Many businesses struggle with issues around cybersecurity. A report from the United Kingdom earlier this year estimated that a staggering 25 per cent of companies experience a security breach at least once a month!
The major cause of a great deal of cyber security breaches happen because employees fail to follow or understand IT security protocols – leaving systems vulnerable to phishing, hacking, viruses, ransomware and other attacks.
It has become increasingly obvious that educating employees around cyber security is one of the major building blocks when it comes to improving cyber security within an organization.
Cyber security can’t be ignored. If your data is at risk your company can face catastrophic outcomes financially and legally, as well as irreparable damage to your brand and reputation.
There are some simple steps you can put in place to improve your organization’s cyber security outcomes. These include:
1. Policies and procedures
If you don’t have clear policies and procedures setting out your company’s cyber security protocols, this needs to be your very first step. Your policies and procedures are the foundation for your organization’s security culture.
If staff can’t easily access and see what is expected of them, then they’ll muddle through and not necessarily get it right. By creating policies and procedures not only are you giving them a clear roadmap to follow, you’re also outlining expectations for their behavior.
In addition to having the policies and procedures in place, you need to train your people. It’s important that staff not only understand what the risks are and how to identify a threat, but they need to know the very important role that they have in keeping your organization’s data secure.
3. Ongoing awareness campaigns
Just because you have the policies and have trained staff doesn’t mean your job is done. Ongoing awareness raising is required to help keep cyber security front of mind for your employees. It can be all too easy to set-and-forget.
Create internal communications campaigns utilizing a range of delivery channels such as seminars, DeskAlerts, email newsletters, enterprise social networking and so on where you deliver an array of key messages about the importance of cyber security and what to look out for.
4. Increase vigilance
Ensure that you download and install the latest versions of software, including any critical patches that have been released by vendors. By staying up-to-date you are staying ahead of known ways that hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in software and gain access to your systems.
Similarly, you should ensure that your anti-virus software definitions are up-to-date to stay on top of known threats.
Finally, make sure you have good processes in place to monitor your systems and make that a priority.
5. Lead by example
To create and foster a culture of cyber security, your senior management should lead by example. When your leaders take ownership of cyber security you can bring about change from the top down.