By this point, everyone knows how important security is to companies and organizations, especially with our modern dependence on security and technology. There were about 1,500 data breaches in the United States in 2019 alone. But while security is mainstream and widespread, there are a number of organizations out there that have not adopted a security culture. Creating a company culture for security is more crucial than ever.
Security culture refers to the type of atmosphere your company creates to encourage data security when employees are on their own. For example, do your employees know how to make sure that a new product is secure prior to release? Your employees need a security culture in order to understand the right thing to do in order to maintain and improve data security.
Creating a company culture for security
But what does creating a company culture for security actually look like? You need to invest in creating a sustainable security culture that is deliberate, engaging and rewarding and provides a return on investment. We recommend the following tips for creating a security culture at your company:
Make it clear that everyone is responsible for security. Many companies believe that just the security department is responsible for security, but security culture asserts that everyone in the organization is responsible for security. We recommend achieving this mentality by including security in both your mission and your vision.
Focus on security awareness. Security awareness is all about teaching your team the basics of security. It is crucial that everyone at your organization understands how to judge security threats. Awareness should be an ongoing process, so don’t stop at one training. Instead, use security crises as opportunities to help everyone learn how to improve. Make sure that you are not holding people accountable before making them aware of security basics. Instead, teach them through an awareness program and hold them accountable after they have gained that knowledge.
Get a secure development lifecycle. If you do not already have a secure development lifecycle, also known as SDL, we recommend getting one immediately. Foundational to a solid security culture, a secure development lifecycle refers to the activities that your company agrees to perform during each system or software release, including threat modeling, security requirements and testing activities.
Recognize employees that do the right thing for security. One of the best ways to emphasize security at your organization is to search for opportunities to celebrate success. That means rewarding employees that successfully complete a security awareness program and do the right thing for security.
Make security accessible, engaging and fun. We also recommend making your security education and training as accessible and relatable to your audience as possible. Use plain and simple-to-understand language with plenty of visuals and scenarios that are relatable to your employees. You can also make the training engaging and fun by kicking it off with a game of trivia. The idea is to keep your employees actively engaged rather than simply reading through a boring PowerPoint presentation.