Cybersecurity attacks are becoming more and more common with each passing day. Hackers are one step ahead of cybersecurity experts and professionals and constantly find vulnerabilities in the most secure systems. Businesses are struggling to keep their sensitive business information safe from hackers. Even small businesses are not safe.
Hackers will now turn their attention to more critical infrastructure, such as power plants and hospitals, but that will not deter them from attacking businesses now and then. As a business, you should strengthen your weakest link, your employees, so they don’t fall victim to a social engineering attack. That will only happen if you build cybersecurity awareness among your employees.
7 Critical Steps for Building Cybersecurity Awareness
In this article, HostNoc will take you through the paces and share a step-by-step guide to building cybersecurity awareness in your organization.
Use a Combination of Tools, Techniques, and Content
Instead of a single strategy, use a combination of strategies to build cybersecurity awareness. Use tools, techniques, and content to keep your employees engaged. This way, you can multiply the effectiveness and achieve great results too. Use visual content such as infographics, posters, and slide decks. You can also use videos and interviews with cybersecurity experts to teach your employees the best cybersecurity practices. Avoid cramming in a large text block, as it will detract your employees and make your sessions boring.
Organize Training Sessions
Put together cybersecurity courses to help employees better understand basic concepts. Moreover, cybersecurity courses help your employees understand how different cyber-attacks are executed and what preventive measures you can take to protect against these cyber attacks. Most businesses organize training sessions once or twice a year but should arrange these events more frequently. Test your employee knowledge at the end of the course to judge how much knowledge they have retained. Ask employees who perform poorly in tests to go through the course again.
Develop a Culture
Instill a culture of cybersecurity in your organization by creating security awareness messages. Run campaigns and share those messages throughout your organization so that all your employees get exposed to those messages. Once you succeed in developing a strong cybersecurity culture, it makes it more difficult for hackers and cybercriminals to get into your private network and wreak havoc on your company’s sensitive architecture.
Communication and Support
Ask your employees to ring the alarm when they identify suspicious activity. Report cybersecurity issues to the IT department as soon as possible so they can take immediate action to prevent any later action. Your IT team should also provide necessary assistance and support to those employees who have come under a cybersecurity attack. The earlier you report, the easier it is for your IT team to handle the situation.
Ensure Good Cyber Hygiene
Good cyber hygiene should not be limited to the workplace. It should also make its way to your home. With many employees bringing their devices, following good cyber hygiene is important. Follow the best cybersecurity practices to minimize the risk of a cybersecurity attack. Protect your HostNoc affordable dedicated server with a firewall. Restrict the use of removable devices and monitor the online usage of employees to ensure that they don’t click on malicious links which lead to data compromise. Force your employees to change their passwords frequently and use a strong password that combines alphanumeric and special characters.
Use Carrot, Not Stick
Build employee interest and motivation in your cybersecurity program by adding rewards and gamifying the whole process. This will create an environment of competition where your employees will compete with one another. This will go a long way in beefing up your organization’s security, making it tough for hackers to break into your organization’s network. It is a healthy competition you want in your organization and benefits your company. Reward employees who score the highest points in your cybersecurity awareness program and penalize employee that languishes at the bottom of the table. This creates a sense of accountability and forces your employees to take your cybersecurity awareness program seriously.
Establish a Robust Reporting Mechanism
All your cybersecurity awareness will go down the drain if you fail to establish a robust reporting mechanism. As your employees become more aware, their confidence level increases, and they start actively reporting cybersecurity attacks and issues. This can be useful as you don’t have to invest heavily in monitoring the latest cybersecurity threat. Your employees will become your biggest asset in your fight against cybersecurity attacks.
Building cybersecurity awareness in your organization is the first step toward a robust cybersecurity system. Like a boxing match consisting of multiple rounds, you must win each round to win the whole match. Similarly, winning small battles (building cybersecurity awareness) would be best to win the war (making your organization hacker-proof).
Always remember that building cybersecurity awareness is one piece of the cybersecurity puzzle, and you will have to join all other pieces with it to complete the picture. It is a continuous process and will only bear fruit if you are patent. If you expect changes overnight, then this will not happen. The more aware your employees are about cybersecurity, the harder it will be for hackers to trick them and the less vulnerable they are to cyber-attacks. With cybersecurity awareness, employees can easily save themselves from social engineering attacks such as phishing and spear-phishing attacks, a popular tactic hackers use to trick users.
What steps do you take to build cybersecurity awareness in your company? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.