it to better deal with all current and future threats alike.
Establishing a Strong Cybersecurity Culture in Three Steps
It’s true that a cybersecurity culture takes a long time to fully mature, but planting its seeds is surprisingly easy.
Step 1: Establish Basic Cybersecurity Policies and Procedures
A solid cybersecurity culture must be built on an equally solid foundation, which is why your first step should always be the establishment of basic cybersecurity policies and procedures. The basics you need to cover include password management and authentication, email security, data transfer measures, reporting of stolen equipment, and safe web browsing, just to name a few.
Step 2: Focus on Cybersecurity Awareness Training
Simply having cybersecurity policies in place is, unfortunately, not enough. Employees must also undergo cybersecurity awareness training to understand how the policies they are asked to follow fit into the big picture. Cybersecurity awareness training should be as engaging as possible (boring PowerPoint slides just don’t cut it in 2021), and it’s also worth supplementing it with mock cyber-attack exercises, which give employees a valuable opportunity to put their knowledge to test.
Step 3: Implement the Right Cybersecurity Tools
Think of cybersecurity tools such as SIEM solutions, password managers, and spam filters as support pillars. They strengthen your cybersecurity culture, but they shouldn’t be confused with the culture itself, which, as we’ve explained, is the sum of employees’ knowledge, beliefs, perceptions, attitudes, assumptions, norms, and values.
Make Your Cybersecurity Culture Our Responsibility
At Spectrum Technology Solutions, we understand what goes into creating a strong cybersecurity culture. We also know that small and medium-sized organizations such as yours don’t have the time and energy to focus enough of their attention on cybersecurity.
With our managed cybersecurity services, you can maintain complete focus on your core business and let your cybersecurity culture be our responsibility. We can help you implement effective cybersecurity policies, train your employees, and recommend the right security tools to keep even the most dangerous threats at bay. Contact us for more information.