7 Steps to Creating a Security Awareness Culture

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As companies and organizations face cyber-attacks with increased frequency and more sophistication than ever before, the importance of security awareness training is clear. But while the information on the best practices for staying safe while using technology is out there – how do you get your team to engage with that information so they can learn to protect your organization?

Like so many things in leading an organization, achieving this goal involves making security awareness part of the culture of your team. Here are some tips for you to reinforce this lesson in your organization.

Emphasize the Importance

Simply providing the best practices for security awareness for your team won’t be enough to make those practices part of your team’s culture. To get your organization to engage with this information and ultimately make it a part of their daily routine, you need to make sure they realize why cyber security is so critical to the success of your organization.

Drive home the point by providing figures on how pervasive cyber threats are in our modern world. It isn’t hard to find high-profile examples of security breaches that have drastic ramifications for an organization. You can also explain the risks that an organization with security vulnerability faces to stress the importance of adopting security measures into your culture.

Personalize the Information

It’s essential to help people realize that the information they learn about cybersecurity isn’t just a tool for when they’re at work. The same practices that help protect your business when employees use work-related tech can also help them in their personal lives. After all, an individual’s online information, including their financial accounts, is subject to the same attack that a business can be.

Explain to your team that the same practices they use to watch out for cyberattacks while working can also protect them in their personal time. That will lead them to engage more deeply with the information as they continue to utilize it even when they aren’t working, creating a constant connection with the training they received in cybersecurity awareness.

Present Information in an Engaging Way

You’ve learned the information that you need to teach your team to give them the best practices for using tech, but just listing off this information isn’t enough to make it part of your team’s culture. Instead of providing the information in a dry format, try to think of ways to ‘gamify’ the learning experience. Interactive lessons will keep your team engaged as they learn how to protect themselves.

Another way you might drive home the importance of security awareness training is to present your team with real-world examples of cyberattacks. Some more high-profile incidents make international news headlines, with plenty of details about the attack and its consequences. These examples make it clear that awareness isn’t only for training exercises but has practical applications.

Use Hands-On Training Exercises

Once you’re confident that your team understands the security awareness training they’ve received, it’s time to put their new skills to the test. While a traditional exam can help review and reinforce information, you may also find it beneficial to present your team with more hands-on ways of proving what they’ve learned.

A valuable way to see if the information has been properly internalized in your information’s culture is to simulate a cyberattack, such as a phishing attempt. Work with members of your organization who know about security issues to create a fake phishing attempt to track how your team responds. That will give you some idea of how your team has progressed in learning security awareness.

Incentivize Security Awareness Training

Who doesn’t like to be rewarded for their excellent work? Giving incentives when you see that your team responds well to the security training you provide will encourage them to continue learning the skills they need. Tangible rewards for reaching goals in learning security awareness will go a long way toward delivering this encouragement.

There are a wide variety of ways that you can provide this incentive. Consider tracking the test results you use to review the security awareness skills your team has learned. Make it known beforehand that the group or individuals who perform best on this review will be rewarded with an incentive such as a pizza party or another special treat. Those tangible rewards will help your team feel that their efforts aren’t going unnoticed.

Reinforce What Has Been Taught

Training cybersecurity awareness is not just a one-time process like training so many different concepts. Because security threats are a constant presence, you must back up what you’ve taught your team with further learning. Otherwise, you risk your team forgetting crucial information and letting their guard down to potential threats.

Consider annualizing the training you offer to reinforce the key points of security awareness. That will help make these skills part of your organization’s culture rather than a one-time lesson that some team members might forget. Quick primers and brief quizzes on the best practices to use can also be helpful tools in keeping security awareness relevant.

Recognize Progress in Your Team

Positive reinforcement can go a long way in reinforcing a value in your team’s culture, including security awareness training. As you see your team begin to improve their practices when using tech at work, make sure to congratulate them on their progress. This will encourage them to continue improving their skills and bettering themselves in the future.

Achieving a culture of security awareness isn’t something you have to do alone. The people-first approach our team of IT experts uses will help provide the solutions you need. We’ll help you transform your company’s online practices to ensure a safer, more secure future. Contact Edafio Technology Partners today for more information!

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