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Security-First Culture: How We Do It at NordPass and Why It’s Critical to Your Business

Chad Hammond

In modern-day business, cybersecurity is the name of the game. Fail to establish a security-first culture, and you might be out of business faster than you know it. The National Cyber Security Alliance reports that 60% of small and midsize businesses that face a severe cyberattack go out of business within six months.

At NordPass, security is at the forefront of everything we do. We take a zero-trust approach to security: we constantly raise awareness, engage employees in training sessions, and assess potential risk and vulnerabilities. Today, we’re looking at how we foster a culture where security is not an afterthought and share our ideas to help you do the same.

The importance of a security-first culture

People remain the weakest link in business security. The Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) revealed that 85% of breaches still involve the human element, and that about 80% of hacking-related incidents entail weak, reused, or stolen passwords. A recent Accenture report highlights that, while an understanding of where the risk lies exists among staff and leaders, there is also a shortfall in deploying cybersecurity awareness strategies that would combat those risks. With costs of data breaches skyrocketing, it is now more important than ever to have a team that is on the same page cybersecurity-wise.

Here are 6 simple yet effective things we do at NordPass to foster a security-first mindset within the organization. See if you can use any of these in your company.

Security awareness and risk training

At NordPass, we focus on educating all new employees about the importance of cybersecurity as soon as they join the team. The training phase consists of three separate categories:

  • Physical security. This involves educating new staff on the physical aspect of security, raising awareness about potential trespassing events and how that could affect the company, and ensuring that everyone understands why it is important to always lock the workstation or laptop whenever they leave the desk. Some organizations even opt for tests that involve strangers dressed in uniforms who deliberately try to enter the physical premises and see whether any employees will react. It may seem like a very basic approach, but it is all about mastering the fundamentals.

  • Information security. This one is about raising employees’ awareness about the security of the digital information they can access and handle. It includes training sessions in which the staff is acquainted with proper security practices with regard to passwords, mobile devices, remote access, or anything else that entails digital information. The sessions include explaining what cyber threats are the most prominent and teaching ways to mitigate them.

  • Risk awareness. This step involves engaging new staff in a more holistic approach to business risk management and providing resources and pathways to report potential risks in a timely manner. For instance, at Nordpass, we have dedicated channels the staff can use to report any suspicious activity and get help from our Risk team. The dedicated channels are completely open and transparent, meaning no issue is treated as a secret, which in turn allows us to identify and act quickly on any cybersecurity issue.

  • Book a demo call now and see how NordPass can help your business.

Internal phishing training

Phishing is the most widely used way in which cybercriminals attack organizations of all sizes and industries. A recent report notes that 75% of organizations around the world have experienced some kind of a phishing attack. Practical employee phishing training is key to cultivating a security-first company culture.

At NordPass, we believe that experience is the best teacher. Our security team runs phishing simulation training, where they imitate “real” phishing attacks on the entire staff. These carefully managed attacks allow our security team to gain a deeper understanding of the entire company’s security posture. And for employees, seeing the results of such a simulation can be a rather eye-opening experience. Usually, this helps them get a better sense of what a phishing attack looks like in their email inboxes.

Secure development training

Securely developed code does not have to be a difficult affair. At NordPass, we have achieved this by integrating secure development training, which has greatly improved the overall security posture of the organization.

The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is a nonprofit foundation that works on improving the security of software and which is a great starting point for secure development training. It offers educational and practical training, methodologies, and other approaches toward secure development for developers and technologists.

Once the team learns to code securely and practices that, they’re more likely to remember the fundamentals. In the long run, establishing a strong secure development foundation in your team will grow into healthy secure coding habits all throughout the company.

Everyday tools that boost security

Cybersecurity tools should be a must-have in any modern-day business. At NordPass, all employees are equipped with a variety of the necessary security tools. The list includes NordLayer, the NordPass password manager, and NordLocker for file access and management. Such tools greatly help cultivate security-first habits among the team.

But, before you equip your team with such tools, take the time to learn which ones are necessary for your business. In today’s internet-based environment, most businesses can definitely make use of a password manager, a VPN, and a secure file management system to close up the most common threat vectors.

Device security: mobile device management

Mobile device management (MDM) has become an increasingly important part of any business today to ensure security and compliance. While mobile devices help increase efficiency and flexibility, a large number of devices can be a cybersecurity risk. At NordPass, we manage mobile devices using a cloud-based MDM solution.

The number of devices and the way they are used set the requirements for an MDM solution. Unfortunately, there is no single solution that perfectly fits every organization. Before you choose one, carefully evaluate the specific needs of your company. Once MDM is implemented, it allows the security team to have a clear picture of all the devices used in the company along with their security state.

Final thoughts

Establishing a security-first company culture is a rather challenging task, but it must be done in a modern-day business environment. There are a number of ways you can do that, but it all depends on the specific needs and requirements of your organization. If you happen to run a small to medium-sized company, you should put emphasis on training and effective security tools, and definitely check out our comprehensive security guide for SMBs for more tips on how you can improve your organisations cybersecurity posture. Large enterprises, on the other hand, might require complex strategic approaches that might be best developed by security professionals. For more in depth information and expert insights on how you can foster security first mindset at your company, check out the recording of a recent webinar on security first culture.

If you are looking for a password management solution for your organization, schedule a demo call with our representative to see if NordPass is the right fit for your company.

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