Actively playing Big Brother
No one wants to play the particular bad guy by monitoring every single action that an user makes. However , the unfortunate reality is that a good portion of security breaches are caused by staff members, regardless of whether inadvertently or intentionally.
Incidents associated with both kinds come in a variety of forms:
•Theft of credit card or some other financial information by unethical employees.
•Opening infected e-mail attachments from unknown or untrusted senders.
•Forgetting to log off workstations all in all.
•Disclosing passwords to coworkers, loved ones, or friends.
•Installing unauthorized software on workstation PCs.
Act First, Think Later
It’s one thing in order to foster a corporate culture that embraces security as a core worth, but it’s quite another to do this at the sacrifice of actual safety technology investments. Gartner recommends that before companies even start thinking of implementing a security awareness program, they need to:
•Solidify and strengthen all enterprise security systems and technologies.
•Establish formal practices and support for workers using these systems.
•Invest within security awareness only when the two prior steps are complete.
A successful security awareness program is one that compels all employees to take an equal share of the responsibility for the safety of company assets. Bear in mind, however , that awareness alone can never substitute comprehensive security policies.
1 . Specify your expectations for the users. Raising awareness ultimately means changing someones behavior. In addition to your existing non-disclosure and technology acceptable use guidelines, speak with HR to make employee information security responsibilities a condition of work (strictly on a per case basis, associated with course). Also:
-Give precise explanations of what actually constitutes a security incident.
-Establish concise instructions with regard to reporting security breaches, events, or incidents.
-Conduct basic security consciousness “lunch and learn” sessions regarding staff members.
-Be sure to clearly article all security-related documents on the company’s intranet.
2 . Make employees the centerpiece of attention. Stress partnerships and people, not technology and policing. Empower them by stating their critical role in information protection. For example , avoid statements that say “Do this, ” or “Don’t do that. ” Instead, use proactive, collaborative wording like “Your function is […], ” or “You can make a difference by […]. ” Try to use disciplinary action as a last resort just.
3. Measure the effectiveness of the system. Periodic security quizzes or checks are a good way to promote and gauge the program’s success among the employee base. Another method is to put a counter-top on the number of hits on the security documents section of the intranet. Exactly where possible, employ power users within various departments to help you spread the term and make progress checks.
4. Communicate successes. Keep the lines of communication open with employees. Send updates on existing and future security initiatives, as well as the background or rationale behind such decisions. If possible, set up a graphic security “barometer” on the corporate intranet to display the organization’s current security status.
5. Keep the program flexible. What is regarded as a security best practice today may be obsolete tomorrow. Allow for some elasticity in your program, taking into account such aspects as: changing business models and objectives; the introduction of new technologies; rising security threats and/or new infections; and growth of the network and the user base (i. e. resulting in a greater number of points of vulnerability).
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6. Expect realistic results, not really miracles. Malicious insiders in particular will remain difficult to stop by implementing a security recognition program, especially if they are determined to crack and burn. It’s kind of like the us government enacting a law that limits the number of bullets allowed in a weapon, and then expecting bank robbers in order to obey it. Still, simply conveying the repercussions of security breaches to employees will go a long way towards preventing them.