As remote work is growing in popularity these days, many organizations are also realizing security environments are dramatically changing too. Securing remote work doesn’t just rest on the job of an IT team. It also requires a lot of trust.
When people are performing remote work, senior leadership need to trust that every team beyond IT has secured systems to do remote work. This trust also extends to customers too. Even the employees themselves need to trust that there are systems available that can support them.
In order for all companies to get it right, there needs to trust weaving through the ecosystem of the business. And one of the best ways to be having this trust and improve your overall cybersecurity is by doing these 4 steps.
Step 1: Have Empathy
We live in an imperfect world and the only way to get through it all is through trusting people. And the most effective way for us to have trust is to acknowledge that building trust will be a constant work in progress.
With that in mind, having empathy goes a long way as it often leads to people listening, learning and then trying to connect with that person. From a cybersecurity standpoint, if people are telling you that a protocol doesn’t make sense or is hard to follow, don’t lecture them – aim to understand and find solutions that can adapt to the situation.
Other measures to take are encouraging people to speak about mistakes and reward proactive behavior. When trust is built in organizations, it often multiplies when it is generously and wisely given.
Step 2: Empower Employees to Make Good Decisions
While there are several security practices out there, some aspects of them have earned a bad reputation from people. Often times though, it’s not the IT team or employees who are at fault. The IT team wants to ensure more security and for employees if a security measure is getting in their way, they’ll try to bypass it by taking unnecessary risks.
A quick fix to this whole problem is to have tools and solutions that are easy to follow and implement.
With that in mind, it’s ideal to be creating guideposts to facilitate employee decision making without them stifling their productivity. There are many ways to achieve this these days like using AI-driven tools that can automatically apply security classifications to different data.
In the end though, you need to be putting in trust and use frictionless security solutions as a way for users to have ownership and accountability.
Step 3: Define What Matters the Most
Another aspect of the trusting relationship is to know what is the most important. Not everything in an organization needs to be kept locked up in a vault. When you take a one-size-fits-all approach, it often becomes an expensive and pointless endeavor.
Every business is different, but each type of data has varying degrees of importance. The biggest way to determine what’s important is to ask yourself “if this information was leaked, how much damage would it cause to the business?”
In the end, distinguishing between what’s critical and what isn’t will lead to better prioritization. From there, it’s easier to maximize security of those important files and systems and maintain trust.
Step 4: Honor Distractions
Trust is a two-way street. Security professionals know that the biggest risk to security is the end-users themselves. However, with the right kind of approach, end-users can also be the biggest advocates for security too.
When you spend time educating users about threats and best practices it tends to help. Sure you’ll get some people who say it’s “nice to have” before the information gets forgotten when a crisis emerges, however those talks can still help.
Because there are so many distractions out there, being patient with people and having the IT team develop and communicate clear policies on trusted devices and routinely share information about the threat environment, those things can reinforce a strong security culture in time.