Cybersecurity is a big priority for most organizations today, but the reality is that many have failed to implement fundamental cybersecurity policies and procedures, leaving their businesses exposed to potential cyber attacks.
A variety of massive cyber attacks have dominated the news headlines over the last few months, one of them being a serious distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that temporarily shut down a group of websites including Twitter, Spotify, Amazon, The New York Times and other major sites across the U.S.
As businesses rely more and more on the internet as a way of storing valuable and sometimes confidential information, these recent attacks serve as a wake-up call for those who have not taken the necessary measures to protect their data.
Hiring IT professionals and providing continuous cybersecurity training is a big priority for businesses now more than ever. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently over 200,000 IT security jobs unfilled, and job postings have increased by 74% over the last five years.
Cybersecurity Is a Team Sport
Think baseball, football, soccer, any team sport. Regardless of role, each player has a function to fulfill. Each is expected to work actively, with other team members, toward the ultimate goal.
Any failure to come through renders the team less able to execute its strategies and plans, and can be just the break the opponent needs to win the game.
Cybersecurity is like that. Effective cybersecurity requires that every individual, and every part of the organization, be an active player.
High-performing IT departments can establish effective defensive and protective policies and processes. Device manufacturers can provide highly sophisticated security measures. But it takes only one mistake—at the wrong place, at the wrong time—to give a cyber opponent the opening needed to cause a possible, potentially disastrous breach.
The Need for Cybersecurity Training
Clicking on links in phishing emails, opening attachments from unknown senders, using weak passwords—these are just the most obvious examples of how individual team members’ actions can create vulnerabilities. Educating people and then regularly emphasizing their individual responsibility can go a long way towards reducing the organization’s risk.
But while that’s an important step, it still only addresses part of the challenge.
True cybersecurity teamwork requires that every group—not just every individual—within the organization assess and address its respective impact.
Not Just the IT Department’s Problem
Take a sales team, for example. Let’s say the sales manager decides it’s time for all sales people to use their personal mobile phones to connect with the organization’s CRM system while on the road. The manager then configures the CRM system to give them access. A great boost to productivity? Could be. But what if she fails to coordinate this new practice with the IT security group? What if her salespeople’s mobile devices are not appropriately secured?
In that case, even if sales team individuals follow the security protocols they’ve been taught, their newfound connectivity could leave the organization, and its business contacts, extremely vulnerable.
Effective cybersecurity requires all parts of an organization, all individuals and all groups, to work together as a team.
According to data found by IBM, the average total cost of a data breach is around $4 million, but only 29 percent of businesses have a cybersecurity expert on their IT team.
What’s even worse, only 6 percent of businesses say the are “open” to invest in cybersecurity training.
Your people shouldn’t be your organization’s weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity. In fact, they can be your greatest resource when they are aware, knowledgeable and motivated!
Know the important questions to ask before investing in cybersecurity training for your employees – check out this free infographic to make sure the content is right for your team: