Do you let your employees bring in their own personal devices, including unsecured laptops? You might say that you are committed to security, but if you permit these things, you leave your organization wide open to loss of data. You might think that nothing bad can happen to you, but is it really worth the risk? While staying up to date on the latest news regarding the latest malware to attack cell phones, tablets, and more, this is only a part of the bigger picture. There’s a good chance that there are causes of data loss and theft that you are completely unaware of. For instance, your employees could be taking advantage and letting in malware. While some may be unintentional, many more instances are done with bad intentions. Whether or not you can trust your employees is one part of the issue. Your major concern should be with creating a strong security plan that actively works to keep your organization safe. Here are 5 easy ways to create a culture of security in your organization.
Get the Tech Right
In order to create a culture of security, it’s essential that your organization's, and your systems, are secure. Your first step should be to take an inventory of all devices (professional and personal) that are being used to access sensitive information, as well as where this information is being accessed. Personal devices shouldn’t be used to access sensitive files. Nor should work devices be connected to free wi-fi at the local café.
If you provide your employees with work devices, make sure that they are encrypted. Mobile device management (MDM) should also be used, which enables your IT personnel to clear a device in the event it is lost or stolen. It also enables you to see how employees are using data. And geofencing provides a way to provide real time protection by restricting access to work devices when they are taken outside of a specific range.
Lockdown your in-house systems, protecting them from malwares, with web scanning tools and firewalls. You can also use SSL Certificates in order to protect communications with customers as well as protect them during credit card transactions. You should also take a close look at your SDLC (Security Development Lifecycle) to ensure the best security practices.
Identify the Biggest Security Risks
Creating a culture of security involves identifying your biggest risks to security in the first place. It might be from unsecured devices coming into the office, or it could be unsecured backups. It could also be your employees themselves. Require a screening prior to hiring, as well as a background check. Look for red flags, such as excessive job hopping, or someone who continually refuses to set their devices to ask prior to connecting to a free wi-fi signal.
Password security. Passwords provide a level of protection, but not all passwords are created equally. Have your employees regularly change their passwords, but make sure that they do not repeat old passwords. System generated passwords can help boost strength. Along with regularly updating passwords, make sure that you block access of former employees immediately after the employee leaves the company. Otherwise, former employees can easily access sensitive information. Not only that, but old passwords that have not been changed in a long time increases the risk that hackers can get in.
Application Security (News - Alert). How are your employees downloading, and accessing, personal and professional apps onto their devices? It should always be done from a qualified source (the App Store or Google (News - Alert) Play). You may also want to consider a pre-approval process for downloading apps onto work devices. And, make sure your employees know how to set up their devices to ask permission before downloading or accessing anything.
Remotely-Accessed Data. Even if your employees don’t think they are doing anything wrong by accessing their work email from a personal device on a free wi-fi connection, it can actually lead to malware attacks. Any device that accesses information from work, whether it’s email or other files, needs to be protected. One way to do prevent the proliferation of BYOD, mobile and remote work access is to leverage the use of cloud email security solution. It provides real-time threat protection through spam filtering and phishing detection, an advanced multi-layer anti-virus solution, cloud based email archiving, secure email encryption and more. It’s an email security solution designed for your peace of mind. Thanks to cloud email security, you get real-time protection. Cloud protection is always up to date with no need to download any virus signature files. It provides protection to all users the second a virus is detected.
You want your employees to know the security policy, but a heavy manual will rarely get read. Rather than giving your employees thick packets of information that are filled with technical terms and no context, provide them with customized, segmented, documentation along with training.
Skip the one size fits all policy. Employees learn and process information differently. Try creating security programs that are specific to the different roles and departments within your company, and make the point that security is an essential part of your company culture. Even smaller businesses can do essentially the same thing by catering training and documentation based on responsibilities, and the needs, of the employees.
Security is essential for everyone in your company, and should be incorporated into everyday life. In order to help foster this, make sure that your management team models the behaviors and practices that you want your employees to follow. Training is also crucial in getting your employees on board. Make it fun. Turn training into a game. Divide your employees into teams and have a trivia contest. Not only will your employees enjoy the experience, they will be more likely to remember the information and they will build up relationships with their coworkers.
Reward Employee Involvement
When it comes to getting your employees to comply with security, don’t try to instill fear. Fear tactics can actually work against your goals. Instead, incentivize. Employees are much more likely to respond to rewards. While bonuses are one way to reward them, it’s not the only one. Try offering additional days off, or a lunch with the higher ups. And, acknowledging employees for their commitments to security can give them the additional motivation to keep it up.
Creating a culture of security is more than simply its creation. It is important that you set an example for your employees and stick to the policy that has been developed as it has severe effect on brand that need long time to build. And, with some motivation, your employees will work harder toward mastering security. When it comes to security, it should be an ongoing process that is high on the minds of your employees.
Author Bio: Veronica is a tech savvy girl who loves to explore and implement the power of business applications and software. She is currently working as a senior business analyst and lives in NYC. Besides being a tech addict, she is also as avid traveler and love to share lifestyle blog.