Tips to make employees care about cybersecurity

In a world where news spreads like fire and online reputation is everything, data breaches and other cyber-attacks continue to be a huge risk for organizations, security-minded or otherwise. A data breach is a massive threat to financial stability, considering the average cost of a data breach at $3.92 million. Setting aside the financial loss, reputation takes a big hit and some may never recover. If we look at a few security breaches over the past few years, the staff is a commonly re-occurring point of failure, whether accidental or intentional.

Getting your employees actively engaging and taking part in cybersecurity awareness programs or training is a tough nut to crack. If you want to level up your security, start with your organization and its employees. Organizations need to ensure each and every employee is on the same page when it comes to cybersecurity.

Here are a handful of tips to help employees understand and care about cybersecurity:

Awareness is the key

  • Build a security-focused mindset among new hires. Start the awareness programs and training during onboarding. It is never too early to start learning good habits. As soon as a new hire joins your business, start building their habits around always considering security. It makes sense to incorporate cybersecurity awareness into the induction process as new employees are going to gain access to accounts, passwords, and learn about organizations’ policies.


  • Emphasize the importance of security at work and at home. Leadership role employees should help others understand the importance of basic cyber hygiene, not just at work, but at home as well. Employees can be taught about security, privacy, and how security can be applied in their personal lives.


  • Offer training. No amount of training can completely satisfy or educate a person, considering the pace at which technology is evolving. Every day there is a new evolution in technology for which none of us are prepared for. Hence, cybersecurity training should continue throughout the year, across different levels, tailor-made for each departments’ tasks. Many organizations tend to conduct an annual training and awareness program and decide that is enough. That is unlikely to yield any drastic positive results. To get your employees to think about cybersecurity, develop cybersecurity training and programs that are engaging and fun.


  • Cybersecurity is complex, and a lack of awareness and understanding could lead to little interest from employees. Explain the negative consequences of everyday activities and poor cybersecurity hygiene, from damaged customer trust to poor reputation and financial losses. Once employees have a basic understanding of cyber-attacks and data breaches, only then are they likely to understand the importance of cybersecurity.


  • When an employee successfully finds malicious emails or a vulnerability in an organizations’ system, reward them. Management should empathize with and understand employees who make unintentional mistakes. Do not fear employees finding faults and issues in your cybersecurity program. Encourage internal testing of your security measures. This will help organizations improve in areas where they are likely to be vulnerable.

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