Security culture should be a top concern for any CSO because no matter how good and thorough the security efforts, they will inevitably fail if the company does not have a strong security culture.
Read on to find out how you can boost your security awareness program by implementing these 7 elements.
Get C-level support
Having strong support should be your top priority and you should focus on that before anything else. Obtaining C-level support will ultimately lead to increased support from the other departments, larger budgets, and more freedom.
It might be difficult to get this level of support but not impossible especially if you highlight the fact that security awareness efforts will save the company money.
Team up with key departments
A security awareness program that aims for success needs to work in partnership with other key departments like human resources, legal, marketing, and privacy and physical security. These departments usually have mutual interests and can help to make the security awareness efforts obligatory.
To make sure that you have the support of other departments, make sure that you incorporate their needs within the general security awareness efforts.
Focus on relevancy
Most security awareness programs rely on pretty standard content and training videos. Make sure that you focus on relevant information that can be used for the successful prevention of attacks. Also, include examples of hacker attacks that have become mainstream to demonstrate the relevance of the effort and motivate the users to follow the provided advice and guidance.
Collect metrics to prove success
In order to be successful, you should be able to prove your success. You need to establish a baseline with key metrics based on which you will be able to measure your security awareness efforts.
You can include surveys, examine security-related incidents, or use phishing simulation tools. When you have results that show improvements in security, it will be easier to obtain additional budget and support for the security awareness program.
Focus on improvement
Most often, security departments are all about telling people what not to do. But it will be ultimately better if you focus not only on restrictions but try to tell how people can interact with the information in a more secure way both at the office and at their homes. Do not just say not to do certain things but try to show them how to do them the right way.
Create a reward structure
By providing incentives and reward people that demonstrate appropriate security behavior, you will ensure the better success of the security awareness program and increase the engagement of the employees. Come up with as many ways as you can to reward good behavior and provide additional motivation to follow the security advice provided by the program.
Implement various awareness tools
Do not rely only on computer-based training content – use other ways to raise awareness, such as posters, newsletters, blogs, games, phishing simulations, and so on. And do not forget to take into account different demographics of the users – diversify as much as possible to ensure the success of the security awareness program.
While there is a lot more to be said about security awareness programs, this list provides a great starting point. Just keep in mind that no technology can replace poor security culture and aim to provide useful knowledge that can lead to proper security behavior.