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Cybersecurity: How to Encourage Your Employees to Integrate the Rules

You do not know how to start ensuring total compliance with current cybersecurity measures in your company? Thinking of distributing information booklets to your employees in the hope of raising awareness about the crucial role of cybersecurity?

Instead, bet on realistic strategies to emphasize the importance of cybersecurity, but also to enable your employees to actively participate in the company’s IT security practices.

1. Make your employees aware of the importance of cybersecurity

In the workplace, many employees do not know what the implementation of cybersecurity strategies entails. Why should they take the plunge? Imagine that they click on an infected link. It’s a safe bet that the consequences of this click for the network of their company detect them. Also, to approach cybersecurity with your collaborators, the ideal is to start by making the subject “talking”.

Explain clearly the direct impact of their actions on the overall cybersecurity of the company. When everyone respects the security rules, the entire company benefits; once this is understood, employees are less inclined to adopt risky digital behaviors.

  • According to a recent study of 500 people, two out of five workers would have clicked on unknown links or attachments, presumably without thinking about the consequences.
  • According to a recent study of 500 people, two out of five workers would have clicked on unknown links or attachments. “
  • According to another Shred-It survey, more than 25% of respondents failed to lock their computer when they left their workstation and left it unattended.

What are these examples illustrating? Employee negligence is a real concern and a costly problem for companies. However, there are ways to deal with it intelligently.

By talking upstream about the respect of cybersecurity rules with employees, we try to trigger an awareness of the extent of the repercussions for the company of certain seemingly insignificant choices.

In this respect, role plays are used to illustrate the importance of the impact, positive or negative, of these innocuous decisions. In this kind of debate, company representatives will avoid employees feeling blamed for cybersecurity loopholes.

Rather than simply referring to mistakes, it would be better for those responsible for cybersecurity advocacy efforts to take away some misconceptions by pointing to the simplicity with which some modest measures can collectively reinforce cybersecurity.

2. Include cybersecurity training in your integration process

Educating your employees about cybersecurity requires a complete process – and that being the case, the sooner the better. It is therefore in your best interest to include cybersecurity in the integration program for your new recruits.

The strategy has multiple benefits. On the one hand, your employees immediately realize that cybersecurity is an integral part of your corporate culture, and that it’s not just a simple addition to form. On the other hand, they have the means to contribute to the cybersecurity actions of their company as soon as they take office.

Generally, employees need to feel valued and to have the impression of participating concretely in the achievement of the objectives of their company. By introducing cybersecurity as part of their integration program, newcomers immediately discover how to contribute to keeping everyone safe in the workplace.

3. Make sure that management sets an example

Need to implement a new cybersecurity measure or improve an existing rule? Your coworkers will probably put a brakeman on them if they feel that the company’s management is not as committed as the lower-ranking colleagues. For cybersecurity to become firmly anchored in the corporate culture, it is up to management to perpetuate it.

To strengthen this culture of cybersecurity, leaders need to be aware of what is happening. The best is to hold regular meetings with senior leaders and members of the cybersecurity Team. Together, participants will be able to discuss issues of concern, celebrate progress and explore other ways to engage employees to adopt good cybersecurity practices.

4. Make sure the measures are well understood and implemented

In the company, no cybersecurity professional can blindly believe that the concepts learned in training are applied to the letter, or almost…The cybersecurity audit, however, offers companies an excellent way to take stock of their level protection. Companies are then able to determine if their employees are applying what they have learned or if margins for improvement remain important

Many companies, such as those associated with the federal government or recipients of public funds, must undergo certain audits. They must prove that they have well-defined policies, documents, procedures and processes that demonstrate their compliance with the standards and the seriousness of their cybersecurity approach. For many organizations, however, these audits have only an informative purpose, in that they only establish reference levels.

In addition to these controls, companies can plan cybersecurity drills that provide their employees with the opportunity to practice the skills learned during the simulations. The creation of system backups and the use of two-factor authentication are two ways to immediately improve cyber security.

The exercises confirm the correct application of these measures and give the participants the opportunity to ask questions to clarify possible gray areas. Overall, clarifying cybersecurity practices increases the chances of their being integrated spontaneously. Subsequently, all of these individual practices form an effective plan of action.

According to the results published in 2017 on corporate readiness for cybersecurity in public bodies, 68% of board members had received no training in cybersecurity and reflexes to have in case incident, and 10% had no plan to deal with a data breach. These statistics are important and illustrate the fact that without a plan, a company cannot hope to cope with the unexpected with the required speed.

Public bodies have found that 68% of their board members have received no training in cybersecurity and reflexes in the event of an incident.

5. Teach your employees to react to suspicious events

By providing your employees with the means to respect cybersecurity best practices, you allow them to make the right choices and to report, or not, an incident that seems suspicious to them. Very often, the witnesses of strange events are satisfied to think that “someone else will surely do it”… But that is not necessarily the case.

Organizations must therefore have intuitive reporting processes so that unusual cybersecurity events can be quickly and accurately escalated. Cybersecurity teams should also emphasize that they prefer false alarms to silence for fear of possible retaliation or embarrassment.

The introduction of a simple and universal system reduces the errors and risks of incomplete information collection – which could occur in the event of a proliferation of sources and methods of reporting to cyber security teams. Be careful also that the reporting system does not create confusion for users who may feel overwhelmed if they feel that they do not have sufficient knowledge.

6. Do not communicate too much information at a time

Who has never felt this state of stupor before an avalanche of PowerPoint slides when our brain seems unable to store more information without exploding?

Also, regardless of the methods used to train their colleagues, the cybersecurity experts in the company must do their utmost to provide the information in digestible formats.

Short videos to convey a message, information sessions around a buffet or meal tray friendly within the company…the key is that the information is distilled dropper and continuously.

7. Preparing for cybersecurity must be an ongoing process

No cybersecurity professional can, at any point in time, decree that company employees are now ready and armed to deal with any cyber threat.

The tips discussed here are useful only if they are applied as systematically as other traditional business processes – such as requests for time off or clocking of work hours.

Compliance with cybersecurity rules must be approached in the same way: everyone must follow cybersecurity best practices, as every employee has a role to play in protecting the cybersecurity of their business.

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