Building a cybersecurity culture in the workplace

Building a cybersecurity culture in the workplace

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends | Contributors: Chris Jezzard (Account Executive, Ignite Technology) | Published: March 1, 2023

These three questions could fix your relationships with end-users

Security is more than just being cyber aware. Security has a human factor, and anyone who’s worked in an office environment is familiar with the disconnect that sometimes exists not only between IT and non-IT staff but also between IT tools and the person using the tools. It’s understandable, really. People naturally have different ideas about what’s important and how to get things done. For the most part, nobody talks about how one affects the other.  

How does the “human factor” affect cybersecurity?

Let’s take a deeper dive into the human factor. In the context of choosing and implementing collaboration software solutions, the “human factor” is a critical IT security variable. Why? Because end-users are often uninformed about or disinterested in security risks, leaving them most vulnerable to would-be attackers. 

A deadline, for example, can rely on information from a colleague who may not necessarily have time to help. That colleague could also be unmotivated for any number of reasons. Maybe they don’t know the deadline, or maybe they don’t understand the assignment. The examples are numerous. 

A simple task can be complicated by poor communication, misunderstanding, and lack of trust: in short, a bad relationship. Whatever the case, the outcome is the same: you can’t get your work done. It’s no different in the world of IT security and compliance. 

Is your company aware of the relationship your team has towards security compliance?

There are a few reasons why users don’t comply with IT security standards for collaboration software. Understanding the attitudes and reasons behind the behaviour is the first step. When you’re struggling with compliance in your organization, think about the relationship dynamics at play, and ask yourself these three questions to identify areas for improvement.  

1. Does the collaboration solution meet users’ needs? Were they involved in the software selection and implementation process?  

If the answer is no, you might have a group of end-users who don’t like the product and probably aren’t going to use it. That means they’re more likely to circumvent IT security policies to download and use apps that more closely suit their preferences. 

2. Are there well-developed IT security policies that clearly outline roles, responsibilities, and expectations?   

Golden rule of compliance: be clear. If your organization doesn’t have clear, plain-language policy and user sign-off processes, the odds of getting any form of compliance on a reliable basis are pretty slim. Also, incident reporting procedures should be clearly defined and communicated.

3. Have users been involved in regular, ongoing cybersecurity education and training activities? 

No? Try to remember that not everyone in the organization understands cybersecurity. Sharing knowledge and insights within an organization builds awareness and trust, and users are more likely to comply with rules that make sense to them.   

What is the end game?

Remember, your goal at the end of the day is to protect the organization’s data, infrastructure, and other assets. We already know that the absence of good working relationships and the prevalence of business friction are barriers to success for IT leaders. IT leaders who can shift people away from friction — and towards trusting, work relationships — are going to achieve higher rates of compliance and stronger cybersecurity culture as a result.

Ignite Technology is an IT solutions company connecting people and ideas through technology. Whether you’re looking for help with your organization's collaboration and connectivity experiences, cybersecurity, or managed IT services, we can help! 

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< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

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