How to Gain Employee Buy-In on Cybersecurity

By November 2, 2018 Blog

how to gain employee buy in on cybersecurity

The Forbes Technology Council, a group of top-level CIOs, CTOs and other technology executives, recently released a list of seven recommendations for encouraging employee compliance with company cybersecurity practice implementation. Each suggestion was provided by a professional within their field who had applied the tactics illustrated firsthand in their industry.

  1. Begin with Employee Awareness
  2. Establish Training Programs
  3. Make Those Programs Relatable
  4. Ensure Transparency
  5. Use Video
  6. Making Training Personal
  7. Keep it Simple

These recommendations can be simplified as the creation of a successful internal cybersecurity program requires promoting and maintaining employee engagement. As far as network security is concerned, your personnel are both your business’s first and last line of defense. They are also simultaneously gatekeepers of and entryways to critical data; consequently, when employees are not engaged in cybersecurity best practices, your business becomes vulnerable.

Note that “employees” also includes C-suite executive personnel as well as other network users who can deliver access to decision-maker credentials, such as secretaries and assistants. As the recommendations provided by the Technology Council indicate, employee cybersecurity compliance is a company culture factor that must become second-nature to be effective.

Awareness

Your employees cannot defend against what they do not understand, and ignorance of the scope of threats is what hackers rely on to exploit your network vulnerabilities. All internal security programs should start with a basic education on cyber attacks.

Training

Just as with every other aspect of their roles in your business, employees must be trained in proper cybersecurity procedures to fully understand and be prepared for them.

Relatability

As said previously, ignorance is a key component of successful network breaching strategies. Ignorance of cybersecurity best practices often stems from a lack of understanding on the subject, so reframing the conversation in a way that makes sense to non-security personnel helps to bridge this gap.

Transparency

Implementing a network security strategy is the same as deploying any other organizational plan: buy-in requires transparency with key stakeholders, i.e. employees.

Presentation

Part of ensuring your strategy is relatable and makes sense to your employees is ensuring that it is delivered through channels they are connected to and a medium that grabs their attention. Whether it is through training videos or some other form of visual communication, the presentation will play a significant part in how well the knowledge sticks.

how to gain employee buy in on network security

Personal

Another tactic for making your cybersecurity strategy relatable to your employees is to associate best practices with their personal lives. For example, you can provide your personnel with educational updates on mobile security practices and how these can affect their personal and professional lives.

Simplicity

It goes without saying that in order to successfully make your business’s network security strategy relatable, transparent, and understandable to your employees, it is best to keep it as simple as possible. This may be harder to do with some vulnerabilities that may require some technical knowledge to fully understand how they may be exploited, but breaking down each step into an easy-to-follow process will be much more effective than forcing the knowledge wholesale onto each employee.

Cybersecurity is an Organizational Commitment

Adopting a network security strategy is not a superficial decision to be made, but a company-wide obligation that requires input from everyone it affects in order to be successful. As the Forbes article indicates, this is best done by ensuring each employee is informed and trained in cybersecurity best practices in a way that speaks to their role in your business.

Learn about our Phishing Defender solution our employee awareness training resources that helps prepare your employees for the inevitable breach attempt.

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