Some organizations believe the right technology and processes are all they need for strong cybersecurity. However, they are overlooking their strongest defense: their people.
Hackers know that employees are the quickest and easiest route to company data. Naturally, everyone in your organization should be responsible for protecting this data. But, how can employees be vigilant if they don’t know what to look for? It’s your responsibility to prepare them for the inevitable phishing scam, ransomware attack or public wifi hack.
A Change Management Plan for Cybersecurity
An ERP implementation shouldn’t be the only time your organization considers improving its cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is a continuous battle that requires a long-term change management plan.
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You can implement all the cybersecurity control frameworks you want, but your processes will become ineffective as soon as an employee clicks a phishing link. That’s why you need more than technical frameworks – you need clearly communicated best practices and recurrent training.
Why Employees Need Cybersecurity Knowledge
- The “old ways” are easy. Imagine a world where you never need to change your passwords and you’re allowed to “work from home” at your nearest coffee shop. This is the world employees are leaving behind when they adopt new cybersecurity practices. This loss shouldn’t be treated lightly. Convincing employees to change familiar patterns will require compelling reasons. Your organization should communicate the importance of cybersecurity and emphasize what’s at stake in the event of a security breach.
- Cyber safety is a habit. Annual trainings aren’t enough. As technology grows in sophistication so do the techniques for hacking it. New vulnerabilities are created daily, and employees need to learn to recognize potential threats in all shapes and forms. Your organization should develop a continuous training plan addressing the different types of attacks each department might encounter. Some organizations go so far as to conduct simulated cyberattacks, so employees can learn from their mistakes – which is often the best form of learning.
- Access points are numerous. The increased use of mobile devices and cloud technology presents a new challenge for organizations trying to secure company data. Employees can now access this data from anywhere via their mobile phones, which are vulnerable to mobile malware and infected apps, not to mention Wi-Fi hacking. However, it’s not difficult to equip employees with the knowledge necessary to protect their devices. Your organization should gain executive support for a cybersecurity change management plan, so you can implement training and communication initiatives that result in long-term behavior changes.
A Few Notes About Communication
Communicating with employees about cybersecurity is no different than communicating with employees about an ERP implementation. Both require strong leadership that fosters trust and two-way communication. Both entail precise timing and personalization. Both necessitate an organizational change management team with defined roles and responsibilities.