October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and since its inception, it has been led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cybersecurity Alliance over the last 14 years. Each week of the month is given a different theme, but it’s the topic for week two that is likely of most interest to anyone running a company: “Cybersecurity in the Workplace is Everyone’s Business.”
All organizations are encouraged to develop a plan for employee education, training, and awareness that emphasizes risk management, resistance, and resilience. In a recent Op-Ed published in the Boston Herald, IdentityForce’s CEO Steve Bearak also pushed for this type of proactive identity theft protection:
“It’s time to start taking control of our identities and personal information,” he wrote. “No class-action lawsuits, government regulations, pre-recorded videos from CEOs apologizing for the latest breach, or notification letters from hacked companies will make this problem disappear.”
As experts in the field of identity theft protection, we understand the dangers that lurk everywhere when it comes to personally identifiable information being leaked or hacked. Did you know that 96% of web traffic is between the Deep Web and Dark Web? The Dark Web is where stolen data is traded, sold, and used for financial, personal, or political gain—and it’s intentionally hidden in an area of the Internet that is not publicly visible.
IdentityForce protects identities that may be bought and sold within these unindexed areas of the Internet. We want to share our knowledge to help you empower your employees and create a culture of cybersecurity within your organization.
Why Workplace Security Depends on Employees
Hackers, viruses, and malware can infiltrate your systems from many different entrances, and each employee—regardless of the industry or their position—is a gatekeeper. Security shouldn’t be an intimidating or abstract idea in your company—it should be rooted in everything everyone does. A culture of security needs to persistent and ever-present.
TechBeacon provides a helpful definition for what “security culture” actually means:
“Security culture is what happens with security when people are left to their own devices. Do they make the right choices when faced with whether to click on a link? Do they know the steps that must be performed to ensure that a new product or offering is secure prior to ship?”
Gartner projects that worldwide spending on IT security products and services will grow 7 percent year over year, reaching a total of $86.4 billion in 2017. You can invest in all of the latest and greatest security software and technology, but none of that matters if you don’t invest in your employees, too. According to IBM’s Chief Information Security Officer Assessment, 95 percent of information security incidents involve human error
4 Ways to Build a Culture of Security
To build a culture of security in your workplace, here are a few big things you can do to get started:
- Increase awareness – Many of your employees probably want to help keep the company secure, but they don’t know how or don’t know enough about the current cybersecurity landscape—teach them.
- Create a security community – Gather people from different departments and job levels to lead the security charge among all employees. Have them meet at regular times to develop internal programs that bring everyone together and eliminate an “us vs. them” mentality.
- Incorporate security into everything – Your mission statement, employee handbook, company-wide speeches by the CEO—find ways to work your commitment to security into as many communications as possible to drive the point home that security is a major focus for your organization.
- Make cybersecurity fun – Workplace security doesn’t have to be something that is seen as a burden to your entire staff; find ways to make it fun! Publicly recognize employees who go above and beyond when it comes to cybersecurity and offer prizes or rewards. Create games, hold workshops, and try to find ways to engage your employees without the use of PowerPoint.
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is the perfect time to kick start your organization’s culture of security. Start putting these ideas into motion and you’ll immediately improve your company’s chances of keeping sensitive information away from prying eyes.
Learn more about how to protect yourself, family, friends, employees, clients, and everyone else in your world. Our eBook, Protecting What Matters Most: Insights, Trends, and Perspectives on Protecting Your Digital World, features over 50 research and industry reports, along with some of IdentityForce’s own primary research—all within 6 pages. Get concrete ideas and steps for protecting your digital footprint, and share them with your employees to continue building your culture of security.