The 5 basic requirements of a culture of security

The 5 basic requirements of a culture of security

Securing your network and data isn’t just about a strong antivirus solution.  It’s a lot more than that.

It’s about employees.  It’s about leadership.  It’s about thought processes.  It’s about how all of these things tie into each other to create, support, and encourage a culture of security.  When you integrate these elements into your cyber-security strategy successfully, your business will be better off, and you’ll have a legitimate chance to fight off cyber-threats.

So then the question naturally becomes: Does your preexisting security solution take into consideration the human element or does it begin and end with software?

In other words, have you created a culture of security or are you just doing the bare minimum and hoping for the best?

Building an effective culture of security within your organization is not an easy thing to do.  It’s not a one-time thing.  And it’s definitely not something that can be accomplished within a month (or even a year – heck, who knows how long it takes).  It’s a process that never stops evolving and will never go away.

But when it comes to the most basic requirements for a culture of security, these things never change.  If you go about them the right way, they can be simple to achieve and accomplished in a far shorter timeframe.  Here are the five most basic requirements of a culture of security.

Everyone has buy-in.

If you’re struggling to build a holistic security culture, this might be the reason you’re struggling.  Everyone on your team has to offer up their ‘buy-in’ – or their unwavering support of the process as a whole.  If not, then what you’ll be greeted with is indifference and half-hearted attempts at maintaining standard security protocols.  Not a strong security culture.

Everyone knows the basics.

When it comes to online security, things can quickly get… complex.  But, nonetheless, everyone should (and can) be familiar with the basics – like phishing, corrupt ads, patching, viruses, and passwords.  If they don’t understand how these things work, then why would they ever worry about protecting themselves (and your data) against them?  Train your staff on the basics and make sure everyone in your organization understands what they are.

Everyone gets the why.

The ‘why’ of everything is incredibly important.  If people can’t wrap their head around the fallout of a successful phishing attack or if they just don’t get the point of patching outdated software, then, again, why would they worry about any of it?  Don’t be ashamed to reassert over and over again why security is important.  Explain what happens when cyber-threats are successful and what they can ultimately cost the business.

Everyone stays suspicious.

Suspicion is everyone’s greatest ally.  The more suspicious your employees are, the more likely it is that your business can sidestep potentially fatal cyber-attacks.  If your employee opens an email and thinks, “I don’t know who this is, so why would they be sending me an attachment?” then you’ve done your job.  But this ties into everything else – they won’t be suspicious if they don’t know the basics, and if they don’t understand the basics, then they won’t understand the repercussions.

Everyone follows the rules.

Obviously, if you’re going to have a legitimate culture of security, then everyone needs to follow the rules.  It’s simple really.  You establish basic protocols, and they follow these protocols.  And you probably know what comes next – none of this will be possible if your employees don’t have buy-in, they don’t understand why all of it is important, and they don’t know how to adopt a suspicious mindset.  Make sure you take the steps to lay out a solid foundation for a strong culture of security.  One missed requirement can mean the death of your network, your business, and your future.

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