3rd March 2023

Successfully reaching your goal together! 7 tips for CISOs and security officers for successful security awareness in your company

Information security: Ideas for successful security awareness in the company. A light bulb floats in the middle of a table surrounded by several people. Everyone points at the light bulb.

The right measures for protection against cybercriminals

Dear CISOs and Security Officers, you already know that leaving your business unprotected these days is akin to negligence. There are far too many cyber criminals lurking, just waiting to discover a vulnerability somewhere to exploit. The damage caused by a cyber-attack can have huge consequences for you and your company. It is therefore important to take suitable measures before you are hacked. One key action is to get all stakeholders on board. Because you are only secure together!!

At some point we all become victims of cybercrime. The question is not whether we will be attacked, but when we will be attacked. The reason is that cybercriminals are becoming more and more sophisticated. Technologies are changing and cybercriminals are continually finding new ways to trick your systems and employees. If you don't act now, it's only a matter of time before a cyber-attack occurs that can do major damage to your business. It is therefore important to take precautions now and train your employees. There are a few things to consider, so that instead of being a flash in the pan, your security culture will complement your company culture and go hand in hand with it.

We have put together 7 tips for you here that you should consider in order to successfully introduce a security culture:

Basic requirements for successful employee training

The following "ingredients" form the basis of a security culture and the successful training of employees:

1. A set of rules: It is important that there is a set of security rules (Security Policy Framework) and that the specifications are complied with or implemented, accordingly. It is your responsibility to ensure that you and your employees understand and strictly adhere to your policies.

2. Processes: Processes are needed so that employees know how to proceed correctly, e.g., for reporting security incidents or updating entry and access authorizations.

3. Tools and aids: Your employees should know for example that they can already make a major contribution to security by using a password manager. You should also be sure, for instance, to procure privacy filters for the notebooks of all employees who do a lot of their work while on the go. Or a tool that is simple to use for employees to report a hazard.

These are some of the basic requirements that make it easier to implement security awareness measures in order to show employees their responsibility and win their support and thus successfully strengthen the security culture in your company. If there are weaknesses here, there will also be major weaknesses in your “human firewall”, which you should fix as soon as possible.

From goal to implementation

There are also aspects of goal setting and implementation that require your attention as a CISO or security officer.

4. Pointing out the dangers: It’s impressive when employees recognize the importance of security as they are shown the possible dangers, while also understanding their contribution to protecting the company. By communicating the topics clearly and sustainably with security awareness campaigns, you can make them part of everyday work. Remember that security is an ongoing process that requires constant attention to create a sustainable security culture.

5. Planning via measurement: It takes time and medium-term planning to establish a sustainable security culture in the company. This can be done with measurement, e.g., our Security Awareness Radar (SAR) or the Awareness Success Elevator (ASE). They let you determine unknown weak points and needs based on the assessments of all employees in your company. Based on the results, strategies and concepts can then be created as well as a roadmap. It is expedient to carry out regular measurements, not only to identify progress, but also new needs and gaps.

Involving stakeholders

Interacting with stakeholders within your company is an important part of establishing a security culture and implementing measures! All stakeholders, especially management and internal specialist departments, must be involved in the definition, planning, and implementation of the measures and support the actions for awareness.

6. Management and executives: On the one hand, managers must recognize the threats to your company and understand the benefits of training and awareness measures for all employees. On the other hand, they must ensure that in their areas all employees are allowed to spend enough time on the planned training measures and campaigns. This is because the topics must be conveyed repeatedly via different channels to anchor them.

Management must also approve the financial and human resources so that appropriate training and measures can be implemented.

7. Stakeholders from the departments: In order to do justice to all aspects, it is important to have everyone on board when planning campaigns. Optimal coordination of the requirements of the individual departments is important in order to get the necessary support from everyone.

Important departments in this context are internal communication, IT security, HR and, if necessary, legal and the department for occupational safety and security.

Act now…

… because it's not too late! You can act now and take appropriate measures to strengthen the security culture in your company and thus avoid damage. However, so that everyone really pulls together, all stakeholders must above all know what needs to be done.

Where and how can TreeSolution support you?

With TreeSolution you have an experienced and competent partner at your side. We work closely with you from A to Z. We accompany you, advise you, exchange ideas with you, and pass on our know-how to you. By measuring your information security culture, we find out where you need to act. We provide you with ready-to-use training and awareness measures tailored to you and your company and we support you in their implementation.

  • With the Awareness Success Elevator (ASE) or the Security Awareness Radar (SAR), we help you to determine the status of the security culture in your company and thus identify the direction for future training courses.
  • In our Security Awareness Club, you will receive all our material ready for use in campaigns, so that you can train your employees continuously, sustainably and over a longer period of time with less effort.
  • All of our material can be customized to meet your specific needs. That includes corporate design, your wording, and your technical terms. In addition, we can create material for you individually and according to your needs.
  • To facilitate discussions with top management, we create a presentation for you with the key points of the measurements.

No matter how big your company is and how much time you need for implementation, with our Awareness Club we offer you everything you need for security campaigns and measurements and much more. You decide how much or how little support you need. With us you have a competent and experienced partner at your side.

We would be happy to answer your questions in an initial personal meeting. We’re here to help you!

Related blogs:

Here’s a list of further blogs on the following topics:

Security Awareness Campaigns:

Measurability of security awareness measures and security culture:

Security culture:

Successful change in behavior among employees:

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