Organizations, whether non-profit, governmental, or corporate in nature, are accountable for safekeeping client information, making sure that sensitive data is not compromised by falling into the wrong hands. Technology has revolutionized our security standards. Consequently, end users are often perceived as the weakest links in any given organization. Some news headlines have gone as far as suggesting that artificial intelligence will save businesses from the hassle of training end users in security awareness. Such discourse posits: Why trust humans, if machines can do it better, right?

Human Behavior Matters

Terranova puts human behavior at the very forefront of its mandate. Information Security Awareness necessitates more than cutting-edge technology, it requires people who have been properly educated in carrying out best practices for cybersecurity, who feel confident in their actions and know to raise a red flag when something seems wrong. Information security awareness requires an overarching culture that brings together different departments and knowledge to form effective learning opportunities for cybersecurity and making sure that each end user works toward becoming a security champion or ambassador.

Instilling a Culture of Security

In Human Behavior and Security Culture, the Tuck School of Business (Dartmouth College) reveals the intricacies that make up a security culture within businesses, and how employees play a leading role in achieving such goal. Here, we have selected three main insights that clearly demonstrate the connectivity between human behavior and security culture.

  1. “Culture is a security tool.” The article emphasizes, “An organizational culture that values sound security practices is far more effective than regulations that simply mandate them.” This means that regulations alone are not sufficient to ensure a company-wide culture of security. When employees are taught the essentials of security awareness best practices and are encouraged to apply learned behavior in their daily tasks, the entire organization benefits. Culture is about getting employees and departments involved in security awareness. It is also about making security part of the visual landscape through communication material and interactive exercises. Instilling a security culture throughout your business signifies that you are investing in your workforce to internalize security awareness best practices, thus successfully achieving behavior change.
  1. “Teach employees to think for themselves.” In other words, organizations that empower employees through successful learning opportunities find that their security awareness culture is stronger and more meaningful. Employees acquire confidence when they are given room to assert their security behavior and understand the responsibilities that come with such role. You also optimize learning when you enable employees to apply learned content in daily routines.
  1. “A tidal wave of consumer devices.” In recent years, with the rise of BYOD, it has become common place for employees to use personal laptops and smart phones for work purposes. As more businesses are embracing such trend, the need for relevant training has risen. Terranova’s Complete Solution offers several security awareness libraries, covering a wide array of topics from information security awareness essentials to general privacy. Each subject tackles a different aspect of cybersecurity, including best practices when using smart devices or working remotely.

Overall, human behavior is at the center of everything we do at Terranova. We believe in employees’ ability to learn and grow into important actors for your business. A thriving security culture signifies that information security awareness happens at end users’ desks, but also around the water cooler, in weekly team huddles, or after lunch, on our way back to the office. The goal is to make best practices for information security second nature. Your business. Your vessel for a successful security culture.