Cybersecurity Awareness Barriers

Category: Featured , Data Security
Author: Josh Isley

The best cybersecurity plans start with people, not systems. However, many employees fail to see themselves as valuable member of the cybersecurity team. Contrary to popular opinion, cybersecurity extends beyond the department of information technology. Every member of an organization has a role to play in protecting the frontline of the company’s infrastructure. Solid cybersecurity awareness begins with an understanding of those roles and responsibilities and how nontechnical employees can contribute on a daily basis. However, employees often have doubts about their ability to contribute, creating barriers that hinder cybersecurity education and growth. In this article, we will list a few of the reasons that create barriers and how to overcome them.

“I lack technical knowledge”

While IT and HR departments have made significant strides in cybersecurity management, the scale in which cybersecurity must be implemented is beyond what those two sectors can maintain. Being “tech-savvy” doesn’t define being a key cybersecurity contributor. There are many key elements of cybersecurity that involve nontechnical education and awareness. All employees should be equipped to manage the following points:

  • Spotting phishing campaigns
  • Maintaining quality password control
  • Establishing two-factor authentication
  • Reporting suspicious activity
  • Provide feedback and solution ideas on major and minor security issues

“My schedule is too busy”

Budgets and schedules have a typical commonality in the fact that they always seem to be tight. Business owners and employees alike often have many responsibilities that keep them in a constant state of motion. However, just as taking time to formulate constructive budgets is essential, scheduling time for cybersecurity training is just as critical. Cybersecurity is the guard that protects all valuable assets that keep the enterprise running. The downtime caused by a ransomware attack is usually several days and can cost millions of dollars to repair. All this loss of revenue and production could have been spared by taking as little as an hour to train employees on proper awareness.

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“We’ve never focused on it before”

Many times, the culture surrounding a company can dictate how cybersecurity is managed. Nontechnical employees often feel like it’s not their place to start an initiative regarding cybersecurity. However, changing the cybersecurity culture doesn’t have to start at the top nor does it have to reside within an IT department. Changing a culture starts with someone recognizing a problem and initiating conversations towards finding a solution. Even without any form of cybersecurity, employees can still do their part by always looking for ways to protect company data. Any employee that feels like data, banking information, or other assets are at risk should speak up and let their voices be heard. They could potentially save their company a great deal of trouble by catching a threat before it becomes a real issue.

Conclusion

These points can be a struggle for many organizations. It’s important that strides are taken towards breaking these barriers down and creating a sense of urgency for all employees when it comes to cybersecurity. Many organizations fall into the trap of believing, “It’s not going to happen to me.” Don’t let your organization fall victim to this line of thinking. Regardless of your role, do your part to ensure your business is educated and prepared for any threats that arise.

July 15, 2020
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