How to Create A Risk-Alert and Cyber-Protected Culture

In 2015 alone, it was reported that over 130 UK local government councils lost critical sensitive information on hundreds of occasions in the few past years, leading to questioning the responsibility of staff and their capability in handling classified data.

In a completely unrelated incident, a highly decorated and senior counter terrorism official in Britain was compelled to resign after inadvertently revealing a classified document to photographers while on his way to a meeting. The outcome involved the government to create a specialized operation to foil an alleged terrorist plot that was supposed to take place.

These two examples, among the many, reveal that neither IT departments nor the use of sophisticated security technology can help in achieving the desired levels of data security that is needed on a day to day basis.

It is highly critical to create a risk alert culture, one where personal principles, mentality and demeanours become the cornerstone of everyday life in any situation and organization. Being careless about security is not acceptable any more, given the volatile nature of security across the globe. At the same time, one cannot change culture overnight to become risk alert and hence it is important to begin the process now for a better tomorrow.

The revelation of classified and private documents emphasizes the importance for everyone to realize the value of organizational assets and the hazards that it faces on a daily level. Once this realization sets in, individuals and employees begin to build their responsibilities in protecting these assets.

Staff must be educated while guidelines must be implemented for all, as these essential steps can help in minimizing accidental actions that could lead to data security breaches. An inclusive program must be created involving various security processes, otherwise there is a danger that specific measures carried out by the organization will be neutralized by decisions taken under day-by-day business obligations. Guidelines can help in boosting and reinforcing, rather than replacing, organizational codes of conduct that provide transparency on forbidden actions.

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Over a period of time, staff awareness is likely to grow while behaviors change, according to the way an organization would like to establish, when employees begin to realize that precautions make sense. Handling various types of documents appropriately becomes a routine activity: Lesser classified documents will be strewn around unattended areas, while the disposal of company media data becomes conscious.

For a change of this nature to take place, it has to be led from the top of the organization. Senior management cannot expect their staff or employees to follow guidelines if they do not practice it themselves. Security must be woven into the entire organization, from the top, on a culture established on trust and understanding.

Eventually, a secure organisational culture will safeguard passwords, prevent arbitrary sharing of data, while encouraging the use of a variety of various passwords that will be invulnerable to cyber criminals, hackers and otherwise.

With the help of technology, processes and people can be made to adapt to a secure work culture. As a key capability in safeguarding against threats and managing risks to a company’s critical assets, technology can provide a coherent view of what is taking place while protecting organizational systems and networks and rendering the visibility needed for the organization to progress.

Author Bio: This article was contributed on behalf of Locklizard, a leading DRM software provider. They produce enterprise digital rights management software including secured PDF documents viewers.