Organisations constantly face the complex task of securing sensitive data and fortifying defences against a multitude of cyber threats. One often underestimated but integral aspect of this defence is the intricate link between policy management and security awareness.
In this blog post, we will explore the essential connection between these two pillars of cyber security and how a cohesive approach can fortify an organisation’s resilience against cyber threats.
What is Policy Management?
Policy management involves creating, communicating, and maintaining policies within an organisation. These policies guide the actions and decisions of employees, ensuring they align with the company’s goals, legal requirements, and ethical standards.
However, the policy is only one step in the awareness process. Staff also need to be trained on the contents of the policy. In the context of cyber security, policies might include procedures for password creation, rules for accessing sensitive data, guidelines for using company devices, and protocols for responding to a data breach.
The Role of Security Awareness
Security awareness is about educating employees on the importance of cyber security and how to recognise and respond to potential threats. It involves training staff to identify phishing emails, use secure networks, and follow best practices for password management.
Without security awareness, even the most comprehensive cyber security policies can fall short. After all, a policy is only as good as the people who are implementing it.
The Link Between Policy Management and Security Awareness
Policy management and security awareness are two sides of the same coin. Here’s how they work together:
1. Education and Enforcement: Policies provide the framework for what employees should do, while security awareness ensures they understand why these actions are necessary and how to carry them out correctly.
2. Proactive Defence: Both policies and security awareness aim to prevent cyber attacks before they occur. By following established policies and staying alert to potential threats, employees can help keep the organisation safe.
3. Compliance and Accountability: With clear policies in place and a workforce educated in security awareness, organisations can demonstrate compliance with regulatory standards and hold individuals accountable for their actions. Policies play a big role in changing organisational culture.
4. Continuous Improvement: Policy management should be an ongoing process, with policies regularly reviewed and updated. Similarly, Security Awareness Training should be continuous, reflecting the evolving landscape of cyber security threats.
Creating a Cyber Security Compliance Culture
Creating a compliance culture is the confluence of effective policy management and heightened security awareness. To establish a robust cyber security compliance culture, consider these key steps:
Leadership Commitment: Executives must set the tone by demonstrating commitment to security and compliance. They can do this by incorporating security considerations into business decisions, championing security initiatives, and rewarding compliant behaviour.
Communication and Transparency: Clear communication on cyber security policies, updates, and the rationale behind them fosters transparency and builds trust within the organisation.
Culture of Reporting: Organisations should foster an environment where employees feel comfortable reporting potential threats or breaches without fear of reprisal.
Inclusive: This means including all levels of the organisation in Security Awareness Training and policy updates, from entry-level employees to top-tier executives.
Policy management and security awareness are intrinsically linked, each reinforcing the other in creating a secure digital environment. By promoting a culture of security awareness and implementing robust policy management, organisations can better protect themselves against cyber threats.