Only 25% of business leaders are confident with their organisationâ€™s cyber security awareness. This is alarming with how large of a risk cyber threats pose in 2023. Business owners like yourself need to understand the importance of Cyber Culture. Not only does generating a healthy Cyber Culture in the workplace strengthen cyber security dramatically. It also can have a positive impact on your profitability, customer retention, and employee productivity. So why wouldnâ€™t you take this advantage of defending your company in one of the best ways possible?
What Even Is â€œCyber Cultureâ€
It can seem quite a substantial term, but it only has one simple meaning. Cyber Culture is about making cyber security an important part of an employeeâ€™s job. The end goal is to embed the practice into the staffâ€™s day-to-day actions, something that should be considered before each decision. The best kind of Cyber Culture needs to influence employeesâ€™ thinking to better develop resilience against cyber threats.
To stay relevant and confront new security challenges, businesses must continually adapt to the changing digital environment. As an owner, fostering a strong cyber culture enables staff to stay vigilant and respond quickly to new threats. We will talk about the benefits for your business and how you can easily begin implementing a strong Cyber Culture today.
Benefits of Developing Cyber Culture
Improved Profitability ðŸ’°
Cyber threats are costing Australian businesses millions each year and attacks on SMEs average out at $60,000. More than half of data breaches constitute a significant portion of the costs that companies incur. Your company wonâ€™t only suffer direct financial loss, but also indirect losses, such as a damaged reputation and lost customer trust.
Investing in a strong cyber culture can help prevent a wide range of potential threats in the future, including costly financial ones. Such investments should therefore be viewed as worthwhile in protecting a company’s long-term security and success.
Increased Customer Retention ðŸ“ˆ
Customer trust is a key factor in whether or not people will conduct business with you. Customers are far more likely to do business with a company that hasnâ€™t previously been exposed to multiple breaches. Data safety is a must, did you know 88% of consumers are only willing to give out their information if they trust the company? Also, an identity survey found that consumers are abandoning brands after they find out about data breaches.
By building customer trust through strong cybersecurity measures, you can easily boost profits through improved customer retention. Additionally, showcasing robust cybersecurity at your business can also help enhance its image and make it more appealing to potential customers.
Increased Retention of Employees and Boost in Productivity ðŸ“
Just like helping organisations retain and attract customers, strong Cyber Culture can also benefit employees by reducing stress and increasing productivity. A well-trained workforce that is equipped to effectively handle cybersecurity threats will be better able to perform their tasks and contribute to the organisation’s overall success.
Itâ€™s found that when a data breach occurs, 33% of employees feel highly stressed at work. On top of that, about 24% of leaked data is always personal employee information.
I bet youâ€™d want your employees to feel secure and know their personal information wonâ€™t be compromised when working for you. By fostering a strong Cyber Culture and effectively communicating with employees, companies can earn their trust, improve employee loyalty and increase their productivity.
How Can You Start Building A Cyber Culture?
It’s crucial to understand that creating a Cyber Culture is a team effort, in which everyone from executives to employees plays a role. A strong cybersecurity culture must be led by example, starting with leadership and spreading throughout the organisation.
While cybersecurity experts may spearhead the technical strategies and efforts, it’s essential that all leaders, including the board of directors, are aware of the importance of cybersecurity, aligned with its purpose and demonstrate appropriate behaviour.
Focus on the Fundamentals ðŸ’¡
A secure cyber plan can start with the basics, such as strong passwords. It seems trivial but owners still fail to implement policies that ensure the basics happen.
Companies should implement protocols for creating and maintaining strong passwords using a combination of characters that are difficult to guess. Additional layers of security such as Two-Factor Authentication or Single-Sign-On can further enhance protection against attacks.
Educate Employees ðŸŽ“
Cyber attacks are not a matter of â€œifâ€ but â€œwhenâ€ will it happen. Itâ€™s impossible to achieve 100% protection, and with human error accounting for over 85% of attacks, a Cyber Culture will go a long way in boosting your defence. Therefore, employee education through formal cybersecurity training would help them respond better to attacks and prevent future errors.
There is an abundance of online resources to help you achieve this, from articles to quizzes, and even entire simulated activities for teams to complete. The choice is yours, but some level of training needs to be completed on regular basis.
Share the Responsibility ðŸ‘¬
We touched on this before, but just to reiterate, creating an effective cybersecurity program requires a shared effort across all levels of the company. Your organisation’s cybersecurity goals and vision must be communicated to all employees. Doing so ensures that everyone understands and contributes to its implementation, benefitting the organisation as a whole.
Keep a Feedback Loop ðŸ”
To maintain a healthy Cyber Culture, it is important that all employees feel comfortable reporting any issues or concerns related to IT and cybersecurity. Creating an open channel of communication, where employees can easily report their worries or ask questions, can help ensure that any vulnerabilities are identified and addressed quickly.
If staff report something that they unknowingly did wrong, make sure you and your IT people (MSP) donâ€™t blame them. Staff must feel comfortable reporting it, so they can learn for next time. A key component in suppressing further mistakes and healthy Cyber Culture.
Conduct Drills ðŸš¨
What happens if a threat occurs? Itâ€™s important employees know what to do if an attack happens, this will greatly reduce further damages and extra costs. Drills on real-life scenarios should be conducted to prepare staff and teach them how to handle cyber threats.
Help Employees to Realise Cybersecurity Impact Them Personally ðŸ‘·â€â™‚ï¸
Helping employees understand the personal impact of cybersecurity can be a powerful motivator. It has the ability to increase engagement and participation in a company’s cybersecurity efforts.
Helping employees understand the very real consequences of poor cybersecurity practices, maybe a harsh reality but nonetheless true. Highlighting real-life examples of similar attacks and their effects on other companies and individuals is important.
Here are some examples of real-life effects on employees
- If the company is compromised it may incur losses so great, that the only solution is to lay off employees due to restricted funds
- Employees will ultimately be the ones dealing with upset customers due to a data breach
- If systems are down due to a comprise, it will push employees’ work schedules back and may lead to extra hours in the office
- Employees’ details are on the line, if a data breach occurs, it could be their personal information getting leaked
Not That Hard, Right?
Now you know everything you need to start generating a healthy Cyber Culture at your company.
This culture must be embedded into the core values of the organisation and practised by all employees at all levels. This includes regular training and education on cybersecurity best practices, creating open lines of communication for reporting concerns and establishing clear protocols for incident response.
In addition, cybersecurity should be considered in all business decisions, and not as an afterthought. Without a strong cybersecurity culture, organisations risk significant financial, reputational and operational damage if a cyber attack occurs. Therefore, companies must take proactive measures, and create a strong cybersecurity culture to protect against threats.