Cybersecurity for SMEs Part 3: Establishing Cybersecurity Culture
This is the third part of and the last part of the series of articles on cybersecurity for SMEs. In the first two parts, we have discussed how to start your cybersecurity work by determining your vulnerabilities, protecting your devices and protecting your data. In this part, we will talk about establishing cybersecurity culture in your work place.
The measures described in this guide are exhaustive, and by following all relevant guidelines for your business, you will significantly reduce the risk of cyber-attack, provided your business is reduced to yourself.
An employee simply sends client data over an insecure connection or clicks on a dangerous link and downloads malicious software to ruin all your security systems and all your well-intentioned efforts. Therefore, the most important step you can take is to make your staff aware of the importance of cybersecurity.
In addition, if you instill a cybersecurity culture in your workplace, if you explain your cybersecurity policies and the reason for their existence and if you train the staff to manage the hardware and data of the company safely, your employees will become your first line of defense against cyberattacks.
The best way to get your employees to join your cybersecurity plan is to involve them in its design. If you develop it with their collaboration, they will be more motivated to implement it. The members of your staff are also the experts of your company, both in terms of weaknesses and strengths. They are the ones who process the confidential data of your company daily. They are therefore in the best position to tell you what level of vulnerabilities and systems to strengthen or improve.
Start by organizing regular training sessions with your staff on cybersecurity issues. These sessions are an opportunity to work methodically important security techniques like those described above. Check that their passwords and permissions are up-to-date and that they use passwords that cannot be decrypted.
Also make sure they do not leave their passwords on “physical” posts or on their desk. Teach them to avoid being trapped by email phishing attacks, and the risks of malware coming from dangerous websites.
Teach your employees the many and dangerous ways that hackers can attempt to obtain information about them. Encourage them not to discuss confidential societal information in public – you never know who to talk to and who can listen. Offer them clear, easy-to-follow instructions. We have designed a print guide with simple steps your employees can take to work safely. You can hang it on the bulletin board or the desktop refrigerator, or customize it to your specific needs.
Document the principles of cybersecurity in a written policy, and ask your employees to sign a copy, making sure they understand the extent of the seriousness of a cybersecurity problem. You can even include cybersecurity elements in personnel contracts.
Above all, remember that threats to cybersecurity are constantly evolving and changing. Hackers are constantly inventing more creative and sophisticated ways to break into computer systems and steal your data. Keep abreast of developments in cybersecurity, and make sure your staff is aware of these developments as well.
Where do I start?
- Hang up our Cyber Security Guidelines Guide on your office bulletin board and send this email template to all employees.
- Start designing a cybersecurity training program for all your employees.
We have published the following three articles on this topic:
- Cybersecurity for SMEs Part 1: Determine your vulnerabilities and Protect Your Devices
- Cybersecurity for SMEs Part 2: 8 Steps to Protect Your Data
- Cybersecurity for SMEs Part 3: Establishing Cybersecurity Culture
We believe that this guide can help you and the people who matter to you, to protect themselves from cyber threats. If this topic is also important to you and you want to protect your friends and colleagues from potential hacker attacks, help us by sharing these articles with them.