How to make your employees care about cybersecurity: 5 tips

How can you talk to your employees about cybersecurity without making them fall asleep? Not always the most entertaining subject to speak on, however, cybersecurity is an issue that affects every one of your employees, and if you’re not addressing this threat the right way, chances are the impact and importance of cyber protection will be missed.

Here are 5 tips on how to engage your employees on the importance and outcomes of a great cybersecurity culture.

1. Be upfront, open and honest

Since the issue of cybersecurity is extremely broad and complex, it is very important to remove the veil of secrecy to your employees as much as possible. By shedding light on how, why and when hackers are perpetrating these hacks it can form the foundation for building understanding. Then, once an employee has some base level understanding they will begin to understand how and why cybersecurity is so important.

2. Personalize it

Though you realize the importance of protecting your organization’s information, your employees may not feel they have a stake in company data. However, if you switched the scenario around and asked your employee “how important is protecting your family and friends’ data?” you’ll get a different answer. When you make the subject personal and demonstrate the multitude of ways that cybersecurity can affect someone personally it suddenly becomes much more real. From personal bank accounts that have been hacked to the potential cybersecurity breaches of driverless cars and smart TVs, making cybersecurity personal makes people care about being more cyber secure and that will flow over to your organization.

3. Get buy-in from the top

The CISO needs to make the rest of the C-suite aware of the ramifications of a potential breach. Therefore, to have an effective and efficient cybersecurity plan, you have to have line items in the budget for people, hardware, or software, year over year which means getting the CFO, CIO, and CEO on board to approve this. Additionally, leadership ultimately sets the culture of an organization so having leadership walking the walk on the importance of cybersecurity will trickle down to all employees in the organization.

4. Offer continuous training 

Cybersecurity training should continue throughout the year, at all levels of the organization and be catered to each employees’ role. Additionally, there should be an initial onboarding type of cybersecurity training, introducing the initial needs and goals of your organization’s cybersecurity culture.

5. Stress the importance of security on all workplace hardware

Tech leaders should help employees understand the importance of cyber hygiene not just on workplace infrastructure such as their desktops but on all the organization’s properties – cellphones, telephones, laptops and iPads. Teach employees about privacy, security, and how they should be on guard at all times, even if they are answering personal calls or emails.

What other tips did we miss? Do you feel like there are different teaching approaches depending on generation of the user? Let us know your thoughts!

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UMSA Org About UMSA Org

UMSA (Upper Midwest Security Alliance) is an alliance of security and risk-related organizations. As a nonprofit founded in 2004, UMSA serves business, government and education professionals in the upper Midwest, collaborating with professional associations, educators and industry-leading companies to provide professional development opportunities that contribute to a stronger security foundation for organizations.

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