In a recent report, Cybersecurity Ventures estimated that the global cost of cyberattacks will increase to about USD 10.5 Trillion by 2025.
With that in mind, the fact that only 25% of business leaders are confident in their company’s cybersecurity awareness (according to a report commissioned by VMware in partnership with Forbes Insight) sounds intriguing – and even alarming.
More than ever, it is imperative that companies focus on building Cyber Culture and cultivate it in their workplace. The importance of Cyber Culture cannot be understated, so we created this blog post to break down this concept.
What is Cyber Culture?
Cyber Culture should be about making cybersecurity considerations an important part of an employee’s job scope. More than that, it should be embedded into their day-to-day actions and should be considered before employees make any decisions. Cybersecurity culture must be adopted so that it naturally develops amongst the behaviors and attitudes of employees and shouldn’t feel forced upon them.
All businesses need to change and adapt themselves to the evolving digital environment constantly. As a result, they must keep their Cyber Culture stable to stay relevant and meet the continually developing threat landscape.
Ideally, Cyber Culture should influence every employee’s thinking (in terms of security) as this allows the organization to develop resilience as a whole against all cybersecurity threats.
Benefits of Developing Cyber Culture
Here are just some of the benefits that come with the cultivation of a strong cybersecurity culture.
IBM, in their report, found that companies spend an average of $3.86M on data breaches as of 2020. More than half of data breaches constitute a significant portion of the costs that companies incur. In addition to the direct loss (through loss of intellectual property), companies also undergo indirect losses (through damaged brand reputation, lower customer trust, etc.).
A famous example of a data breach caused by human error is the case of Equifax. The attack led to the personal information of 148 million US citizens being siphoned off to criminals. This data breach occurred due to employee negligence and a likely lack of Cyber Culture.
If companies mitigate this problem, by enhancing their security posture, it isn’t too hard to see how beneficial the financial implications would be. The costs of raising Cyber Culture must be seen as an investment as it would prevent many different types of threats in the future, including those that are financially draining.
Increased customer retention
Customers are more likely to do business with an organization that hasn’t been exposed to multiple breaches and one where they feel their data will be safe. 88% of consumers are willing to give out their information only if they trust the company. Furthermore, a ping identity survey found that consumers are completely abandoning brands after finding out about data breaches.
When Facebook admitted to being hacked, their share value plummeted by 3% as consumers lost their confidence in the company. Between 2015 and 2016, Facebook and Google combined had lost a total sum of $100M caused by a series of phishing emails sent in by just one man. This man was able to take advantage of the employees’ lack of cybersecurity awareness and scam both companies out of a huge amount.
When companies increase customer trust, they are bound to be met with increased profits through increased customer retention. In addition to this, when a company showcases prominent cybersecurity features, it puts itself under some good light that is bound to make it seem more attractive to other consumers, thereby attracting a whole new customer group.
Increased retention of employees and boost in productivity
Like how increased cybersecurity can help organizations retain and attract new customers, it can also help keep the employees and even boost their productivity. In an organization where everyone is sufficiently trained to deal with cybersecurity threats, there is bound to be lesser stress amongst employees, increasing their productivity.
In a report, Kaspersky highlights the human side of data breaches and their effect on companies’ employees going through the data breaches. When data breaches occur, they found that around 33% of employees feel highly stressed at work. Furthermore, they found that about 24% of the leaked data is personal employee information.
As an employee, you wouldn’t want to work in an environment where you can’t even give your personal information without it being leaked to the different corners of the internet. If companies can adequately engage the employees and cultivate the appropriate Cyber Culture, they would gain the employees’ trust and increase their loyalty and productivity.
How to Build and Cultivate a Cyber Culture
There is a general misconception amongst employees in any organization that cybersecurity is something that should be left to the IT department only. They don’t seem to realize that, most of the time, they are the ones who are most susceptible to cyber risks.
Companies that succeed in building and cultivate a Cyber Culture are the ones who showcase that every behavior matters in cybersecurity. Employees must understand how big of a role they play in keeping the company from risks. By doing so, companies incorporate an “all-in” mentality amongst the employees, which makes them feel unified and included.
When companies invest time and resources in cybersecurity awareness training, employees greatly benefit as they are educated and exposed to knowledge that they wouldn’t have otherwise obtained.
Our belief, at Right-Hand, is that cyber awareness is a concept that goes beyond just the routine phishing simulations and annual training sessions. We believe that when employees are truly engaged and understand their role in protecting themselves and the business they work for, they can act as allies of their IT and cybersecurity teams.
Companies that provide effective and personalized cybersecurity awareness successfully can check compliance and security mandatory boxes while providing practical methods to raise cybersecurity awareness and develop a unique Cyber Culture.
Count on us to help your organization build a strong, effective, and long-lasting Cyber Culture!