How to Prevent a Security Breach in the Workplace: Building a Team of Cyber-Defenders

Organizations are under significant pressure to step up their cybersecurity, and while there is no exact playbook on how to prevent a security breach in the workplace, there are certainly key tactics that can fortify your company’s defenses. At this point, it’s clear that the world of cyber-crime is only growing, but with a strong cybersecurity posture in place you can considerably decrease the chances of a cyber-event.

Defendify believes that cybersecurity is the responsibility of each and every person at an organization, and that employees can be incredibly effective in the detection and containment of threats. As a result, our approach for how to prevent a security breach in the workplace is highly team-focused; read on for how to build your very own team of cyber-defenders.

Be Prepared

It’s no secret that IT is challenged to maintain oversight of numerous employees, devices, and applications, with the goal of insulating each and every one from threats. Preparedness is the key, and every organization should ready itself by employing both proactive and reactive methods, including bolstering cybersecurity culture, setting thorough policies, and leveraging technology. In addition to external threats, organizations must also prepare for the potential of an insider threat, taking steps to prevent a security breach in the workplace before it can wreak havoc.

Proactive + Reactive = Comprehensive

As a first step in your proactive approach to building your comprehensive cybersecurity program, we recommend a full review of your organization’s cybersecurity posture. Use a cybersecurity risk assessment to help understand what your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities are when it comes to improving your cybersecurity stance. Then, use the results and recommendations to prioritize remediation tasks based on the level of risk posed to your organization.

See where you stand with our FREE 2-Minute Cybersecurity Health Checkup.

FREE 2-Minute Cybersecurity Health Checkup

Next, immerse your team in multi-channel awareness training. After all, 88% of security breaches are a result of human error, so it’s essential to do everything in your control to prevent those potential errors caused by staff. Begin with the fundamentals to create a baseline, making sure to keep up education regularly. Then, build reflexes with ongoing, dynamic training to ensure their knowledge isn’t fleeting. Whether you introduce videos, phishing simulations, or in-office skits, it’s important to keep the content up to date, realistic, and fun; people are busy, so you want cybersecurity training to be something they can look forward to, not dread. With proper training and awareness, your team will much that much more confident in the event of a cyber-event and know what steps to take to mitigate damages.

While your team is enhancing their cyber-smarts, take your strategy a step further with penetration testing, also known as ethical hacking. Combined with other proactive methods like vulnerability scanning, website scanning, and password scanning, you’ll have a firm handle on gaps in your overall cybersecurity posture and be armed with a plan moving forward to strengthen your defenses.

Even with proactive measures in place, there is no such thing as 100% secure. Implementing detection and response technology enables organizations to be reactive if a threat penetrates the network. This type of tool provides faster and effective detection and containment, and eliminates the need for your own security operations center.

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet to preventing a breach in the workplace. Balancing proactive and reactive cybersecurity strategies is your best bet for a truly comprehensive cybersecurity program. Let’s dive a little deeper into a few of these strategies.

Build Your Cybersecurity Culture

If you want a team of cyber-defenders, you need to build a cyber-smart culture, meaning your organization is continuously working to improve cybersecurity awareness and strengthen its defenses against cyber threats via people and processes. Employees are often willing to help safeguard their organization and have the best of intentions, but they also have a lot on their minds. To keep cybersecurity at the forefront of their priorities, post visual reminders throughout your offices and share news of emerging threats to keep everyone informed and vigilant.

Cybersecurity can be complicated, so it’s important to cultivate a sense of trust and collaboration that allows people to feel comfortable asking questions and seeking help. Enabling your team to report potential threats in a way that is easy, confidential, and anonymous will result in a more transparent and impactful cybersecurity culture.

Solidify Policies and Procedures

comprehensive policy with clear guidelines sets the stage for a cybersecurity-first mindset that becomes ingrained in organizational culture. Infuse cybersecurity into your policies and handbooks, set expectations with clear standards, and share this information with all clients and partners. Your policy should account for digital and physical security practices, including information security, data protectioncloud use, and equipment disposal processes.

Communicating consistently with objective standards that apply to all members of an organization reduces liability and ensures that all parties understand agreed-upon responsibilities and best practices if an incident occurs. These baseline policies should be updated and communicated frequently, encouraging questions and open discussion across teams and levels to ensure everyone from the newest hire to the CEO is on board.

Watch our webinar to find out how to implement a successful employee security awareness program.

Protect Against Insider Threats

Unfortunately, insider threats do occur, arising accidentally as a result of complacency or human error, or even intentionally at the hands of a disgruntled employee, customer, or partner. One key tactic is to embrace the least privilege principle, which requires that “only the minimum necessary rights should be assigned to a subject that requests access to a resource and should be in effect for the shortest duration necessary.” Further, organizations must remember to relinquish those privileges when no longer necessary. Granting permissions to a user beyond the scope of what is required can enable them to obtain or change information in ways that leave organizations open to risk.

Taking it one step further, organizations can implement a zero-trust framework that assumes network security is always at risk to external and internal threats. Additionally, this framework requires that authentication and authorization (both the subject and the device) occur separately before access is allowed.

By combining proactive and reactive strategies across training, culture and policies, organizations can steadily transform their employees into a team of cyber-defenders. Having all roles and departments informed and primed for action will strengthen defenses exponentially, helping to prepare for and even prevent a security breach in the workplace.

More Resources:

Webinar: Implementing a Successful Employee Security Awareness Program
Blog: The Inside Scoop: Types of Insider Threats in Cybersecurity

Resources & insights

The Inside Scoop: Types of Insider Threats in Cybersecurity
The types of insider threats in cybersecurity might surprise you. You might be inclined to think that the greatest risks posed to your organization are the result of malicious intentions, when in reality, exposure caused by the negligence of partners and/ or employees can be equally or even more damaging.
Professional Services
Creating a Cybersecurity Culture Framework
A strong company culture means your core philosophies and values are instilled throughout leadership, management and employees. With organizations increasingly reliant on technology, having a targeted and well-executed cybersecurity culture framework is now an important part of creating and nurturing that process.
Protect Your Data with Data Privacy Awareness Training
Our goal is to empower and guide organizations on ways to protect the privacy of those with which they do business.

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