Awareness is power: spreading cybersecurity culture among your employees

Many companies turn to cybersecurity to protect their data from the increasing electronic threats, with one cyber attack occurring every 39 seconds in recent times. This trend has prompted companies to invest in safeguarding their sensitive data and vital information.

However, despite these efforts, cyber attacks persist, with 95% of them attributed to human errors. Therefore, shedding light on the dissemination of cybersecurity culture and employee awareness becomes essential.

In this article, we will delve into the details of how spreading cybersecurity culture among employees has a significant and effective impact on reducing companies’ exposure to cyber attacks. This is crucial for business continuity and data security.

 

What is cybersecurity culture?

According to some statistics, the human element or employees are among the main reasons for cybersecurity breaches in companies. However, they do not intentionally harm the company or its security system. Therefore, it is essential for companies to provide good training for employees to raise awareness and train them on the most important safe practices to be followed to protect systems. This, in turn, helps in successfully implementing cybersecurity programs in the company.

Consequently, cybersecurity culture enables employees to take necessary precautions to avoid cyber threats, by training them on detecting fraud and prevalent attack techniques, and how to deal with them wisely and professionally.

 

Additionally, cybersecurity culture helps in:

  • Protecting important and sensitive data of companies from leakage or breaches.

 

  • Building a good reputation for the company among customers or partners by demonstrating its commitment to protecting their sensitive data and important information.

The Importance of Cybersecurity in the Digital Era

Cybersecurity in our digital age is akin to a protective shield against the ever-evolving electronic risks in a professional manner, and here are its key functions:

  • It works to safeguard sensitive data of institutions and companies from theft or manipulation.

 

  • It preserves the secrecy of clients, partners, or users’ information and protects their privacy.

 

  • Ensuring the continuity of digital business operations and services, as electronic attacks can lead to work stoppages and significant financial losses.

 

  • Protecting the company’s reputation and maintaining trust with clients and partners, as information breaches can result in loss of clients, loss of trust, and strained relationships with partners.

 

  • It aids in reducing costs for companies, as cyber breaches or attacks incur significant financial losses. Therefore, investing in an appropriate cybersecurity system is essential and cannot be ignored or delayed.

 

  • Additionally, it enhances stability and sustainable growth for businesses, enabling them to protect their supply chains and ensure their safety.

 

The Role of Employees in Data and Information Protection

Employees play a crucial and essential role in safeguarding important data and company-specific information.

Thorough training in this regard protects the company from electronic threats by up to 90%. Here are the key actions employees should take to protect company data:

  • Safeguarding company data and refraining from sharing it with unauthorized parties.

 

  •  Adhering to company policies regarding data protection, which specify how data is collected, stored, and used.

 

  • Understanding how to properly handle electronic threats and being cautious of malicious software, promptly reporting any suspicious activity.

 

  • Ensuring the use of strong passwords for their company accounts and regularly changing them.

 

  •  Avoiding falling for electronic fraud and recognizing suspicious email messages.

 

  •  Properly disposing of sensitive data using professional methods such as shredding machines and automated wiping programs.

 

To enable them to do so, they must be provided with necessary and regular training, as well as awareness programs to install best practices in data protection.

The leadership’s role in promoting a cybersecurity culture within companies

Is significant, extending beyond just achieving financial and administrative goals. Here’s what they do to enhance cybersecurity culture:

 

  • Establishing effective policies and procedures to safeguard the company’s sensitive data and information.

 

  •  Identifying permissible and prohibited behaviours in cybersecurity.

 

  • Demonstrating commitment to best cybersecurity practices by using professional passwords, refraining from sharing any sensitive or company-specific information, and promptly reporting any suspicious activity.

 

  • Engaging in active communication with employees, discussing the importance of cybersecurity, and holding regular meetings to address cybersecurity challenges and digital age risks.

 

  •  Providing programs and training to increase awareness among employees and supplying appropriate tools.

 

  •  Regularly updating security systems.

 

  • Encouraging the adoption of new methods and techniques within the company to enhance cybersecurity.

 

  • Taking actions in case of employee violations of security policies and providing rewards for adherence to security behaviour.

Strategies to Motivate Employees for Active Participation in Cybersecurity Awareness Programs

Focusing on motivating employees to participate in cybersecurity programs is of utmost importance and has a significant positive impact on increasing their awareness of cyber risks and how to deal with them.

 

Here are effective strategies to motivate employees to participate actively in cybersecurity awareness programs:

  •  Use interactive educational techniques to make the awareness process enjoyable, such as games, competitions, and others.

 

  •  Ensure that cybersecurity awareness programs and their resources are readily available and easily accessible in various forms, whether online, on smartphones, or through seminars and workshops.

 

  • Tailor cybersecurity awareness programs according to employees’ roles in the company, their levels of expertise, and their needs.

 

  • Remind employees that they are a crucial part of the company’s security efforts.

 

  • Foster a sense of responsibility towards protecting the company from cyber threats.

 

  • Organize challenges and competitions to stimulate creative thinking about cybersecurity issues.

 

  • Offer rewards and incentives to employees who are committed to participating in awareness programs. Examples of non-monetary rewards that can be provided include:
  1.    Professional development opportunities
  2.     Personal recognition from managers
  3.     Public acknowledgment in front of peers

 

  •  Send regular awareness messages to employees, whether through email or internal announcements, to remind them of the importance of cybersecurity and encourage their participation in its programs.

 

  •  Maintain the continuity of awareness and training programs.

 

  • Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of awareness programs and make necessary adjustments for their improvement.

 

Using Technology to Facilitate Cybersecurity Awareness

It is beneficial to utilize technology in spreading awareness about cybersecurity, as it enhances access to information quickly and easily.

There are various ways technology can be used to enhance awareness on a wide and rapid scale. Here are some of the most important methods:

 

  • Distributing educational content through short videos, which provide practical tips on protecting data from theft and intelligently dealing with cyber attacks.

 

  •  Alternatively, using realistic illustrated stories to convey an important message about the consequences of negligence in implementing cybersecurity practices.

 

  •  Electronic platforms, such as creating a dedicated website for disseminating educational content about cybersecurity, containing informative articles, practical tips, explanatory videos, and more.

 

  • Utilizing social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share short and engaging educational content.

 

You can employ these methods or other approaches to facilitate cybersecurity awareness efforts.

At the conclusion of this article, we emphasize the importance of cybersecurity awareness and its significant impact among employees, highlighting how it will assist the company in safeguarding its critical data and confidential information from any cyber breach or attack.