LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
Steps to Build a Strong IT Security Culture
JESSICA MURRAY, ACCOUNT MANAGER
Every organization – regardless of the industry – is concerned about information security. Cyber-attacks take place almost every day, exposing important customer information. Some of these attackers go as far as extorting money from the affected organization.
No method or product can guarantee your company never suffers a security breach. However, you can take several steps to build and support a strong IT security culture. Start by concentrating on the following four key areas:
1. SECURITY STARTS AT THE TOP
When building a new culture in your organization, start with your leadership team. It would help if you had their buy-in and cooperation when making long-lasting changes. They will be instrumental in removing any challenges or roadblocks for team leaders. Equally, your leadership team will become IT security culture ambassadors, which helps motivate employees.
Next, schedule meetings with individual teams and explain the new culture in terms they can understand. Make it personal and clearly explain how a cyber-attack can affect the business. Doing this will ensure every person within the company understands their role in preventing cyber incidents.
It will also help to have your HR team craft an onboarding experience that prioritizes the importance of good security habits. Your documentation team can also develop a security manual with basic policies and principles. Everyone will find it easier to follow your guidelines when they can quickly refer to the manual when they encounter any issues.
2. START SMALL
Contrary to what most people think, cyber security doesn’t have to be expensive. You can always start small and slowly build a strong IT security culture. After all, the most vital element to establishing a good culture is changing people’s attitudes.
The first step is ensuring your employees can make secure decisions with minimal supervision. Explain to them how to identify the most common cyber-attacks – including system intrusion and phishing emails that start 91% of cyber-attacks. Doing this doesn’t have to cost you a fortune since you can use your in-house IT team to educate other employees.
Second, consider incorporating the right tools to help your employees keep up with good security habits. For instance, a password manager allows employees to have strong, unique passwords for their accounts. Because they get to do this independently, it gives everyone a greater sense of responsibility and control.
Finally, listen to what your employees have to say. Give them clear directions on how to report any suspicious activity. It will also help reward employees who speak up whenever they spot potential security issues.
3. DEVELOP CLEAR POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Policies and procedures act as guidelines that help your organization shape employee behavior and company culture. They can include a list of what should be done in specific scenarios, what is prohibited, and what is allowed. Therefore, both managers and employees are responsible for the success and failure of these policies and procedures.
Start with developing clear policies and procedures that prioritize protecting data and IT assets. Add them to the employee handbook and ensure every employee understands them. You will quickly build a strong IT security culture when you have easy-to-follow policies and procedures.
Complicated and overwhelming policies, on the other hand, will create a toxic security culture. They will add unnecessary roadblocks to the execution and completion of tasks. Improper development of policies and procedures will also harm your business’s reputation since your employee handbook reflects company goals and values.
Finally, identify areas where automation and security can go hand-in-hand to make employee work easier. Incorporating automation with cyber security in daily processes will significantly improve your organization’s IT security culture. Therefore, automate as many procedures and processes as possible.
Consider establishing and configuring companywide password policies. You can sign in with a Microsoft 365 admin account and set employee passwords to expire after a specific period. It will also help to dictate the complexity of the passwords to ensure your accounts are not easily hacked.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is also an effective option for protecting accounts within your organization. According to industry research, users with MFA are up to 99% less likely to experience account hacks. Right from the name, MFA blends at least two distinct factors. One is usually your username and password, while the other could be something you have – like a keycard or USB – or something you are – like iris scans and fingerprints.
Look for areas or processes you can automate. Apart from speeding up the work, it improves security and reduces employee burnout. A healthy workplace with happy employees and a reduced workload increases your revenue, thus protecting your bottom line.
Get Started Building a Strong IT Security Culture Today
Building an enterprise-wide IT security culture is critical to safeguarding your organization. It can save you millions of dollars while alleviating years of problems and improving your company’s reputation.
Luckily, Lutz Tech is here to help. We offer business solutions to ease your mind and invigorate your success. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JESSICA MURRAY + ACCOUNT MANAGER
Jessica Murray is an Account Manager at Lutz Tech. She began her career in 2010. She establishes and maintains business relationships and serves as the point of contact for Lutz Tech customer needs. In addition, she communicates the progress of IT initiatives and ensures project objectives are met on time.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Client Relations
- BS in Management Information Systems, Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, IA
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