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Friday, November 24, 2017

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Creating a culture of cyber awareness
OPENonline

Creating a culture of cyber awareness

Guarding against cyber threats is a challenge that businesses of all sizes will continue to face. There is much work to do, according to a MediaPro survey that found "novice" levels of cybersecurity knowledge among employees and the general public.

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have partnered on an online initiative encouraging every workplace to foster a company-wide culture of cybersecurity know-how. For vulnerable small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), NCSA created a slate of webinars and other resources to help these entities gird themselves against online attacks.

Integrating cybersecurity measures starts at the top with the c-suite or board of directors, experts say. Tell your bosses how investing in cybersecurity is less expensive than dealing with the ramifications of a data breach - in terms of both financial costs and the hit your company's reputation may take.  

Meanwhile, cybersecurity training of employees is a worthy investment for any business aiming to promote a culture of cyber awareness. Employees should understand the basics of password management, how to safely back up their work, the dangers of phishing attacks, and the permutations of encryption and digital signing. 

Organizations can also work closely with their HR and legal departments to define a cybersecurity policy. For example, companies with remote workers should establish an online safety guideline for the use of business-related networks at home.

Constant communication is key to establishing an ongoing cybersecurity culture. An incident response plan will prepare workers for any breach of sensitive information. Other means of communicating cybersecurity concerns include:

*Updating employees on new regulations and best practices.

*Holding regularly scheduled cybersecurity meetings or training.

*Adding a cybersecurity section to the company newsletter.

*Partnering with NCSA or other cyber protection initiatives.

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