Cybercrime has become more organised and sophisticated than ever before, making it critical for every organisation to communicate risk effectively across the business. By emphasising the increasingly serious threat posed by malicious hackers, you can foster a sense of cohesion around the importance of Cyber Security. Cyber Security is everyone’s responsibility and with so many potential attack points, the key to improving security is to create a culture of cyber awareness.
Vigilance is Vital
A strong Cyber Security culture is not about making everyone in an organisation a technical expert, but rather encouraging employees to be vigilant of cyber threats, such as tailgating, phishing emails, and social engineering.
Many networks and systems are only as strong as their weakest employee because it often takes a single point of entry for hackers to gain access. Therefore, Cyber Security awareness isn’t just crucial for your IT team but crucial for everyone in the organisation.
Employees are a company’s greatest asset, but also its greatest security risk. In fact, 52% of businesses admit that employees are their biggest weakness in IT security, with their careless actions putting business IT security strategy at risk. Research has also found approximately 90% of all cyber claims are the result of some type of human error or behaviour.
Celebrate Cyber Security Safety
By equipping staff with the skills required to protect themselves online, it empowers employees to become ‘Cyber Security Champions’, armed with the knowledge to spot and prevent a cyber attack with confidence. These advocates in your organisation will help to set an example and ‘fly the flag’ for Cyber Security safety. This also gives employees a sense of responsibility, an opportunity to learn from their peers and creates a sense of camaraderie among employees.
For example, in a Cyber Security awareness program, incident reporting or spotting a particularly clever phishing email could be rewarded by a trophy that employees can proudly display on their desks.
Reap the Rewards
Acknowledging employees who detect hacks and breaches with rewards and prizes is an effective way to motivate employees, incentivise your team and increase awareness within an organisation. This also enables employees to enhance their decision making skills, apply their new knowledge and make positive behaviour changes by taking ownership of their cyber safety.
This is exactly what an effective Cyber Security program should be based on – engaged employees who take responsibility for keeping the company safe. When you reinforce security awareness at every level of your company, you’ll improve accountability, increase solidarity and strengthen your defenses across the board.
These gamification techniques, such as trophies and leaderboards tap into the human desire for status. A recent Accenture report found that gamification can have a dramatic effect on employee performance, with one company reporting a “230% increase in new product sales within 30 days” of adopting a gamification strategy.
Eliminating the human aspect of cyber risk is a challenge, but with the right tools and programs, organisations can make significant progress in this area. There are also a number of other methods you can use to enhance the effectiveness of your Cyber Security awareness campaign including:
- Develop a culture of continuous awareness training which should begin during the onboarding process and continue throughout employment.
- Introduce a twelve month schedule of training, including policies, phishing simulations and eLearning throughout the year to keep security top of mind.
- Adopt a variety of engaging methods to educate employees on their role in keeping their organisation safe and secure. Campaign posters, eLearning courses, gamification, simulated phishing attacks, quizzes and pocket guides are effective resources to increase user awareness and compliance in an engaging way.
- Once an awareness campaign has been established, regularly review and report on the results. This is essential to uncovering near misses and areas where technology and processes can be improved.
- Make sure Cyber Security is part of the dialogue at the highest levels of the organisation. If the CEO talks about phishing awareness, there’s a good chance this will become a priority at all levels.
Automate Cyber Awareness Campaigns
Need help to launch an effective awareness campaign? MetaCompliance has created a cyber awareness campaign module to automate the life-cycle of your security awareness program. Speak to our Security Awareness Advisors about how we can help to reduce the time and resources required to plan an awareness campaign.