For something as vital as cybersecurity, you need more than annual training. But don’t get overwhelmed, especially if you feel like you’re not a tech expert yourself. There are simple systems you can put in place to help you build a culture of security.

You may have tried to build an overall company culture at your business; it might include things like encouraging open communication, creating a positive work environment, and supporting team collaboration. 

Each of your values or key parts of your culture make your business a better place to be—security culture can do the same.

Why Consistency Truly Is Key: The Whys Behind Creating a Security Culture

Have you heard of Ebbinghaus’s Forgetting Curve? The research by German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus shows us why it’s vital to make security a part of your culture. Here’s what he learned about the power of forgetting:

  1. If we learn something new but don’t make an effort to practice or apply the information, we’ll quickly forget.
  2. People forget the most immediately after learning. There’s a steep drop in “information retained” right after learning.
  3. It’s easier to remember something that has meaning (hint hint: culture).

This is why annual security training just doesn’t work. There’s little to no follow-up and your employees have almost no reason to “care” about the training. They might feel concerned about how many cyberattacks are happening, but they’ll quickly brush it off with “well, I use two-factor authentication.”

For your business to take advantage of the benefits of strong cybersecurity, you need to create a culture that promotes security. You’ll want to establish a “security first” attitude by making sure everyone knows why security matters and how their actions can help keep their colleagues, clients, and your business safe.

How You Benefit From Better Cybersecurity

  1. With the average cost of cyberattacks rising year over year—it’s expected to be $5 million in 2023—you have to protect everything you’ve worked so hard to build. Security tools give you a wall of protection against cybercriminals and natural disasters.
  2. Build customer trust by showing them you take their privacy seriously. Employees will be able to work confidently, knowing that their information and your data is safe.
  3. When consumers know you take care of their data, you protect your brand reputation. 72% of U.S. shoppers are less likely to buy from a brand again after feeling like the company didn’t do enough to protect their data.
  4. Compliance is an important part of security but it can feel like a chore. And if you ignore compliance, you can be hit with hefty fines. By putting a focus on good security, you’re less likely to deal with compliance issues.
  5. Better security leads to less downtime and troubleshooting. Increase your productivity by teaching your employees cyber hygiene practices.

5 Tips for Creating a Security Culture

The goal of security culture is for every team member (including yourself) to be aware of the latest threats and how to handle them. Here are five tips you can use to create a security culture:

Work From the Top Down

It’s easy to forget that as the leader, your decisions set an example for the rest of the team. Make security a priority and get everyone on board by being vocal about why it matters. 

Sign up for a cybersecurity newsletter, take 30 minutes a month to educate yourself on security trends, and share what you learn in team meetings.

Train Everyone on Cybersecurity Basics Frequently

It doesn’t have to be more than basic cyber hygiene practices like using strong passwords, creating backups, and knowing how to recognize phishing emails. If you have an in-house security team, encourage them to send out a weekly security tip and plan short monthly cyber training.

If you don’t have an in-house team, you can partner with a managed service provider who can provide training and security services.

Create Security Guidelines and Make Them Accessible for Your Employees

Just like you might have a company mission statement and steps on how you’ll accomplish that goal, create a security policy to clearly outline your expectations for staff. You can create a simple security mission statement and list the actions your team takes to protect consumer data.

Communicate the Benefits of Security, Not Just the Fears

While the idea of losing their job due to a data breach may be motivating for some employees, it feels far away or unlikely. But if you can show how using email security tools will save them from having to weed through junk mail, they’ll be more likely to take it seriously.

Make Security Fun and Interactive

People love competition so see if you can make security into a game! Simulate security issues by adding fake phishing emails or malware into their inboxes and see how long it takes them to recognize the problem. 

For example, create a fake email from an unknown sender with a link to a malicious website and see how fast they can spot it.

Encourage employees to share any security tips or tricks they’ve picked up and offer rewards for those who find creative solutions. The more you can make it feel like an ongoing activity, the higher your employee engagement will be.

Build Your Security Culture With Nexus IT

Cybersecurity can feel like a constant to-do list item, rather than something that can benefit you, your employees, and your customers. That’s why Nexus IT is here to help. 

Our cybersecurity experts can help you create a security culture and develop the resources you need to keep everyone informed and educated on the latest threats.

Schedule a call with our team to find out more about how you can benefit from security culture.