In this age of cybercrime, your employees are the biggest risk to data or financial loss. To foster a culture where your employees do their part to keep your business secure from security threats, the business owner needs to lead the way.
Leadership involvement is crucial in improving the security habits of all employees. The business owner or CEO is ultimately responsible for any data breaches or cyberattacks. Your organization will not be secure until you are involved in understanding, planning and leading by example.
Understand Cybersecurity
Before implementing any policies, start by learning about any cyber risks that may potentially threaten your business. Then you can create a reporting process to monitor these cyber risks. To keep up with the changing nature of cybersecurity, we recommend completing an annual risk assessment for your business.
Manage Cyber Risks
Your risk management process should include cyber risks and understanding how they can impact your organization. Determine if partners and supplies could potentially introduce additional risks. Determine how your organization will respond in case of a cyberattack and then create exercises that will help protect you. Prioritize cyber-related risks to give attention to what’s most threatening.
Develop Security Standards and Policies
Create security policies for your business after reviewing industry regulations, best practices and your business risk. After developing and implementing policies, communicate them to the entire staff. Enforcing these policies will reinforce your business’s cybersecurity culture. As your cyber risks change, review and update these policies.
Budget and Fund Cybersecurity Initiatives
No matter whether you plan to hire someone, such as an IT manager, or utilize software, this will require funding.
Train Your Employees
Train your employees on the risks of cyberattacks and provide specific steps to reduce these risks. Training can be in person, through computer-based learning modules, or with practical exercises. Internal awareness campaigns can continually enforce your cybersecurity culture.
Performance Metrics and Goals
For a cybersecurity-minded culture, we recommend setting measurable performance metrics and goals. These include:

  • Completion of required training
  • Improved response to phishing attempts
  • Compliance with relevant policies
  • Avoiding risky online behaviors

Lead by Example
Do your part to protect sensitive information and access to file sharing systems. Only share what is necessary and ensure that sensitive information is kept or destroyed according to your security policies and industry regulations. Encrypt data and use passwords when transferring anything sensitive. Make sure all online accounts use strong and unique passwords as well as multifactor authentication.