How to Create a Security Awareness Culture in Your Workforce
In business, training for employees is absolutely essential. There are many different areas in employees should be trained, for example customer services, health and safety, and role-specific training which is vital to their jobs. If you run or manage a business, one of the most important training exercises you should be considering for your employees is in security. With cybercrime on the rise and affecting more businesses than ever before, both small and large, educating your employees on cybersecurity and how to spot and deal with risks has never been more important. The aim of security awareness training is to highlight the range of threats which employees may be facing at work in order to improve the whole security stance of an organisation. The best way to fully utilise security awareness training is to take every measure to create a culture of security awareness amongst your workforce.
The Importance of Ongoing Training
Many business owners and managers make the mistake of seeing security awareness training as something which is a ‘one off’ event, rather than an ongoing necessity. This is one of the many main reasons why security is failing for a range of businesses, as it’s important to understand that cybercrime is something which is constantly being updated, tweaked and changed. Because of this, training given to your employees months – or perhaps even weeks – ago, may be completely useless and out of date today. In order to ensure that your business has the best security levels possible, it’s important to view cybersecurity and security awareness as something which is constant and ongoing, rather than standalone training exercises.
In order to build and develop a culture of security awareness in your workforce, it’s important to encourage free and open communication between your employees. Being able to communicate freely in work about any security concerns or other problems regarding cybersecurity is absolutely crucial, and employees should be able to feel that they can openly voice any concerns they have or report anything which they have seen and are worried about. Too often, cybersecurity risks and threats go unnoticed due to employees failing to speak out and report situations or other problems which could be a risk to the company. Ensuring that along with having the relevant training, employees feel at ease to approach management and IT staff about their cybersecurity concerns, is vital.
Including the Whole Team
Cybersecurity isn’t just something for IT staff to deal with – it should be something that the whole workforce is involved in. Rather than making promoting security awareness the sole responsibility of the security team, getting other departments or even branch locations involved means that individuals both inside and outside of the security department can be the eyes, ears and voice of the security program. Since those targeted by cybercriminals are not always security personnel, it’s important that each and every department receives adequate training in cybersecurity and works with the security team to quickly spot and deal with any possible threats.
Gamification and Incentives
One of the most successful methods used by a range of businesses in order to improve a culture of security awareness in the workplace is gamification and incentives programs. Creating an air of healthy competition between employees and departments when it comes to the security awareness program can help to ensure that employees in all departments are at the top of their game. For example, designing competitions based on factors such as which employee caught the most phishing emails can make the whole program more fun and inclusive, causing employees to be more easily engaged with it.
Keeping It Simple
Last but not least, keeping security awareness simple and easy to understand is crucial to your company and the cybersecurity awareness culture that you want to create. Although it’s essential to your company, it’s also important to remember that the main reason why most of your employees were hired was not for the purpose of cybersecurity. Therefore, it’s vital to not only make sure that your security awareness training is kept simple, but you should also integrate it into business practices and focus on specific goals rather than trying to be all-encompassing. When conducting security awareness training, it’s vital to ensure that your employees have a good understanding of the value security has in protecting the organisation as a whole.
With cybercrime on the rise, it’s never been more important to give your employees adequate training on security measures and practices. Creating a culture of security awareness in the workplace can help keep risk to a minimum.