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Creating a Strong Cybersecurity Culture: Why It Matters and How to Do It

There’s no question that all businesses and organizations are at risk of cybersecurity breaches. It’s one of the key challenges of the current landscape. As a result, many companies have started to adopt the core essentials of cybersecurity into aspects of their businesses. The essentials are great starting points, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that a cultural approach tends to be stronger and more agile.

What do we mean by a cybersecurity culture? Well, it’s a comprehensive approach to protection that is present throughout all aspects of the organization. It’s more than simply a range of security tools but rather incorporates responsible attitudes, awareness of the potential impact, and informed protocols into everyday operations for all staff.

Let’s dive a little deeper into why a strong cybersecurity culture matters and some of the approaches you can take to implement one.

Why Does it Matter?

Developing a strong cybersecurity culture in your business is likely to take some time, strategy, and investment. So, why is it preferable instead of simply adopting some tools or hiring security experts?

Well, some of the benefits of a strong cybersecurity culture include:

  • Holistic protection: Everybody in your business is informed and vigilant of threats. As a result, risks or areas of vulnerability may be spotted before they become problematic. If breaches do occur, the response time is likely to be faster, too.
  • Develops consumer and employee confidence: Your business will be interacting with various types of consumer and employee data. A culture in which cybersecurity features prominently in conversations and actions can build confidence that your company is protecting data effectively. This may lead to greater engagement from staff and consumers.

A culture of security is by no means an impenetrable wall against threats. Nevertheless, it makes security a part of your company’s DNA, which often makes it harder to overlook key protective measures.

Empower Your Workers With Education

Continuous cybersecurity learning must be part of your culture. After all, it ensures employees are well-equipped to handle challenges, gain the confidence to act decisively, and even innovate.

This certainly starts with providing your workers with an understanding of cybersecurity basics during onboarding. For instance, help them recognize what phishing emails look like or how to confirm websites have security certificates. Empower them with the correct responses. Hold simulations that let them practice their skills and for management to assess the results. Remember that these basics shouldn’t be one-and-done but involve regular refreshers.

Beyond the basics, embed relevant cybersecurity training into your usual employee development program. Make sure you consider how all new skills you pass on also affect cybersecurity and what new behavior employees should adopt. This is particularly vital when workers are using new devices in the Internet of Things or starting to work outside of the office, where vulnerabilities may arise.

Recognize the Challenges of Each Department

We’ve already mentioned that a culture of cybersecurity contributes to holistic strength. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a need to think granularly to make the whole stronger. While there are some consistent threats, each department will also face unique challenges. Making efforts to understand threats and find the most relevant resources is vital to your security culture.

Information technology (IT) and cybersecurity staff members should have regular meetings with each department. These should be all-hands gatherings where employees of all levels of seniority are involved. Discuss what the current threats are. Invite workers to offer insights into how their working practices might contribute to cyber threats and suggest solutions. Not only can this reduce vulnerabilities, but it also empowers everyone to feel meaningfully involved with improvements.

It’s important to pay particular attention to the C-suite, too. Cybersecurity protection at the executive level is vital because the most sensitive data can be at risk of breaches, and significant fines can result from this. This is a reason criminals often target the C-suite. Regular meetings with cybersecurity professionals should highlight the top threats executives face — such as deep fake fraud and vulnerable device exploitation — and adopt the measures that counter these.

Adopt Strong Data Policies

Cybersecurity culture also relies on good data policies. These are sets of rules, standards, and values about how all stakeholders should behave in relation to handling sensitive information. Policies that are effective on a cultural level tend to be those that leave no room for ambiguity.

Start by formalizing effective steps to protect confidential information in the workplace. This should include classifying different types of information, such as personal customer data and proprietary information. Outline the regulations for handling each and limit access appropriately to specific staff members or seniority levels. You should also set time or use limitations for storing each data type and outline data destruction methods.

Additionally, make it clear that there are consequences for breaching these policies. Don’t approach this as a threat to staff, though. Rather, share what the impact is on stakeholders and the business. From here, you can help workers understand why certain behavior will be investigated and may result in disciplinary action. This allows staff to make informed and responsible decisions when handling data.

Don’t forget to make certain that staff have easy access to these protocols at all times. Make hard copies available to all workers. Give them access to digital files stored on the cloud. This empowers staff to refer to it should they be uncertain.


A strong cybersecurity culture creates a more holistically robust barrier against threats. Building and maintaining this involves a commitment to training, solid policies, and employee cyber-hygiene engagement, among others. Remember, though, that cybercrime is a developing field. You’ll need to not just update your protection tech regularly but also assess whether your security culture is still appropriate for the risks.

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