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Security Culture: Bringing It To Your Business

Renee Johnson
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The main purpose of a security culture is to promote change and better security, hence it must be disruptive and intentional in its actions.

A company’s security culture must be nurtured. It doesn’t grow organically in a good way. Invest in a security mindset. A lasting security culture transcends a single incident. Securing an organization becomes a priority when a security culture is sustainable.

Security culture has four characteristics.

  • First, it is purposeful disruption.
  • Second, it’s entertaining. People want to be part of a fun and challenging security culture.
  • Third, it has rewards. To commit time and effort, people need to know what they will get in return.
  • Fourth, it makes a difference.

Security is done to improve the business and reduce vulnerabilities. Those outcomes must be evident.

A good security culture explains how security influences the items that your organization provides to others. Those offerings can be products, services, or solutions, but they must all be secure.

A strong security culture is long-lasting. Therefore, it’s not a one-time affair, but part of everything you do.

What is a security culture?

The main answer is something we all know.

Humans are the weakest link in any system. Security culture is for humans, not computers. The computers do as we instruct them. However, the issue is with individuals who click on emails and believe anything they hear. Humans require a framework to understand security.

Overall, people in your organization are good people who need to be taught. Fortunately, there are steps any organization can do to improve its security culture.

1. Teach that everyone’s security is important.

Many corporations believe the security department is in charge of security. A strong security culture demands buy-in from all employees. Furthermore, everyone must feel safe.

Everyone needs security culture. Additionally, each person, from the CEO to the lobby ambassadors, must be a part of the security culture. Security solutions and security culture are shared by all employees.

This “all in” approach can be achieved by including security in your vision and goal. People look to these items to choose their priorities.

Update your vision or goal to state that security is non-negotiable. Furthermore, stress the significance of security from the top. This includes security-related executives, as well as other C-level executives and managers.

2. Go beyond awareness.

Teaching your team fundamental security training is called security awareness. The methods used to deliver security awareness have earned a poor image. Furthermore, posters and in-person reviews can be boring.

Therefore, make your awareness efforts more creative.

An understanding of application security is required. Application security awareness is for developers and testers. They may be part of IT or engineering at your company. AppSec awareness teaches workers sophisticated training to design secure products and services.

3. Get a secure development lifecycle immediately.

SDL is the foundation of a secure development culture. For each software or system release, your company agrees to follow a set of procedures. In addition, it comprises security requirements, threat modeling, and testing.

SDL explains your security culture. Therefore, this is true security culture in action.

Customers across industries are demanding that firms have and follow an SDL. If you don’t have an SDL yet, Microsoft has made most of its SDL information available for free. Many industry SDL programs descend from the Microsoft program.

A product security office is a good area for the SDL to live. If you don’t have a product security office, consider opening one. Therefore, to deploy your security culture, this office within engineering is the hub.

In addition, we don’t necessarily want to outsource security to the product security office. However, consider it as a resource to educate engineers on security.

4. Reward and honor those who work for security.

Look for reasons to celebrate. Give a reward to someone who successfully completes the mandated security awareness program.

A simple $100 cash reward motivates people. In addition, it makes them remember the security lesson that supplied the money.

Furthermore, they’ll also tell at least five coworkers about it. After that, those five will join right in.

The concept of handing out $100 per employee may be unsettling to some. However, the cost of preventing just one data leak eclipses the $100 paid.

5. Make security a part of career advancement.

Allow team members to move into dedicated security roles. Make security a career option in your company. Furthermore, if you value security, provide opportunities for advancement for security enthusiasts.

Security advocates are persons who are passionate about security. The security-aware are less impassioned but recognize they must help. Sponsors are management personnel who help shape security policy. Therefore, form a security-focused special interest group with all of these people.

One-on-one coaching and weekly or monthly meetings to discuss security issues are a good step forward. In addition, it can even become an annual conference. Therefore, it could be a time when the organization’s brightest share their expertise and abilities on a large platform.

6. Make security enjoyable.

Last but not least, have fun.

For too long, security has been associated with tedious training. Therefore, create a fun and engaging security culture throughout. In addition, if you have security training, make sure it isn’t a dull voice-over on PowerPoint slides.

When you plan activities for your community, don’t be scared to have fun. Making security fun brings a new enthusiasm to a place where it is much needed.

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