Just how important is cyber security awareness in today’s digital age? An entire, month-long observation has been dedicated to shining the spotlight on this hot button issue. But raising awareness about cyber security can be easier said than done—especially when many people mistakenly assume the onus lies entirely with IT. As we approach October’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), the following three tips can help you overcome the obstacles, increase awareness, and ultimately fortify both your cyber security strategies and your organization at large.
There’s a lot of information out there about cyber security and cyber security awareness. Your first step? Identifying a specific plan for your organization. Cyber security is a multifaceted process which doesn’t happen overnight. What are your goals and how will you measure them? Taking these things into consideration can help you assess whether you’re on track to reach your cyber security awareness objectives.
Already have a cyber security awareness program? Don’t assume that it’s still relevant in today’s quickly moving digital age.
Many employees are unaware of the importance of cyber security, along with their roles in promoting it. Employee training is one of the most effective ways to increase cyber security knowledge and accountability across your organization. This means first delivering a message about what cyber security awareness is and it matters before drilling down to specific best practices for computer usage, internet access, and other related factors. Remember, not all employees are technologically savvy. Keeping things simple can help you deliver a message which resonates.
Also, keep in mind that no employees are exempt from responsibility when it comes to cyber security. Buy-in must be organization-wide in order to be effective.
You can’t expect your employees to follow cyber security policies if you aren’t clear about what they are. A written policy can help clear up confusion and manage expectations.
But there’s an alternate reason to integrate comprehensive communication strategies into your cyber security awareness initiatives. Cyber security breaches not only happen, but are increasing at a staggeringly high rate—40 percent between 2014 and 2015 alone, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Is your organization prepared if the unthinkable happens to you? When systems are down, the ability to reach your constituents across multiple modes of communication is priceless.
One of the easiest ways to ensure rapid and consistent communication is through the use of a mass notification service like Send Word Now. With the ability to send messages through text and phone, in addition to email, you reduce your risk significantly in the case of a network failure. Additionally, it’s a cloud-based service so your contact information is accessible even if your internal systems are down. By integrating it with your contact database, you also ensure that your contact information is always up-to-date.
While no cyber security measures are foolproof, taking cyber security awareness measures can mean the difference between succumbing to a very real threat and rising above it. But it’s not just about reducing risk. In cultivating cyber security awareness across your organization, you’re also supporting your overarching business objectives.