The kind of cybersecurity that protects against the threats of the digital age takes more than just the right tools. It takes a security-first culture, integrated across your business that every member of staff actively embraces.
Humans are much easier to break than technology. Proofpoint recently found that 99% of cyberattacks rely on human interaction to work. This makes properly training your staff to be alert to digital threats singularly important to your cybersecurity strategy. Every person who interacts with your data needs to know what they should be doing to keep it safe.
When you employ someone, it’s up to you to make sure they understand their responsibilities in terms of your protecting your organisation’s data. To keep your cyber hygiene fresh, here are six things everyone in your business must know.
The cyber risks your business faces
It is common knowledge these days that strangers on the internet aren’t going to give you millions of pounds if you click the flashing link they send you. Anyone who so much as uses a computer should have this general understanding of cyber risks.
In an office environment, this should be supplemented by context about where your organisation exists within the broader cyber landscape. If there are any digital threats your business is likely encounter, your staff need to know what they are and how identify them.
Educate them on the type of information cybercriminals are most likely to go after, in terms of the sensitive data your business handles, and how you keep it safe.
Your cybersecurity policy
This one should be obvious. People can’t follow the rules if they don’t know what those rules are. A thorough briefing of your organisation’s cybersecurity policies should be a standard part of the onboarding process for every new employee.
Staff should also be informed whenever your policies change and how this will affect their day-to-day processes. This might include training that provides updated information with a focus on the new guidelines and best practice techniques for how to implement them.
The potential impact of a data breach on your business
Without a proper understanding of why certain measures are in place, some people may see them as an inconvenience. Remembering complex passwords or the extra step of multi-factor authentication can be exhausting.
People are more likely to take these processes seriously if they fully comprehend what is at stake.
Provide realistic scenarios of how easily your data could get stolen if basic cyber hygiene is not maintained.
Avoid scaremongering. Anything that feels exaggerated won’t resonate. Clearly explain the ramifications for your business – and, by extension, staff – should a breach occur.
Their specific cybersecurity responsibilities
Be specific about what tasks should be carried out by which person. This begins with ensuring that everyone has a thorough understanding of your security policies. This includes knowing which ones require specific actions or behaviours.
The exact information each person needs is likely to differ. There are some things everyone will be responsible for, such as making sure that their unique passwords are secure and that sensitive data is not stored on unprotected devices.
Some members of staff may have additional cybersecurity duties pertaining to their role, which need to be made clear from their first day. It’s also helpful to explain how such responsibilities will interact with other people in the office.
How their impact on cybersecurity is measured
It’s easier to get things right if you can see how you compare to best practice standards. Cybersecurity can be difficult to quantify, but metrics that allow staff to track their behaviour can help their sense of perspective.
Measurable targets can serve as helpful reminders for habits people might struggle to develop. Well maintained logs allow both you and your staff to review your cybersecurity status, as well as track how effectively your policies are being implemented.
Give staff the opportunity to monitor themselves so they have a fuller understanding of their place in your business cybersecurity.
What you’ll do to support them
Everything your staff need to know amounts to a lot of information that can be difficult to take in, especially if someone comes from a background that isn’t especially security conscious. Establishing new habits is hard.
You need to provide support for your staff to make it as easy as possible to adjust their day-to-day schedule to incorporate good cybersecurity practice. Make sure they know who they can turn to if they have any questions. Offer training to refresh their knowledge and maintain understanding of both general best practice and specific office policy.
It’s important that people know who they should alert if they do notice any suspicious activity and what processes are in place to resolve issues that might arise.