Robust security tools are necessary and essential to any workplace. However, solely relying on them to keep your company protected is not enough. You also need to fortify the human element of your cybersecurity.
A Proofpoint report states that more than 99% of cyberattacks require human interaction (e.g., clicking on a link, enabling a macro, or opening a file). This shows that cybercriminals are targeting people more than IT systems and infrastructure “because sending fraudulent emails, stealing credentials, and uploading malicious attachments to cloud applications is easier and far more profitable than creating an expensive, time-consuming exploit that has a high probability of failure,” says Kevin Epstein, vice president of Proofpoint’s Threat Operations.
Cybersecurity isn’t just your IT department’s job
Too often, organizations simply delegate all cybersecurity responsibilities to IT staff. But every employee, whether from the frontlines, middle management, or top management, can affect the company’s security posture.
Employee negligence enables hackers to use even the most basic techniques to gain access to confidential information. For example, phishing attacks deceive unknowing and trusting victims to click on malicious links or download malware-infested attachments. That’s why it’s important to make cybersecurity everyone’s — not just your IT department’s — responsibility.
How to involve everyone in your company’s cybersecurity
#1. Invest in regular cybersecurity training for all employees
Start with the basics by instilling good cyber hygiene habits such as:
- Using strong password protection and authentication
- Thinking twice about clicking on links or opening attachments
- Keeping all devices, software, and apps updated to their latest version available
- Using the company’s virtual private network (VPN) when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks
- Using encryption to secure sensitive data
Raise awareness on security threats to watch out for — especially those that prey on human negligence — and how they might attack so that your employees can spot them.
Your employees must also be educated about what procedures to follow when a threat is identified or if something happens (e.g., they’ve accidentally allowed unauthorized access to sensitive data). They should know who to contact, what information they should provide, and other steps they need to take to control the situation.
#2. Integrate security in the new hire onboarding process
New employee orientation often covers topics such as company history, internal structure, and the nitty-gritty details of HR and administrative processes. But don’t forget to use this time to put new hires on the right track with a solid cybersecurity foundation. This way, they’ll know how important cybersecurity is from the get-go.
#3. Get C-suite executives to lead by example
Business owners, CEOs, and other top executives should not only fund the company’s security awareness program, but they must also actively participate in it. This top-down approach will inspire employees to take the program seriously to ensure its sustainability.
#4. IT staff should get end-user buy-in
Before deploying new security controls, the IT department should gather input from the employees by testing the proposed solution with them. This way, IT staff can better balance security with usability to prevent employees from resorting to quick workarounds, which might endanger the company.
Getting all members of your organization to care about cybersecurity is a continuous process. You can’t expect them to radically change after one training session. That’s why you need an expert IT partner like IT Mgt Solutions that will guide you in effectively fostering a healthy cybersecurity culture in your company. Our holistic approach to security fortifies both the human and technology aspects of your cyber defenses. Schedule your discovery call today.