How to Establish a Strong Security Culture in Your Organization

Createing a Strong Security Culture in Your Organization

Creating a company culture for security is key to succeeding in business today. That might seem like an extreme statement to make but with the amount of work now being conducted online and sensitive data stored on clouds, enhanced cybersecurity measures are paramount to success in today’s digital age.  

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how to create a security culture in your organisation.  

Why is Building a Healthy Security Culture Important? 

Building a strong cybersecurity culture in your organisation is fundamentally important so that employees and IT teams work in unison to protect your company’s data. A healthy security culture is when a set of values is shared by everyone and determines how people approach and think about security within the organisation. Creating a company culture for security will develop a security-conscious workforce and promote the type of security behaviours expected from staff.  

Top 6 Points to Consider When Establishing a Strong Security Culture 

A healthy security culture is key to business success today. Good security practices include establishing clear security policies and procedures, encouraging employees to report any suspicious activity, and rewarding those who demonstrate good security practices. Although the short-term costs of cybersecurity might seem high, the long-term benefits far outweigh anything else and are key to protecting your business and its assets. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the top 6 points to consider when establishing a strong security culture: 

1. Build a Security Community in Your Organisation 

Creating a company culture for security in your organisation is the first and most important step in developing cybersecurity awareness. A properly functioning security community is the backbone of a sustainable security culture, which will provide connections between employees across the entire organisation. A “security community” helps bring everyone together against a common problem and should help eliminate an “us versus them” mentality.  

A security community is borne from the understanding of different security interest levels within a business: those that are security aware, sponsors, and advocates. Security advocates are the leaders of the community, those tasked with making things secure. Those who are security aware are not as invested but are very aware that their contribution will help make the organisation secure. Finally, the sponsors are those from the board or management level who help shape the security direction of the organisation. They bring together the community and shape its vision. 

Security advocates can organise regular meetings, group huddles or one-on-one mentoring sessions which help update and inform the community about the latest security developments within the organisation. Large-scale organisations even organise annual security conferences where the brightest minds in the business share security insights and best practices to ensure the company builds on and improves its overall cybersecurity posture.  

2. Teach the Concept that Security Belongs to Everyone 

Many organisations still work under the principle, or employees under the belief, that security is the sole responsibility of the IT department. However, seeing as employees have been proven to be the weakest link, it’s extremely important to teach the concept that security belongs to everyone.  

In today’s digital age of remote workers, multi-cloud and hybrid IT environments, it takes all members of staff from the bottom up to keep company data secure. The notion that security belongs to everyone must be made clear to the entire workforce, and all security policies must be created with that in mind. The “us versus them” mentality must be eliminated from the community mindset and unite people under one common goal. 

3. Develop a Comprehensive Security Awareness Training Program 

Developing a comprehensive security awareness training program is key to ensuring that everyone concerned is security aware. All employees and relevant stakeholders should be given thorough security awareness training. Ensure that the training is clear and concise and can be understood by all levels within the business. Training sessions should be recorded and stored on the company’s intranet so they can be accessed by employees at any time.  

In order to give your workforce context, provide them with real-life examples of data breaches, including the background and consequences of the attack to ensure that the gravity of the situation hits home. The security awareness training that you provide your employees should be fun, entertaining, and informative. Making tutorials and/or videos engaging ensures that you keep employees captivated and enthralled.

A good way to capture the minds of workers is to place cybersecurity and security awareness posters around offices, send out regular emails and reminders, and offer up workshops on a regular basis. Testers and software developers are also a key and integral part of any security community. They must also be trained extensively on application security and cybersecurity best practices on a regular basis.  

4. Create a Secure Development Lifecycle 

A secure development lifecycle (SDL) is a different way to build products; it places security at the fore during the application or product development process. From design to requirements, testing to coding, the SDL builds security into an application or product at every step in the development process. SDL includes security requirements, security testing activities, and threat modelling, and answers the questions to enhance your overall security culture.  

If you’re at a crossroads, Microsoft has released the details about its SDL for free. It comes in particularly handy because many industry SDL programs are based on the Microsoft program. A good place for the SDL is within a product security office. If you do not have one, it makes sense to invest in one. A product security office provides central resources to deploy your security culture. Think of the product security office as a consultancy to teach engineers about the depths of security, not just somewhere where everything IT takes place. 

5. Reward and Recognise People that Do the Right Thing 

Always celebrating success and rewarding those that do the right thing goes a long way toward creating a company culture for security. It not only shows that you care about your employees but fosters an environment where workers will do the right things if they know there is an incentive in place. Once an employee has gone through a security awareness program reward them with some time off or a staff away day to foster a sense of community spirit.  

Security should also be made a career choice within your organisation. Investing in people will not only prove fruitful further down the line but will also strengthen your organisation and bolster its reputation. Offering to fund the education of staff so that they can better their knowledge while improving the overall security of your organisation is a good way to team build. Offering them the opportunity to secure a bona fide qualification at your expense, not only makes them feel inclusive and respected, but gives them the idea that they are invaluable to your organisation which could lead to a promotion.  

6. Make Security Fun and Engaging to Help People to Learn it 

The last point to consider is ensuring that you make security fun and engaging to help people learn it. People associate security with complex coding or topics to learn, or just simply believe that its boring and don’t want to waste their time.

To ensure a sustainable security culture, it’s important to build a fun and engaging element to all learning processes. Ensure that your ‘lecturer’ has a nice, friendly, and fun tone. There’s nothing worse than being dictated to by someone who is dull, monotone, and boring. Ensure that any PowerPoint presentations or videos are fun and colourful while still delivering the message. If you host events, seminars, or group sessions, make them fun and engaging.  

How RiskXchange Can Help Your Security Culture 

A security-first culture can only come from the top down. Once your workforce recognises that the CEO and company executives believe in cybersecurity, they’ll soon follow suit. Leading cybersecurity firms like RiskXchange are always on hand to ensure that your business is able to establish a strong security culture.  

RiskXchange itself heavily invests in its workforce by prioritising employee training and development to enhance their skills and enable them to deliver the best possible service to customers. In addition, the company is committed to fostering a positive workplace culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

RiskXchange understands the overwhelming nature of cybersecurity threats and compliance issues that businesses face, regardless of their size. In response, RiskXchange has meticulously crafted its service to be refreshingly straightforward. Clients do not need to possess specialised cybersecurity expertise to navigate the complexities of protecting their businesses. The company’s comprehensive range of user-friendly and simple services empowers clients to confidently utilise their solutions without unnecessary complications. 

RiskXchange’s commitment extends beyond monitoring clients’ cybersecurity posture and compliance. The firm also diligently monitors their supply chain, ensuring that all vendors and partners adhere to best practices. This capability provides significant relief for companies relying on extensive networks of suppliers and partners, as it can be challenging to keep track of everyone’s compliance status

In the event of any issues, RiskXchange offers expert guidance on resolving them, eliminating the need to hire expensive cybersecurity professionals. Moreover, with their 24/7 monitoring, RiskXchange maintains constant vigilance for potential threats or compliance issues. This proactive approach enables the prevention of problems before they even arise, granting clients peace of mind and enabling them to focus on the smooth operation of their businesses. 

Creating a Company Culture for Security FAQs 

How do you build a strong security culture? 

Creating a company culture for security comes from a set of security-related norms, attitudes, values, and assumptions that are inherent in the daily operations of a business and are reflected by the actions of all those that are part of the organisation.  

What are examples of a strong security culture? 

Security should be everyone’s responsibility. A strong security culture comes from recognising that effective security is key to business success; establishing an appreciation of positive security practices among workers; aligning security with business goals; and articulating security as a core value rather than as a sideshow.  

What is a strong security culture? 

An effective security culture ensures employees engage with and take responsibility for security issues; ensuring the levels of compliance improve; the risk of security incidents and breaches is reduced; employees are more likely to identify and report activities of concern; workers feel a greater sense of security; and, finally, security is improved without a huge expense. 

Get in touch with RiskXchange to find out how to establish a strong security culture in your organisation.