Your employees are the most valuable asset to your organization. But they are also one of the biggest risks to your cybersecurity posture. This is particularly true when it comes to phishing attacks. 

For business owners, it’s incredibly beneficial to create an environment which actively champions and promotes safe, secure work practices. This culture of cybersecurity facilitates the adoption of positive policies, procedures, and practices which are designed to minimize risks. 

There are three key elements to building this culture successfully: awareness, testing and training. 

1. Security Awareness

Cybersecurity should be a priority for every organization, from small-scale businesses to international corporations. It’s easy to think that only big businesses are the desired target for hackers, but this simply isn’t true. More than 70% of ransomware attacks involve small and medium-sized companies. 

Additionally, over 90% of cyber attacks originate from phishing emails. This means that in the vast majority of cases, it’s the human element, not technology, that is the weakness in a network. Employees can put businesses at risk due to a lack of understanding regarding phishing threats and how to respond appropriately. 

Every individual should be aware of the importance of cybersecurity and the potential consequences of their actions. Something as simple as clicking on a link or responding to a spam email can jeopardize the future of a business. Data breaches are expensive and damage the reputation of the business, which leads to customer loss.

2. Security Testing

Regular testing is an effective means to improve awareness of hazards like phishing scams. Simulated phishing tests enable employees to learn how to spot the difference between legitimate emails and spam. 

Phishing emails are often amazingly lifelike and they can be tricky to spot. The tests are engaging and interactive, and with frequent tests, employees learn what to look out for. This first-hand experience is often a more influential way to learn than reading about red flags or listening to a colleague talk about potential dangers.

If they do click on a simulated phishing test, the link will take them to a message that reminds them of the ways to identify phishing attacks. The program can also be customized to assign specific training for those employees who frequently fall for phishing emails. 

3. Security Training

Most employees aren’t cybersecurity experts, which is why training is so crucial. Training programs, sessions, and interactive workshops can help employees to understand the threats the business faces, to recognize potential dangers, and to adopt safe online practices. 

The testing software used to simulate phishing attacks uses interactive videos on different topics to train employees. This means that, while all employees will receive training, the more “phish-prone” users will be directed to more training videos, because they will click on more phishing tests.

Threats evolve, and hackers are creative and intelligent. This means that ongoing training is essential. Employee training is an important aspect of cybersecurity policies and procedures, and may mean the difference between a breach and a failed attack. 

Creating a Culture of Security

Employees often pose cybersecurity threats to businesses without knowing it. The right company culture can help to prevent attacks and reduce risks. Raising awareness of the importance of cybersecurity and the implications of cybercrime, carrying out regular testing, and providing training can help to protect and shield organizations. 

The easiest way to implement these strategies is to work with an experienced managed service provider. As part of our managed security services, our IT experts can analyze your company’s security posture and implement needed changes, including simulated phishing attacks and training for employees.

Companies who implement these awareness, testing, and training programs see a significant decrease in their risk score. To learn more about creating your culture of security, check out our webinar, “Protecting Against Cyber Threats With The Human Firewall,” or contact us today.