Cybersecurity is less about what a business’ IT team does and more about the decision-making process. The growing risks to online security mean that leaders need to make wiser business decisions and rethink strategies that affect cybersecurity. Whether it’s working with contractors, upgrading software, or staying up to date with the latest threats, these are some of the primary ways business leaders can enforce a better cybersecurity practice to manage the organization’s critical information systems.
Develop a Cybersecurity-Conscious Culture
The first step to promoting better cybersecurity practices is to create a security-focused culture across the whole business. There are several ways to do this to involve all staff in collective efforts to protect the business’ systems and data. One way is to ensure that all staff members are aware of their role in safeguarding data so they feel accountable, as well as fostering an environment that enables people to share ideas and concerns, or report problems. Another is to communicate updates to cybersecurity practices and make sure that they are accessible for all members of the team.
Enforce Adaptive Systems for Remote Working
With more businesses switching to remote or hybrid models of working, it’s important to ensure that cybersecurity measures work just as effectively remotely as they do in-house.
“With remote working the new norm, it’s easy to slip into bad habits,” says Juliette Hudson, Senior SOC Analyst at Redscan. “However, with cybersecurity risks being greater than ever and remote workers lacking office protections, it’s important to maintain a high, if not higher standard, of security awareness.”
Business leaders need to promote the importance of adhering to best practices from any location, whether that’s using strong passwords, setting up two-factor authentication, using a VPN, and installing firewalls.
Maintain Regular Training and Awareness
Leaders need to invest in cyber awareness training so that staff understand the potential threats they need to avoid. There are not only technical safeguarding measures businesses can put in place, but also best practices that staff can follow to reduce the likelihood of the organization becoming a target for phishing or hacking scams. An effective training program should be tailored to each individual business and its requirements, but it’s critical that everyone is involved, including management.
Outsource to Contractors
There’s a significant skills gap where cybersecurity is concerned, which means that companies are likely to be lacking trained and experienced staff to handle attacks or threats. This is particularly true of small businesses, which might not be able to provide all of the functions necessary for 24/7 security and protection. But business leaders shouldn’t be worried about outsourcing to trained professionals to fill in these skills gaps to protect their company data and defend the business against the constant threats.
Implement a Cybersecurity Policy
An essential part of maintaining a thorough and effective security program is implementing a purpose-made policy. It raises awareness to the risks staff face, highlights possible vulnerabilities and how they can be resolved, and equips staff with the best ways to prevent issues. Senior members of the business should create a well-thought-out policy that meets the needs of the business and security needs, which may mean continually revising the policy to keep it up to date.
Leaders need to work to build resilience within the business, not just avoid the risks, as these can never be fully eliminated. This involves creating a more secure network through monitoring tools, countermeasures, and administrative controls. Managers need to review the data regularly to understand where they need to place further attention. Strengthening the armor of the business will do more to deliver protection and will also help the business recover more quickly if there are any issues.
Leaders have a primary role in any organization to set the tone for the rest of the business, and this applies to cybersecurity policies and procedures as well. From making staff aware of the threats so they can take better control of digital assets and data, to keeping training up to date and outsourcing where there are skills shortages within the business, leaders need to look to take decisive action when it comes to understanding the requirements of the information systems.
Chester Avey has over a decade of experience in business growth management and cybersecurity. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with other like-minded professionals through his writing. You can connect with Chester by following him on Twitter @ChesterAvey