The Importance of Establishing Cybersecurity-Aware Cultures

As a trusted security partner, it’s integral for physical security specialists to advise and help support customers in association with all potential threats to their organization, including cybersecurity.

While video management systems have evolved into enterprise management tools for situational awareness, the need for entire organizations to heighten awareness where it comes to cybersecurity measures has likewise intensified.

Depending on the level of IT sophistication of your end customer, as a security systems integrator you will encounter varying degrees of cybersecurity awareness and best practices.

As a trusted security partner it is incumbent upon physical security specialists to possess the wherewithal to advise and help support customers in association with all potential threats to their organization.

Here are some insights as to what those customers ought to be doing and guidance for you as the integrator to help keep them on track. At the same time, integrators should be following these practices within their own businesses.

The strategy of “defense in depth” incorporates prevention mechanisms as layers within a multitiered initiative, with detection and response mechanisms integrated in the same layers, as well as others.

While technology plays a key role on multiple levels, another important layer of prevention is the creation of a security awareness culture within the organization.

In fact, insider threats from employees frequently appear in global security reports as a top cause of unintended data breaches. Establishing a culture of security awareness within an organization is both as much a mode of operation as it is a mindset, since most potentially harmful acts are usually based on routine behaviors such as clicking on a link or email attachment.

Consequently, every one within an organization needs to adopt this new mindset to help eliminate vulnerabilities as part of a collective effort. Combined with appointing executives (CISOs) who focus specifically on IT/OT issues and challenges, awareness programs are instrumental in helping to successfully launch and sustain cybersecurity strategies and programs.

By providing the knowledge and tools that help change behaviors, security awareness programs add to every employee’s ability to consciously make more secure decisions. The importance of security awareness cannot be understated and management needs to emphasize the significance of efforts to promote it within the organization.

This means more than just providing PowerPoint slides or training videos. Awareness is a continual process of constant improvements and adaptation. Programs with dated content that don’t reflect changes in social media policies and bring your own device (BYOD) programs, or do not meet compliance regulations are of little value in today’s environment.

New training tools that provide specific direction on best practices are required to help ensure that every employee is better prepared to identify and counter common tactics used by hackers.

Business resilience is not just about recovering from disruption — it’s about anticipating and preventing it. Security awareness programs that change predisposed mindsets are a great place to start. It is important to remember that an effective security awareness program is not just about “awareness,” it is about defining and reinforcing good habits.

For integrators not entirely comfortable in the cybersecurity advisory role, a viable solution is seeking the help of consultants to determine how to best assist your end customers in implementing security awareness programs and practices aimed at better protecting everyone’s valuable data.

Jon-Louis Heimerlis Senior Manager, Threat Intelligence Communication, NTT Security.

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