7 organizational habits for a security aware culture

Setting Up A ‘Security-Aware’ Business Culture

Security awareness

For establishing a security aware culture, cyber security needs to go beyond today’s technological advancements. It should include all the users who use business technology platforms like email and messaging tools on a day-to-day basis.

Cyber criminals attack individuals first before attacking the team, to boost their chances of a successful attack. Statistics say that 97% of data breaches begin with a social-engineering attack. Even if one member in an organisation makes a mistake, the entire organisation has to face the consequences.

The main issue with the cyber-security attacks is that the first phase of the attack can go unrecognized. The spammer may harvest the credentials and access sensitive, private information after even one employee of your organisation clicks on a phishing link or opens an infected document.

The effects of the attack will only become visible after many days, or weeks, or even after many months. And by then it is too late.

To avoid such problems at your organization, a ‘security-aware’ habit is crucial. All the employees in the organisation must be aware and must know the consequences of the security mistakes they may make.

Plans for raising a security-aware culture

A security-aware culture consists of a set of behaviors, principles, and values that show the correct approach to security, every day. The culture has to become a part of the organization’s ‘genetic makeup’ and mold the approach to IT security.

A firm security-aware culture cannot be developed within a day. It is seen that, generally, it will take about three to five years to build and implement a security-aware culture with a solid foundation.

Being able to recognize the threats faced by the organization is a vital part of a security-aware culture. Employees need to be made aware about the same. Few techniques that can be followed towards this goal:

Positive reinforcement

Your staff should be guided to report any malicious activities they have came across rather than panicking and doing nothing. They should know that informing their IT teams of such experiences is a positive move.

Praise the positive

The staff which informs about any threats they come across must be praised and acknowledged. Such staff members set a good example in front of the whole organization and motivate others for doing the same.

Phishing simulations

Regular phishing simulations need to be conducted for the staff so that they will be up-to-date about the threats happening all around the cyber world.

Being practical

The top management of the organization should encourage every other member to spread cyber awareness and its importance. Security experts can share the important proactive measures and tips to follow for top-notch cyber security so that everyone can use it and dangerous attacks can be prevented.

The role of security awareness drills

A consistent training needs to be followed for spreading security awareness. Such security awareness drills must include all the staff of the organization. The main elements to focus on are as follows:

Real-world samples

If real-world attacks are highlighted, then it becomes easy to understand and practically easy to remember. Even a small unrealized mistake can cause great losses and affect the entire organization.

Use of realistic content

Staff should be shown real examples with real data so that they can relate it with their own tasks. It should include how emails or messages can seem to be real but in reality, contain malware.

An up-hill challenge

The staff should be informed that this security awareness is not a once to do task. It should become an integral part of the daily tasks as threats can be experienced at any uncertain time.


There are many tools and techniques to be followed for the security measures but it’s equally important to be assisted by proactive and alert users. As Stephane Nappo has said, ‘Cyber-security is much more than a matter of IT.’

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