5 Steps for a Healthier Cybersecurity Culture Within Your Business

The age-old saying “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” is as fitting as ever when discussing cybersecurity culture.

5 Steps for a Healthier Cybersecurity Culture Within Your Business

Your workforce plays the most important role in protecting your business assets by forming an 
impenetrable human firewall.

Businesses suffer greatly when the cybersecurity culture is weak, which is why partnering with a managed services provider NYC, or one elsewhere more relevant, is advised. Such partnerships can fortify your business's defenses against potential vulnerabilities, especially those that are associated with external parties. An experienced managed service provider adds an extra layer of security, further enhancing your cybersecurity culture.

Read on as we explore the five steps that will take your cybersecurity culture to the next level.  

#1. Ensure company-wide cyber hygiene

From CEO to interns, cyber hygiene should be considered essential to daily work life. The bare minimum that should be implemented:

  • Top-grade antivirus and firewall software on all business-related technology.
  • Company-wide VPN with killswitch and military-grade AES-256 encryption.
  • Staff trained to spot phishing, malware, and other signs of a cyberattack.

Cyber hygiene is vital for every single employee, client, or partner that your organization works with. This can be included in formal training or integrated into existing company procedures. 

#2. Adopt a “zero trust” framework

As you can guess, the zero-trust cybersecurity model removes access privileges entirely. This means that even your managers require authentication and continuous authorization to access company data.

Zero trust may seem radical, but it’s being adopted rapidly throughout the business world — even Microsoft is offering zero trust architecture

The model works so well because it assumes there is a breach and thus requires verification for every request. Especially as staff adopt hybrid workplaces, stringent data controls are crucial to maintaining company security. It is important that staff fully understand the implications of a zero trust model and the reasoning behind it so as to not become frustrated with the closed nature of security systems, it can be helpful to refer them to F5's zero trust glossary to understand more about the framework.

#3. Prioritize staff engagement in training programs

In the past, you’ve probably had to sit through an hours-long cybersecurity training slideshow. Half of your colleagues start to fall asleep as the trainer recites the same monotone speech as last time.

How can you make cybersecurity training effective while also engaging your workforce? 

The answer is tailored cybersecurity awareness programs. 

Each sector within your company should have training catered to their skills and clearance level. It might be time to throw out that old PowerPoint or opt for a third-party training service.

#4. Develop an inclusive cybersecurity DRP

Every business operating online needs a DRP, which outlines the procedures to follow after a breach. What many companies fail to do is educate and include their workforce, risking further damage in the wake of an attack.

Before you download the first DRP, you find on Google; it’s important to note that one size doesn’t fit all. Depending on department size, workload, and more, mold your DRP to minimize the harm of cyberattacks.

#5. Create or improve communication channels

Training isn’t the only way to get your staff enthused and engaged with cybersecurity. Businesses, from small to large, can benefit from a degree of transparency.

This promotes a synergistic view of the company’s cybersecurity by sharing the following with your workforce:

  • Information on recent breach attempts and how they occurred.
  • Real examples of phishing emails to help spot the signs.
  • How an effective Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) has prevented hacks in the past.

What are the major components of cybersecurity culture?

Forbes breaks down healthy cybersecurity culture into seven dimensions:

  • Attitude: How your workforce feels about cybersecurity procedures.
  • Behavior: The actions your employees make that directly affect security.
  • Cognition: Company-wide awareness and understanding of security issues.
  • Communication: Transparent communication channels.
  • Compliance: Your workforce accepts and supports security policies.
  • Norms: Staff understand the “unwritten rules” around security etiquette.
  • Responsibilities: Each employee knows their own role in business security.

How do I create a cybersecurity roadmap?

Building a cybersecurity roadmap requires five steps:

  1. Understand your “attack surface” (digital assets and other possible targets).
  2. Record your ongoing cybersecurity performance.
  3. Analyze and mitigate third-party risks like unsecured clients.
  4. Place heavy focus on cybersecurity awareness and training.
  5. Keep the board informed at all times of cybersecurity events and programs.

What makes a healthy cybersecurity culture?

Your cybersecurity culture will be effective when built on the strong foundations of business strategy and risk management. 

To achieve a “healthy” cybersecurity culture, understand how employees engage with risks. Furthermore, reward employees when good cyber hygiene practices are used.