Cybersecurity has always ranked high on the list of business priorities, but the current shift to online services and remote work has heightened its importance. Fear of a breach or fraud is rightly top of mind for business leaders, especially given that there are so many more opportunities for security breaches when people are working from home. These vulnerabilities multiply when people share a computer and or use mobile devices. These concerns keep company leaders up at night.

Invest in Cybersecurity Programs

To gain peace of mind, leaders often turn to newer technology to protect them. They’re right to make the investment because technology is essential, but it is only part of the answer. That becomes clear when you consider the results of a recent IBM study showing 95% of data breaches are caused by human error. This is an amazing statistic: it shows how essential peoples’ actions are to the success of a company’s cybersecurity programs.

Create a Cybersecurity Culture

Ensuring employees take cybersecurity seriously requires training that reinforces the company’s cybersecurity culture as well as the policies and procedures reinforcing it. As with any training, it needs to be interactive and have visual elements to make it engaging. Some sort of gaming might be incorporated to motivate employees and remind them on an ongoing basis how important it is to follow the rules.

Train Employees on Security Measures

Training programs should be developed that cover core security topics. Each training unit should address safe use of the internet, email and social media. Phishing and malware also should be covered. Perhaps most important, employees need to be trained on the specific security measures they need to take in their day-to-day jobs as well as the procedure they need to follow to ask any questions that arise.

Training needs to be conducted on the use of the company’s cybersecurity technology. For example, everyone should be trained to recognize red flag warnings and understand what they should do when they see one.

Ensure Transparency

It’s also important to be transparent about the steps the company is taking to ensure cybersecurity and to be clear about the role employees play in the process. If an attempted breach is stopped, be sure to celebrate the people involved in stopping it.  As you develop your cybersecurity training, programs and procedures, keep the following goals in mind:

  • Everyone needs to follow the company’s authorized procedures and not use workarounds.
  • Everyone needs to understand why things are done the way they are so they buy into it and are aware of what potential threats might look like.
  • Everyone understands they are accountable for performing the way they are supposed to.
  • Everyone needs to feel free to express their opinions about how the company’s measures are and are not working.

If you can do those four things, your company will have a strong cybersecurity culture that works in conjunction with your software to prevent threats. If you have questions, contact an MCB Advisor at 703-218-3600 or click here. To review our business planning articles, click here.  To learn more about MCB’s tax practice and our tax experts, click here.

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