What is a Culture of Cybersecurity?

As a managed IT services provider (MSP) with a security operations center (SOC), American Technology Services understands the need to establish a culture of cybersecurity across an entire organization.

With the ever-growing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats and security breaches, companies must prioritize cybersecurity and implement IT support services to safeguard their sensitive information. We’ll delve into what a culture of cybersecurity involves, why it’s important, and how to establish a culture of cybersecurity within your organization to mitigate the risk of cyber threats.

What is a Culture of Cybersecurity?

A culture of cybersecurity refers to the shared attitudes, beliefs, and values that shape an organization’s approach to cybersecurity.

It involves every organization member, from the leadership team to the front-line employees, understanding the importance of cybersecurity and taking steps to protect the organization’s sensitive data. This culture is built on the foundation of a comprehensive cybersecurity program that includes policies, procedures, and training.

Why is Cybersecurity Culture Important?

With decades of experience providing IT services, including information security (infosec), American Technology Services embodies a culture of cybersecurity. Special training, tools, and processes are set in place to safeguard data-accessible endpoints. Endpoints encompass all end-user devices that access a company’s network, such as cell phones, laptops, and desktops.

Endpoints are susceptible to malware, phishing attacks, social engineering attacks, and other cyber threats. By fostering a culture of cybersecurity, businesses can ensure that all staff members are informed of digital risks and understand how to mitigate them.

Bringing a culture of cybersecurity into an organization extends past support for the information security (infosec) or cybersecurity teams. It involves educating all employees about their susceptibility to harm from digital environments.

By promoting a culture of cybersecurity, organizations can ensure that all staff members are mindful of the risks they present to the company as end-point users exposed to digital threats. A cybersecurity culture also ensures that the in-the-know employees are taking the necessary steps to protect themselves, such as implementing EDR (endpoint detection and response) systems and running threat prevention employee training.

Secondly, a culture of cybersecurity is essential to maintaining the informational health of your organization.

Security vulnerabilities constantly evolve, and cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks.

The looming digital threats are ever-changing. Employees should receive routine education about digital threat deterrence and understand how policy, processes, tools, and people make up their organization’s security practices. In addition, an ingrained cybersecurity culture helps organizations avoid these cyber risks, such as ransomware, phishing attacks, unauthorized access to systems, and malware installations, by ensuring employees are equipped to react cautiously and proactively regarding identifying and reporting potential security risks.

A culture of cybersecurity is crucial for preventing data breaches. According to the 2021 Cost of a Data Breach Report by IBM, the average data breach cost is $4.24 million. A strong cybersecurity culture can help reduce the risk of data breaches by ensuring all employees follow best data protection practices, such as using strong passwords, keeping software up-to-date, and avoiding suspicious emails and links.

Finally, a culture of cybersecurity is important for not forcing employees to work around the IT/infosec departments. When employees need help understanding or trusting their organization’s cybersecurity policies and procedures, they may resort to working around the IT department or security operations center (SOC) procedures to reduce time or frustration around policies they may not understand.

This can create security vulnerabilities and increase the risk of a data breach through poor data hygiene and online exposure. By creating a culture of cybersecurity, organizations can ensure that employees are educated on cybersecurity best practices and know the importance of cybersecurity policies. This knowledge translates into confidence in the organization’s ability to protect its data.

How to Create a Culture of Cybersecurity

Creating a culture of cybersecurity requires a comprehensive approach that includes policies, procedures, and training.

Here are some steps organizations can take to create a culture of cybersecurity:

  1. Develop a comprehensive cybersecurity policy: A cybersecurity policy is a set of guidelines that outlines how an organization will protect its data and systems. This policy should cover everything from password management to network access to data backup and recovery.

  2. Communicate the cybersecurity policy to all employees: Once the policy is developed, it is essential to communicate it to all employees. This can be done through employee training sessions, email communications, or company-wide meetings.

  3. Train employees on cybersecurity best practices: In addition to communicating the policy, it is essential to provide training on cybersecurity best practices. This can include training on how to identify and report potential security risks, how to create strong passwords, and how to avoid phishing scams.

  4. Implement security controls: Security controls are measures that organizations can implement to protect their data and systems. This can include firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection systems, and access controls.

  5. Regularly review and update the policy: Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, so it is essential to regularly review and update the cybersecurity policy to ensure it is up-to-date with the latest threats and best practices.

  6. Lead by example: Creating a culture of cybersecurity requires leadership to lead by example. Executives and managers should follow the same cybersecurity policies and procedures as all other employees and ensure they enforce these policies in their respective teams.

  7. Encourage reporting: It is crucial for employees to feel comfortable reporting any potential security risks or incidents. This can include reporting phishing emails, suspicious activity on the network, or any other potential security threat. To encourage reporting, organizations should provide clear channels for employees to report incidents and ensure that employees are not punished for reporting potential security risks.

  8. Perform regular security assessments: Organizations should regularly perform security assessments (such as VAPT – Vulnerability and Penetration Testing) to identify and address potential vulnerabilities before they are exploited. Security assessments should be tailored to fit your organization’s needs and may include penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, and risk assessments.

  9. Celebrate successes: When employees identify and report potential security risks or incidents, it is important to celebrate their successes. This can include recognition in company-wide meetings or even rewards such as gift cards or bonuses.

Creating a culture of cybersecurity requires a comprehensive approach that includes policies, procedures, training, and leadership. By following the steps outlined above, organizations can create a cybersecurity culture that helps protect their data and systems, prevent security incidents, and protect their reputation. Remember, cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, and creating a secure environment takes a collective effort.

American Technology Services (ATS) is a managed IT services provider that understands the need for companies to establish a culture of cybersecurity to protect their sensitive information.

As an experienced information security (infosec) provider, ATS has a comprehensive cybersecurity program that involves policies, procedures, and training. ATS emphasizes the importance of training all employees on cybersecurity best practices to ensure they are equipped to mitigate digital threats.

ATS helps companies implement security controls such as firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection systems, continuous security monitoring (CSM), endpoint detection and response (EDR), and access controls in addition to cybersecurity consulting and cybersecurity awareness training

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