The amount of cybercrime is rising and doesn’t seem likely to slow down any time soon. According to StatsCan, the amount of reported cybercrime rose over the last 5 years by 255%. It is more important than ever for businesses to ensure overall cyber awareness across the entire organizations to reduce cybercrime. Many cyber threats target enterprises with ransomware attacks, which can cost millions of dollars. On top of that, organizations need to adhere to compliance regulations like GDPR.
Improving cyber awareness across your entire enterprise, at its core, is about educating your users and stakeholders about cyber threats. So, how can enterprises boost overall cyber awareness at an enterprise level?
1. Get Buy in from Necessary Stakeholders
Getting buy in from your organization’s stakeholders is important to boosting overall cyber awareness. At small businesses, these stakeholders could include the CEO or founders, or even the CTO. At larger businesses, you may need to convince IT managers, security managers, data compliance personnel, etc.
To convince your key stakeholders to prioritize enterprise cyber awareness, you need to educate them on how important it is. To do that, create a required budget and the tools and resources requirements you need to execute your project. You can talk to your local MSP (Managed Services Provider) for more information about the price of any software or hardware you may need.
2. Create a Clear Security Policy
After getting buy in from your necessary stakeholders, you can move onto your security policies. Clearly laying out your expectations for your employees regarding the safety and security of the organization’s data and devices is essential to boost cyber awareness.
Your employees should know exactly what to do in the event of a potential phishing incident or a device loss. Make sure to create a written security policy that outlines your organization’s expectations on potential malware, avoiding phishing scams, downloading documents, storing sensitive information, and more.
3. Invest in Training Platforms
Cybercriminals are constantly coming up with new ways to access your employees’ passwords and other sensitive information. Many cybercriminals target your employees because they rely on human error to expose information. So, one of the best ways to combat cyber threats is to train your employees about cybersecurity and boost your overall enterprise cyber awareness.
Cybersecurity training should be an essential part of your employee onboarding experience to ensure that your users understand your security policies. You should introduce these policies to your users as soon as possible, as cybersecurity policies can vary from organization to organization.
There are several training platforms available with topics ranging from phishing and ransomware to data protection to device security. Most training platforms include interactive training videos that educate employees on specific cybersecurity topics. The more training programs your user is exposed to, the better your overall security will be.
4. Test Your Employees’ Cybersecurity Awareness
Testing your employees’ knowledge of cyber threats is another way to increase cyber awareness. You should continuously test your employees’ cyber awareness, even after the employee onboarding experience. One example is to test your employees by sending out fake phishing emails with trackable links. Then, if any of your employees click the link, you will know who needs additional cybersecurity training.
Another example of testing your employees’ cyber awareness is to send them cybersecurity tests on a yearly or quarterly basis. These tests can be multiple choice, matching, fill in the blank, or whatever form you come up with. These quizzes should your employees’ knowledge of topics like data protection policies, device loss policies, identifying phishing scams, and more.
5. Use Penetration Testing to Expose Risks
Penetration testing is a tactic used by cybersecurity professionals that involves attack on an organization’s infrastructure to find and report vulnerabilities. Penetration testing is also known ethical hacking because these attacks are authorized and simulated, with the end-goal of finding (and fixing) vulnerabilities within the system.
A tactic widely used by CISOs is to perform a black box penetration test. In this form of pen testing, the attacker doesn’t receive any information about the company or the environment. They take on the role of a hacker to identify exploitable vulnerabilities to the company’s stakeholders. Afterall, you can’t fix what you don’t know about. Penetration testing is one of the best ways to boost an organization’s cyber awareness, but also one of the more expensive solutions.
When it comes to improving overall cyber awareness, remember that an organization’s security is only as strong as its weakest user. Microserve is an MSP with 35 years of experience in IT services, including Phishing Security Awareness services. With Microserve’s recent partnership with Cybera to offer Terranova’s Phishing Security Awareness Platform, Microserve’s customers can be more confident in their users than ever.
Contact the security experts at Microserve today for a consultation.