6 Ingredients for a Robust Cybersecurity Culture

Building a strong cybersecurity culture in your organization entails creating an environment where beliefs, attitudes, and principles are consistent with cyber resilience goals. In a digital world where vulnerable employees are working from home, the significance of cybersecurity awareness training to facilitate the required security posture cannot be overstated. Here are five tips for building a healthy cybersecurity culture within and across an organization.

1. Outlining the enterprise mission clearly and conducting continuous risk assessments

At first, the present culture and cybersecurity attitude should be assessed with a (preferably external) audit, and metrics should be determined for measuring progress. Next, practices that increase risks, such as BYOD, insecure communications, and unvetted software, must be recognized. Finally, success in security must be defined, and a plan should be made detailing the roles, goals, and responsibilities of different employees and departments.

2. Improved communication is the key to developing meaningful relationships, especially with your leaders

Understanding each leader’s experience and knowledge of security is crucial to success. Maintaining significant relationships with leaders means finding out their appetite for change, absorbing security content, understanding political environments, providing support when hard decisions need to be made, giving you reasonable latitude, demonstrating that they trust you, and identifying opportunities for educating and training them.
Requesting time on the agenda of highly-profile meetings to discuss or provide security updates is helpful for a guest speaker or when presenting security as a standing discussion item. Conducting monthly check-ins with “unofficial” leaders will provide institutional knowledge. Team meetings in various capacities are helpful as well.

3. Practice, practice, practice — your security testing

Information security is a constantly evolving process, considering the changing nature of risks, threats, vulnerabilities, and information systems. To maintain a secure posture, the organization’s information security program must be viewed as a “living document” that adapts to the changing environment through operational practices and a consistent maintenance and review process.
As incidents and breaches continue to occur, organizations must prepare for them through tabletop discussions, real-time business continuity, and disaster recovery “functional” testing. Functional testing can benefit teams because it requires a hands-on response, which may reveal their readiness level and areas for improvement.

4. Investment in cybersecurity awareness, training, and education

We can reduce internal threats by providing precise and thoughtful cybersecurity training to contractors and employees. Assessing your cybersecurity awareness, training, and education is critical to understanding your workplace culture. Users should receive cybersecurity training tailored to their specific responsibilities and work environment. Gamification as a training method can be beneficial for more technical users. Assess the appetite for it, as not all users will find gamification useful, and implementation may be more expensive.

5. Prioritize investment in security solutions

Employee diligence, training, and internal controls alone cannot keep up with the digital age’s ever-changing threats. Instead, organizations must build a culture where technology is constantly used to prevent attacks. For example, autonomous anti-fraud technology can execute best practices, eliminate human error, and protect against internal threats.
Organizations should always remember that more than technical means are needed to safeguard the entire ecosystem. Technological investments are an excellent first step, but they must also be invested in educating and training people.

6. Incentives, gamification, and conversation

Incentives for completing security missions motivate employees. Gamification and public recognition can also promote healthy competition among employees.
Alternatively, some experts suggest implementing a punitive element to ensure immediate improvement, such as an additional or compensatory mandatory instruction policy. Cybersecurity should be discussed regularly, with lessons learned from recent events and employees updated on best practices.


Cybersecurity must be a top-down approach to building a strong cybersecurity culture in an organization. Before enforcing a policy ad hoc, leadership should first gain the support of executives and employees. Communication is essential, and management must also define the expectations and roles of each employee so that the system remains transparent.

Employees must understand the significance of cybersecurity awareness training and take it seriously. Active training sessions that include gamification and incentives achieve the best results. Employees’ post-training behaviours should also be monitored using metrics. Finally, ensure that employees can easily report threats by employing an easy communication mechanism and understand why it is necessary to protect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of information.