Success with Cybersecurity is increasingly a challenging endeavour. This is an area ripe with confusion when it comes to the best way to protect your business. IT budgets can get quite expensive as you move toward protecting your business from threats such as APTs, phishing and other types of social engineering.
One of the most cost-effective ways to help is to mobilise the human element: your people. Investing in your employees to help defend against cyber-attacks is a wise choice which is often overlooked, yet the benefits are multiple, for example:
- Raising the general IT and cyber security competence level.
- Minimisation of data processing and electronic communication errors.
- Block and/or detect threats which have made it past standard defences.
- Monitoring employee compliance with organisational policies and national law.
When traditional defences falter, the difference between a threat becoming a reality is often decided by the employee it targets. Therefore, it is vital that you help your employees become empowered in this process. It’s not enough to provide a single educational session. Instead it requires a long-term training perspective that continually helps people know what to do, what to look for, and most importantly, feel as though their contribution is a large part of the organisation’s security success.
Five Tips for Mobilisation
Here are 5 tips to help your organisation mobilise an effective human layer of defence.
Create a Trust-Based Culture
Rather than creating a culture of surveillance and monitoring, work to foster trust inside your organisation. Work to enable all staff with the ability to help respond to threats. Rather than encouraging an environment where employees report on others, empower each person so that they can take a proactive approach.
For example, if they see other employees talking openly regarding sensitive information, let them challenge those employees to do better. This feeling of responsibility for the protection of the entire organization will go further than monitoring your staff increasingly through email checks, CCTV monitoring, etc. People respond better when treated as a responsible adult rather than a mischievous child.
Discuss Security as a Positive Aspect to Business
Help your people see that better security allows the overall organisation to become the best option for customers and other important allies, such as your suppliers. When others know that your company is secure when it comes to information, you develop a competitive edge. Don’t make IT security a restrictive issue. Instead, show your employees that if everything works together, it helps them deliver the best option to prospects and current customers.
Don’t Limit Security Training to Actions Inside Your Business
Educate your employees to stay security conscious outside the boundaries of your business. How can they remain in a security conscious mindset when they’re not physically working inside the building? How can you involve everybody in this process: everyone from contractors, customers, suppliers, and even the people who clean the building at night? Give specific ways people can alter their behaviours and actions that result in more security when it comes to your computer network.
Simple E-mail Methods
One specific security measure you can help your employees take is how they deal with email based threats. Phishing is a technique that becomes increasingly difficult to detect, based on how well these emails are written today. Help your people think through their actions regarding email use. They must be trained to recognize potentially suspicious emails so they aren’t blindly interacting with phishing threat actors.
Phishing threats require the interaction of humans to have success. Users must actively click links in order to install malware and the like. This is a vital area where your human employees truly are the last stand against threats. Help your people understand how to vet the email message’s source. They should also know how to detect possible suspect URL’s.
Continuous and Monitored Education
Continuous education is a must when empowering your human defenders to protect against current and future threats and their expected behaviour in circumstances of handling sensitive content.
How many of us have read out company policies? how many of us said we did but only skimmed the first few pages? One of the biggest challenges for mobilising any work force a sufficient cyber defence is ensuring they understand the policies bestowed on them. Changes and updates to policies and processes should be communicated and consent recorded. Where possible make the task interesting, introduce quizzes and prizes for correct answers.
Policy and compliance vendor NETconsent, has mastered this process by providing an IT security solution that fosters the highest levels of employee education and awareness. Storing and managing all your employee handbooks, policies, regulations, contracts and training materials, which can be presented to employees on screen when there are significant changes or a period of training has begun.
Every interaction with NETconsent is logged and monitored to ensure you and your organisation have auditable evidence that your employees are up to date. Materials can be delivered in a variety of formats including documents, videos and even include post-reading quizzes to ensure understanding.
With the need to ensure adequate training being mandated in information security standards such as ISO27001 and European data protection regulation the GDPR, demonstrating adherence can prove challenging without a solution such as NETconsent.