The internet is teeming with millions of cybersecurity threats that are out to get your business. Whenever your employees are connected to the internet, your data is in danger of being compromised. This is why businesses need a robust cybersecurity posture, especially given their increased reliance on cloud technologies.
Achieving comprehensive cybersecurity is easier said than done, however. To establish a strong defense, you need a strategy that encompasses three fundamental aspects: tools, processes, and people. Particular attention must be given to the human component, as it is people — employees, managers, and the C-suite — who use cybersecurity tools and implement processes, and are therefore a key element in the success of your cybersecurity strategy. Without your teams’ active participation in your cybersecurity efforts, even the most cutting-edge tools and streamlined processes will not be enough to protect your systems against online threats.
So, how do you make your employees care about cybersecurity?
Engaging employees in the company’s cybersecurity initiatives
Every single one of your employees probably has some level of cybersecurity knowledge. But whether they choose to apply their knowledge to keep company data safe is another matter. Here are some ways you can encourage your staff to care about cybersecurity:
Make cybersecurity personal
Your employees may not be uber passionate about protecting company data, but they are likely to care when their personal data is at stake. Cybercriminals are not only after trade secrets and customer information; they are also on the lookout for any data they can use for malicious purposes. This means that the employee information stored in your databases, including staff’s names, addresses, and Social Security numbers, is also in danger of being stolen and sold on the black market.
Make your employees understand that practicing good cybersecurity habits benefits not just the company, but also keeps their personally identifiable information protected. By contrast, if they’re not being careful of how their behavior impacts the organization’s cyber defenses, then they are also putting their personal data at risk.
Standardize cybersecurity practices
It’s difficult to encourage employees to participate in the company’s cybersecurity efforts when there are no clear set of standards that they can follow. Rules regarding acceptable and forbidden cybersecurity practices should be crystal clear to everyone in your organization. For instance, password management policies should be straightforward and detailed. These must include how to create strong password combinations, how often passwords should be changed, and how to use a password manager. By implementing standardized practices, you make it easier for your employees to comply with the company’s cybersecurity expectations.
Reward good cyber behavior
Between the carrot and the stick, grown-ups are more likely to respond positively to the former. So instead of focusing efforts on penalizing those who open a spam email, channel your efforts toward rewarding those who don’t open possibly dangerous messages. This strategy underlines that there are tangible benefits to following cybersecurity guidelines, thus motivating employees to achieve those rewards.
You can take this concept further by gamifying your cybersecurity awareness training program. Employees can earn points for every positive cybersecurity action they undertake, such as using secure connections when working remotely, enabling multifactor authentication, or blocking suspicious email addresses. They can then exchange their accumulated points for something valuable, like office necessities or time off work.
Support your employees
It’s unfair to ask your teams to be vigilant about their cybersecurity practices without giving them the tools and some guidance to do so. If you want your employees to be fully engaged in your cybersecurity efforts, then support them in their journey to becoming cybersecurity advocates.
Remote workers, in particular, may need more monitoring and guidance, as they are more prone to using IT workarounds or shortcuts without an IT team at hand to help them with tech concerns. For instance, employees working off premises may have no choice but to connect to a public hotspot to access company data, posing a significant security risk to the company. You can mitigate the security risks of this setup by equipping your remote workers with virtual private network access, which establishes an encrypted and secure connection between telecommuting employees and the company network.
Improving your business’s cybersecurity culture takes time and effort. XBASE Technologies Corporation is here to help, so you don’t have to do everything on your own. From providing your staff with Exponentially Better™ cybersecurity solutions to giving your decisionmakers sound IT advice, we’re just one call away. Call us at 800-XBASE-03 today.