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Cybersecurity Is a People Problem — Not Just an IT Problem

Benjamin Scott

When you think of cybersecurity, what comes to mind? For many, the IT department is the first thing that pops up. While it is true that cybersecurity issues are usually the responsibility of the IT department, they’re not exclusive to it. At least they shouldn’t be. It’s about time we started looking at cybersecurity as a collective problem, where every individual in the organization bears responsibility.

Cybersecurity is business security

We live in the digital age, and the line that used to separate the virtual and physical worlds is all too blurry. We’re connected at all times. We work, bank, shop, and interact online. We do business online.

In fact, we can no longer imagine a business that wouldn’t have at least some presence on the internet. By now, all of this sounds like a cliche, yet a lot of businesses still operate as if all of this wasn’t a fact of modern-day life. The outdated idea that cybersecurity is the problem of the IT department is just one example of that kind of thinking.

But long gone are the days when cybersecurity was only an IT issue. Today, as more and more cybersecurity incidents in business make the headlines, cybersecurity is becoming the central concern for company leaders at all levels. This is apparent as more businesses realize the fact that, on a micro level, everyone within the organization plays a role in mitigating cybersecurity risks.

So, it’s not surprising at all that, when the average cost of a data breach was estimated at $3.86 million as of 2020, business partners, suppliers, and vendors are requiring the best possible cybersecurity practices from each other, especially when providing mutual network and information access.

  • Secure your business with NordPass - save the hefty costs of a security breach.

Teamwork leads to a secure business

Most business leaders understand that it is essential to incorporate enterprise-wide security-oriented thinking throughout the entire company if they wish to mitigate as many cybersecurity risks as possible. This kind of thinking should be spread through the entire organization, where executives, managers, as well as the entire staff are on the same page when it comes to security practices.

It’s true that cybersecurity practices should be established by the IT department, since their knowledge of the topic is best suited for the task. But the responsibility to clearly communicate those practices to the rest of the staff lies with executives and managers. The idea is for everyone within the company to learn about different threats, the ways to identify them, operational, and understand what can be done to prevent an attack.

How to foster a team-based cybersecurity approach

Here are a few ways to start establishing a team-based security culture within your business:

Establish cybersecurity as a business requirement

Start fostering a culture within your company that puts emphasis on cybersecurity being treated as a business requirement. Security should be addressed as a part of any new project as well as of any strategic planning cycles. Set milestones that you would like to reach security-wise and make sure that everyone across the board is on the same page.

Cybersecurity training for staff

Cybersecurity training for your employees can be greatly beneficial. It allows employees to have a deeper understanding of the variety of cyber threats they might face and ways they could mitigate them. If you lack the resources to outsource such a training session, consider in-house training provided by your IT department.

Equip your team with the right tools

No single cybersecurity tool works for every business, because each business is unique. The needs of a convenience store will wildly differ from those of a hotel. However, there are a few security tools that can benefit any company:

  • Antivirus software should be a no-brainer in this day and age.

  • A password manager such as NordPass is another incredibly convenient tool that can help keep your business credentials secure and prevent sensitive information from being leaked. Not to mention the fact that password managers take the load of password-stress off employees and even improve their productivity.

  • A VPN is another piece of security software that most businesses today should employ to protect their networks. For a business, regardless of its size, a VPN can create a secure shared network between two or more offices. It also allows users to connect to a company’s networks remotely.

  • NordLocker, a data encryption tool, is a tool that businesses today should incorporate in their cybersecurity toolbox. It provides encrypted cloud storage for company data, which you can reach with just a few clicks. NordLocker provides that extra layer of security when it comes to sharing and accessing sensitive business information.

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