The second week of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), held every October, focuses on creating a culture of cyber security at the workplace.
The main aim is to raise awareness about the existing threats faced by organizations and promote a security culture within the organization that will help employees stay safe online and cement a company-wide security stance.
Cyber Security Facts That Will Blow Your Mind!
Cybercrime will cost companies worldwide an estimated $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.
The most common types of attacks include:
- Phishing/Social Engineering: 57%
- Compromised/Stolen Devices: 33%
- Credential Theft: 30%
They include deceptive techniques to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information or allowing malicious activities through disguised emails or websites.
In 2022, Microsoft mitigated an average of 1,435 DDoS attacks daily.
- The maximum number of daily attacks was 2,215 on September 22, 2022.
- The minimum number of daily attacks was 680 on August 22, 2022.
- The total number of unique attacks mitigated in 2022 was over 520,000.
As of 2023, 300,000 fresh malware instances are generated daily, 92% distributed through email, with an average of 49 days to be detected.
According to SonicWall, there were 493.3 million ransomware attempts in 2022, demonstrating a notable decline of 21% observed year-over-year.
The Importance of Security Awareness
Developing a comprehensive security awareness program is paramount in avoiding any security related breaches. Just like organizations emphasize on key strategic planning in their processes, security is no different as it requires as much attention.
Implementing security within the organization must start with the executive board as a top-down approach will help to highlight the importance of security for the organization. However, employees must be briefed and trained as to why security is essential, what the risks are, and how they can reduce such risks to achieve efficiency and remain secure.
“Securing a business involves so much more than plugging in various pieces of computer technology”
Plan to Introduce a Change in Security Culture
Set the Stage: Select a diverse group of participants from various departments and roles within the organization. Discuss with them the needs of your organization and themselves. Let them talk openly.
Create a Conducive Environment: Outline the current security landscape after discussion in the most adaptable way to all your employees.
Individual Idea Generation: Allow employees to submit their ideas about being secure via note cards. Ask them to write about their personal cyber threats if they were ever exposed. Keep it anonymous so that they don’t feel reluctant.
Pool in: Collect similar ideas and discuss openly with all for better reach. Promote an open discussion.
The Top 5 Tips
The following tips are from security experts and will help organizations spread security awareness among their employees.
- Find the Motivation
Knowing about security is vital. Nowadays, people are commonly exposed to password challenges, phishing, data theft among various others threats. By addressing security concerns and risks, employees can better protect themselves against such risks at work and at home.
- Create Competition
By creating a healthy competition within the organization, employees will be more engaged and take security measures seriously. Not only will the employees be motivated to adapt security measures, they will promote it to others and compete to have the best security to safeguard their online presence.
- Form Security Awareness Allies
Ensuring security measures are taken seriously is not the sole responsibility of the security team. Other departments must be involved so that everyone is practicing the same measures and leaving no space for a breach.
- Empowering Employees to Take Initiatives
By empowering employees within the organization and recognizing their initiatives, motivation levels will increase, which will likely lead to efficiency. Many employees prefer empowerment over monetary benefits.
- Keep it Simple and Aligned to the Business
The objectives of your business must be clearly defined and processes must be aligned to achieve business objectives. Every employee must be made aware about their priorities and security is no different as the value of security must be instilled in processes to protect the overall organization.
By fully understanding and implementing these tips, businesses will go a long way in securing their online presence while being competitive in the market.
Reinforcement+Reward Works Best Together!
Planning, designing, and then implementing is not enough! We need continuous reinforcement for a culture to last and live in each of us. But what could be done in an organization? That’s simple and will not cost you much.
Introduce Interactive Training Modules
Design training modules with rewards, such as games and applications that benefit those better at keeping up with the security challenges. This keeps the retention level high.
Security Champions Program
Make Security Champions who are responsible for advocating security awareness within their respective teams and serving as points of contact for security-related inquiries. Let them pass the role to the one who performed well after some time.
360 degrees Feedback Portals
Design a portal that ensures that insider threats are reported if found. Keep the portal anonymous so that employees are not afraid to report. Once the issue is resolved, ask them to take charge and explain what made them raise their voice. Respect their effort and reward, respectively.
Phishing Awareness Challenges
Organize regular phishing awareness challenges within the organization. These challenges involve simulated phishing attempts to test your employees’ ability to identify and report phishing emails.
Embed Secure Values for the People After You!
This year, the theme of Cyber Security Month is Secure the World. Only by adopting the best cultural values can we secure the world. Keep your passwords secure, enable multi-factor authentication, beware of phishing, and upgrade your softwares.
To be free, learn to be secure!