5 Ways to Build a Culture of Security in Your Organization

The cost of security slip-ups is significant for organizations of all types and sizes. For instance, a staggering 76 percent of U.S based organizations were targeted by ransomware in the past 12 months alone. As bad actors become more sophisticated, cybersecurity is becoming a growing concern. Cultivating a culture of security will help overcome these concerns by building overall security maturity for your organization.  

A security culture is one that encourages employees to be aware of and make decisions that are in alignment with security policies. With security at the core, organizations not only mitigate cyber risks but improve compliance with regulations such as GDPR. Here are 5 ways to get started. 

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In 2022, the average cost to a company per breach is a staggering USD$7.13 million
#1. Executive Support 

Most big shifts in any organization start at the top. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that the executive leadership team are willing to prioritize cybersecurity. This may include regular threat audits to identify critical data and system vulnerabilities. In turn, this can help you evaluate the likelihood of an attack from a technical point of view. 

How to: The leadership team should also nurture a cybersecurity-forward mindset by communicating these priorities to the entire organization. One way to get the message across is to regularly share cybersecurity news such as breaches, as well as regulatory updates.  

#2. Establish Security Policies 

A clear set of cybersecurity guidelines or policies are the cornerstone of governance and communication of cybersecurity policies. Most organizations may already have an informal priority list in their heads. But formalizing this ensures that there is a uniform understanding of the organization’s critical assets. 

How to: This document should involve all stakeholders and include procedures that anyone accessing the organization’s systems must adhere to. It can also extend to vulnerability disclosures and corporate disaster recovery procedures. Also bear in mind that this document should be regularly updated as bad actors deploy more advanced tactics. 

The executive leadership team must prioritize cybersecurity
#3. Employee Training

In addition to clear security policies and good governance, regular cyber security training every quarter is also instrumental. This may seem resource intensive but most security breaches stem from human error and cybersecurity maintenance is a constant job. Moreover, there is no point of creating an airtight cybersecurity system if it doesn’t include the most valuable organizational assets – the employees.  

How to: Cybersecurity training does not have to be costly. It can be spearheaded and conducted internally by the CTO and IT department. Alternatively, there are governmental institutions such as the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISCA) that offer online courses ranging from beginner to advanced levels. 

#4. Encourage Incident Reporting 

While it may be an immediate reaction to blame an employee for a breach, it might only deter them and others from reporting the next incident. It is also a way for the organization to avoid taking responsibility for their own cybersecurity measures. To nurture security responsibility, management should encourage everyone to report not just full-fledged incidents, but even suspicious activities that they encounter. 

How to: Start by not punishing the employee that may have clicked on a bad link or opened a suspicious email. Be clear about who to reach out to (e.g., IT department or Head of Security) for incidence reporting. By getting employees on board with this practice, security issues can be spotted sooner addressed faster. 

Regular training and practice will ensure cybersecurity becomes an integral part of company culture
#5: Practice Makes Perfect 

To build the correct cybersecurity habits, there should be a way for employees to put these processes (#1 – 4) into action using “live fire” simulations to quickly recognize and defend against real-world cyber-attacks. Ultimately, it is one thing to understand the principles of recognizing an attack, but the key is putting it into practice when the need arises. 

How to: Whether you choose to engage a third party, or run it through your own security department, it’s prudent to schedule simulations. Similar to a fire drill, running regular practices can help the organization learn from mistakes and reflect on where there is room for improvement.  


A company with a proactive security approach must demonstrate an understanding of cybersecurity and data protection laws that mandate security and privacy by design. Cultivating a culture of security ensures best practices to safeguard your deployments and prevent damaging breaches.

If you’d like to learn more about how to adopt a proactive approach to cybersecurity, our partners or our solutions, schedule a one-one-one meeting with us today. Otherwise, why wait? Try our SIMs today.   

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