Advanced technology has brought many solutions for businesses. At the same time, it’s created greater potential for criminals to engage in cyberattacks. Cyberattacks have become so commonplace that it’s becoming one of companies’ highest priorities. In fact, about 40% of companies claim that cybersecurity is and will continue to be the top priority in their budget allocation for technology reporting. With almost one-third of businesses in the U.S. have suffered a data breach, companies are realizing that they need to do more than address cybersecurity issues on the technical end. It’s equally important to build a cybersecurity culture among the employees. That’s because human error is the top cybersecurity risk in the workplace.
Regardless of the cause of cyberattacks, every company should have a cybersecurity program. The business benefits of having a cybersecurity program far outweigh the risks and fallout of having to deal with a cyberattack which could damage the company in various ways, many of which could take a long time to recover from. More than half of data breaches result in significant costs, sometimes including lost revenue and may result in long-term impact on your company’s reputation.
Importance of Creating a Cybersecurity Culture
As research has told us, the human factor in a cybersecurity program is the weakest link. Anthony Dagostino, who is the head of Global Cyber Risk at Willis Towers Watson, states that about 60% of cybersecurity incidents within the workplace can be attributed to human error. Part of the issue is due to a lack of continuous training. Employees that don’t regularly handle personal or sensitive information don’t always understand the importance of protecting information even when someone tells them they need to do it.
Spear phishing can be a big problem in the workplace. Spear phishing is a cyberattack that occurs when someone sends emails to employees in a workplace that appear to be coming from a known or trusted sender. The receiver may believe that the email is legitimate and respond by sending confidential information back. The other thing that can happen is when an employee opens a link or attachment, it downloads malware onto their work computers.
Failing to take care with passwords also opens up companies to cyberattacks. A report by SailPoint states that 65% of employees admitted that they used the same password in multiple locations. About 32% of workers said they shared passwords with their coworkers. Companies that fail to address issues where employees have haphazard password habits opens up the business to cybercrime.
The best way to mitigate cyber risk is to develop, monitor and build a strong cybersecurity culture that encourages employees to practice good cybersecurity habits. Creating a cybersecurity rich culture requires having regular trainings so that the concepts are always fresh in the employees’ minds.
Business Benefits of Practicing Strong Cybersecurity
Technical fixes and developing a cyber risk culture are good company defenses on the front end. The greater the defense upfront, the more benefits companies will see on the back end. Here are some of the benefits of practicing strong cybersecurity in the workplace.
Having a strong cybersecurity program will improve your company’s brand. You’re more likely to be able to enter new business ventures with clients that will have a greater level of comfort and safety in knowing that you’re educated enough in the discipline of cybersecurity to invest in the proper technical security, products, solutions, and vendors. Companies that value security help to build strong customer trust.
Most corporate leaders believe that a strong cybersecurity program will increase speed and profitability to market. Around 87% of companies in an ISACA survey said that they believed strengthening their cybersecurity program would increase profitability or viability. The same survey indicated that two-thirds of organizations that successfully implemented a cybersecurity culture with substantial employee buy-in said they reduced cyber incidents.
Your company is less likely to be attacked when you develop a strong cybersecurity program. Sharon Nelson, attorney and president of cybersecurity firm, Sensei Enterprises, states that you can reduce phishing attacks by 20% simply by providing cybersecurity training to your employees. The more that employees understand their role in keeping the organization safe, the more they’ll be willing to work with you to prevent and remove threats.
You can count on increased protection for your business, your customers, and your employees when you have a strong cybersecurity program. Malware can slow your system down to a crawl or shut it down completely. You will experience less system downtime when you don’t have to contend with malware or ransomware. If you host your own website, a cyber breach could force your website to shut down completely.
If your company is the unfortunate victim of a cyberattack, you risk transmitting the virus to your customers which could result in loss of revenue and reputation. Cyber threats also impact your employees. About three of five employees are impacted by a data breach. One out of five eventually becomes a victim of identity theft or fraud.
Quick Solutions to Bolster Your Cybersecurity Program
There are plenty of things that you can do right away to start or improve your cybersecurity program. Work with your IT specialist to make sure that your security software is up to industry standards and they’re current. It’s your first-line defense against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
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Set up a system for two-factor authentication to protect access to accounts. Limit access to personal or sensitive data to only those employees that need to access it to perform their core duties. Establish clear rules for what companies can and can’t install and store on their work computers. Have regular discussions with employees about how to detect suspicious links in emails, tweets, posts, online ads, and attachments even if the source looks credible. Establish a protocol for notifying management if any employees notice anything strange on their work computers. Once again, don’t neglect the importance of setting up and monitoring a cybersecurity culture. By investing your time, energy, and funds in a cybersecurity culture, your greatest weakness can become your biggest asset.