Did you know that the average organization is targeted by over 700 social engineering attacks yearly? Social engineering and phishing attacks are responsible for 70% to 90% of malicious breaches, costing companies an average of $130,000 per attack.
By tricking employees into giving away their login credentials, criminals can access an organization's critical business information (e.g., intellectual properties) and sensitive customer data. Hackers increasingly target individuals with high access privileges to exfiltrate a large amount of valuable data.
Therefore, companies must ensure that everyone with access to their systems and networks—including employees, partners, vendors, and contractors—is aware of their cybersecurity policies and take the necessary precautions to protect their credentials and accounts from prying eyes.
You most likely have a security policy, and every employee and contractor has signed their name on the dotted line to say they've read it. But that isn't nearly enough—your security policy is only as good as end-users' ability to adhere to it and apply the guidelines to their day-to-day activities.
So how can you ensure that everyone is living your security policy?
It starts with a security-focused culture where everyone understands the importance of protecting business-critical data and customer information. Implement employee awareness training and education to ensure end-users know what to watch out for and how to stay safe. Then, provide the right technical support to help them correctly configure their hardware and software according to your security requirements.
The Importance of Living Your Security Policy
Building a culture of security and providing employee awareness training can bring many benefits:
Prevent the high cost of data breaches: Cyber attacks can result in costly downtime, loss of business, tarnished reputation, diminished customer trust, penalties for regulatory violations, etc.
Turn people from vulnerability into your first line of defense: Ongoing training helps employees gain the knowledge and skills to become part of the security solution instead of a liability.
Maximize your security technology investment: From firewalls to multi-factor authentication, these technologies are only as effective as your employees' ability to use them.
Build customer trust and confidence: Consumers expect businesses to protect their privacy. Employees who are proactive about safeguarding customer data can help you build trust with customers and improve your brand's reputation.
Achieve regulatory compliance: Organizations must adhere to increasingly complex data privacy laws. Getting employees' corporations helps you achieve compliance cost-effectively.
How To Get Employees To Live Your Security Policy
Ensuring employees adhere to your security policy in their day-to-day activities requires a multi-prong approach. Here are some key components:
Make Security Training Accessible
Your training materials should be relatable and actionable. Use easy-to-understand language and illustrate the guidelines with scenarios relevant to the audience. Tailor specific content for employees based on their roles and responsibilities to help them envision how they can apply the security policy to their jobs.
Provide Ongoing Training
Security awareness training isn't a one-and-done exercise. Criminals deploy new techniques every day while business requirements are changing rapidly. You must provide frequent updates and reinforcement to ensure that cybersecurity stays top of mind for everyone in your company.
Encourage Cooperation Through Communication
Security should be a two-way conversation. Promote a sense of responsibility and belonging to rally employees around your security policy and encourage timely incident reporting. Also, avoid using a punitive tone or technical jargon in your messaging, which may create resistance.
Eliminate Shadow IT
Shadow IT—using unsanctioned software to handle company data—often result in information security risks. But instead of cracking it down with an iron fist, understand what employees need to do their jobs and give them the right tools so they won't go behind IT's back to install unapproved applications.
Get Leadership Support
Leadership must be part of the cybersecurity conversation to get everyone rowing in the same direction. Not to mention, top-down support ensures you have the budget and resources to implement the right technologies and deliver the appropriate training for ongoing success.
But To Err is Human
The truth is that even the most meticulous person can make a mistake. Therefore, organizations must adopt a layered approach to cybersecurity where various technology and processes work together seamlessly to strengthen their cybersecurity posture through continuous detection, prevention, analytics, and response.
At Compugen, we help our clients improve their cybersecurity posture with our proven Cybersecurity Lifecycle Framework (CLF.) Our security solution is crafted from internationally recognized standards and security frameworks to support the implementation of cybersecurity strategies.
Learn more about our security services and get in touch to see how we can help.