It is time to get serious about fighting cyber crime within your organisation.
In today’s changeable cyber security landscape, businesses need to go one step further than just acknowledging the ever-increasing threat of cyber attacks.
They must have guidance and frameworks to ensure every staff member has the tools and knowledge to act quickly and appropriately following an incident — or risk paying the price.
Not only will improving cyber security awareness help to minimise the impact and spread of an attack on your servers, but it can also have several benefits for your bottom line — from increasing uptime and productivity to maintaining a positive reputation and reducing the likelihood of facing a compliance fine.
So, we have outlined five crucial steps every business should take to reinforce their cyber defences — both in the short and long term…
1. Foster a culture of cyber awareness
A recent IBM survey found that human error is one of the leading causes of breaches, meaning every person in your company has a part to play in defending against cyber attacks.
Whether you are a business leader, manager or employee, securing systems and preventing hackers from breaching networks falls on everyone’s shoulders — not just your IT department. As a result, it is crucial to develop a cyber-aware company culture so that cyber security is considered in all your activities and not only when a disaster strikes.
To reduce your risk of breach, clearly communicate your cyber policies, implement regular training (for all staff) and ensure everyone understands the importance of keeping security in mind during decisions relating to technology.
This way, you will create the right behaviours and encourage all teams to view cyber security as a priority rather than a nuisance.
2. Demonstrate good cyber hygiene from the top down
All the technology and software in the world cannot keep your business secure without a collective effort from everyone in your company.
You need all staff — from the C-suite to reception — to understand the importance of cyber security to prevent hackers from launching successful social engineering scams against your company. That means enforcing (and demonstrating) good cyber hygiene across the board.
In practice, this might involve changing passwords regularly, avoiding following links or downloads from unknown sources and regularly backing up data. Everyone can and should take these simple actions, starting with your organisation’s leaders.
More often than not, people will choose convenience over security — so senior staff needs to lead by example. If employees see their managers following cyber security best practices regularly, they will likely follow suit.
Equally, managers should be receptive to relevant feedback from their subordinates and encourage workers to come to them with their concerns to increase the chance of catching a breach before it can do too much damage.
3. Make cyber awareness a regular part of training
Education is the cornerstone of cyber security awareness. So, it is crucial to implement mandatory training sessions for all.
These training programmes should be introduced from the onboarding stage and regularly evaluated to ensure they include the latest guidance on compliance and best practices. Remember: not everyone understands the techy stuff, so ensure all training is delivered in a jargon-free, engaging way to guarantee that every team is on the same page.
It may also be worthwhile to engage reluctant employees by offering incentives for good cyber behaviours, such as rewarding staff for reporting breaches.
By enforcing training and encouraging all workers to take ownership of data protection, you can significantly reduce the risk of human error and keep your critical systems secure.
4. Understand the biggest threats to your business
With more businesses undergoing digital transformations every year, everyone in your company must understand how cyber crime might impact the organisation.
The first step to achieving this is identifying the main weaknesses within your systems, which attack types you might be vulnerable to and how to spot them.
According to the National Cyber Security Centre, ransomware is the most acute cyber threat the UK currently faces. Phishing is also high on that list — accounting for 83% of attacks in the government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022.
Of course, every business’ IT infrastructure is unique and will face different threat vectors. For example, remote workers might be more exposed to hackers — in which case it will be vital to set cyber security standards and expectations for using personal devices on unsecured networks to minimise human error and insider threats.
Still, all employees should know one thing: how to access cyber security resources — from reporting suspicious emails to actioning disaster recovery plans…
5. Implement a robust and up-to-date cyber strategy
Having a well-thought-out cyber strategy is key to raising in-house cyber security awareness and should be a top priority for every company.
A good policy will set out what actions to take in the event of an attack and ensure a system is in place for identifying, reporting and analysing malicious activity. It will also provide visibility over entire IT infrastructures and guarantee every process change is communicated to all teams.
Without these frameworks, which should be simple to understand and hard to bypass, a breach could go undetected for months and cause irreparable damage — leading to compliance fines, dissatisfied customers and loss of revenue.
However, in today’s ever-changing cyber landscape, developing and maintaining a robust cyber strategy can be a mammoth task — often too time-consuming to manage internally.
So, we advise enlisting the support of cyber security specialists to ensure your IT strategy is effectively improving your organisation’s cyber resilience and allowing you to reinforce systems in response to evolving threats.
Ready to boost cyber security awareness in your company? Email our cyber security consultants at email@example.com or call 01252 843014 to discuss your needs today.