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10 insights to help you build a culture of security and reduce risk | Gamma Networks

Studies like the 2019 MidYear QuickView Data Breach Report mention that the number of reported breaches increased by 54% from 2018, and 2019 was the "worst year in the record" for breach activity.

People are hence becoming more aware of cybersecurity and its widespread impact on organizations, and are taking steps towards securing their infrastructure in the best way possible.

Even with the best infrastructure set in place, and even after employing the best security professionals, data breaches do not seem to disappear completely. Organizations spend millions to secure their network and infrastructure with existing technological advancements. But is it really enough?

What organizations need now, more than ever, is a culture of security. According to Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report 2018, employees with legitimate access rights are the second most common cause of security breaches. These insider attacks can also be costly, with an average incident causing organizations to lose more than 8 million dollars. Verizon’s findings point to an important consideration: a robust security culture depends largely on the human element. The solution to this widespread fire of insider security breaches is thus to instill a horizontal culture of security across the organization.

What exactly is a culture of security?

As a part of the broader corporate culture, a culture of security is an organization-wide ethos that encourages employees to make decisions aligned with the organization’s security policies. A culture of security does not just mean security awareness but also involves training employees to understand security procedures inside out, helping them understand the reasons behind imposing such security measures, and instilling a culture of following security measures in their daily lives.

A culture of security should incorporate everyone within the organization and might, in some cases, incorporate business associates, partners, and customers.

Why do you need a culture of security?

A culture of security is a mindset as well as a mode of operation, which, if followed thoroughly, can prove to make an organization virtually impenetrable. On the contrary, absent security culture is undoubtedly set to lead to intentional or unintentional security incidents that an organization cannot afford.

Take, for example, the attack on Facebook and Google, whereby scammers used phishing emails to steal over $100 million between 2013 and 2015. Scammers sent real-looking, forged emails as employees of a real company called Quanta, which does multi-million dollar transactions with Facebook and Google. Employees in Facebook and Google were duped into thinking that the emails were real, and consequently sent over the invoiced money to the scammers.

Malicious insider attacks and attacks on the weakest security link of the organization have occurred with several other high-profile companies like Target, Morrisons, and AMSC (formerly American Superconductor) too. Hence, a culture of security is an effective way of taking care of insider driven breaches.

How is the culture of security related to compliance?

You can practice IT security for your own sake, but it ultimately satisfies external requirements and facilitates business operations. Compliance like HIPAA, SOX, PCI, EAL, etc. requires companies to reinforce effective information security programs. With the help of an inbuilt culture of security and a solution like Gamma, it is not difficult to achieve compliance needs.

How can you use Gamma to build a culture of security and reduce risk?

It is evident that a culture of security is crucial for decreasing the possibility of hazardous breaches. You can deploy an AI-driven solution like Gamma to build a culture of security within your organization. Gamma is an easy-to-deploy technology that can be a crucial part of your organization's fight against data breaches and a life-saver when it comes to instilling a culture of security.

A solution like Gamma can help enable a culture of security in your organization in the following ways:

  • Removes disconnect between employees and helps them take personal responsibility about information security
  • Ensures that employee activities are aligned with compliances like HIPAA, SOX, PCI, EAL, etc.
  • Makes employees act think twice before negligent activities and behave in a more security conscious ways
  • Removes the load of security from the IT Security team and shares the responsibility with all employees of the organization

Described below are 10 insights that can help you build a culture of security in your organization using Gamma:

Creating proper security policies

Proper security policies are the foundation of a sustainable security culture. With Gamma’s end to end support, you can create proper security policies simply using 1-click install and onboarding. To establish a foundation for a secure development lifecycle, you can consider the following steps:

  • Acceptable Use policy
    An acceptable use policy is a standard onboarding policy for new employees and stipulates the constraints and practices that an employee using organizational IT assets must follow.
  • Access Control Policy
    The access control policy usually includes:
    - access control standards,
    - standards for user access,
    - network access controls,
    - operation system software controls,
    - the complexity of corporate passwords,
    - standards for how unattended workstations must be secured, and
    - standards for removing access when an employee leaves the organization.
  • Change management policy
    The change management policy includes the formal process for changing IT, software development, and security services.
  • Information Security Policy
    The information security policy is designed to help employees recognize the sensitivity of the corporate information as well as IT assets.
  • Incident Response Policy
    The incident response policy is an approach to how the company will manage incidents in case of business operations, communication by reducing time and costs.
  • Remote Access Policy
    The remote access policy outlines the acceptable methods of working remotely by connecting to an organization's internal networks,
  • Email/Communication Policy
    The email policy describes how employees can use the chosen email, social media, and chat medium.
  • Disaster recovery policy
    If an incident has a significant business impact, the disaster recovery policy outlines how it can be remedied.
  • Business Continuity Plan
    The business continuity plan uses the disaster or incident recovery plan to restore hardware, data, and applications

Consistent Message

Creating a culture where information security is well talked about, fostered, and advocated is the first and foremost step in creating a culture of security.

You can use Gamma to provide configurable detections, warnings, and notifications to train and engage all staff, including freelancers, contractors, and third-parties.

Training employees

The Netwrix 2017 IT Risks Report states that 37% of respondents claimed insufficient staff training to be one of the major causes of IT risks. With Gamma, you can deviate from traditional PowerPoint presentations and instead help employees instill a culture of security as they work. Whenever employees make security mistakes, Gamma sends targeted warnings and notifications. Gamma helps provide bite-sized training that helps solve the problem at hand. With Gamma, you can stop treating employees as a security threat and instead make them a part of the solution.

Holding Executives Accountable

The top executives of an organization are accountable for an organization's security policies. It is no wonder why CEOs of Equifax, Sony Pictures, and Target stepped down because of data breaches in their company.

Accenture’s 2018 State of Cyber Resilience report states that 2/3rds of CEOs and board of directors have an ultimate say when it comes to digital security practices. Executive leaders must understand that the global cost of data breaches is $2.1 trillion, and they can reduce it by using a solution like Gamma.

Gamma proactively prevents and coaches employees against malicious, insider, or negligent security threats over SaaS applications. It monitors the activities of employees in real-time and immediately notifies when an employee makes a security mistake that can be grave for your business.

Employee Onboarding, Offboarding, and Monitoring

It is the responsibility of organizations to set targets for new employees to implement best security practices.

Once all practices are put into place, it is also absolutely essential to monitor if security practices are being followed regularly. Gamma uses real-time AI to continuously monitor the SaaS application to ensure that employees follow the security measures. Its forensic dashboards provide visibility for the IT admin so that employees can be notified and culprits can be caught instantly.

When an employee leaves, the organization should also make sure that employees return all corporate devices, close all accounts, and remove access from all of the company’s internal network architecture before leaving to ensure that incidents like the ones in Coca Cola and the Chicago Public Schools can be minimized.

Using Gamma’s forensic dashboard capability, IT admins can monitor, approve, or block events for new employees, existing employees, or for employees who leave the organization.

Maintaining Customer Trust

Maintaining trust with customers is another aspect of building a culture of security that must not be overlooked. People in sales, marketing, and communications should protect sensitive customer data and destroy it as and when required by the company’s data retention policies.

Gamma helps the legal/corporate risk and compliance team to notify partners, employees, customers, regulators, media, and the general public in case a disaster strikes, using its configurable detections, warnings, and notifications

Making security fun and engaging

IT security does not have to be a dull topic suited to tech-savvy people. There are ways to make security awareness and implementation fun and engaging. Regular quizzes, out-of-office boot camps, and solutions like Gamma, which monitor employee actions in real-time, are replacements for same-old, boring PowerPoint presentations that can interest and excite employees.

To nurture shared security responsibility, managers should make it a point to encourage employees to report incidents. With this, security issues will be spotted sooner, and actions can be taken on them before it is too late.

Using the monitoring platform of Gamma, organizations can reward, encourage, and recognize employees who trigger the least number of security incidents and follow security measures properly.

A simple high five, or some cash, goes a long way in motivating employees and creating a culture where security practices are celebrated and recognized.

Changing security measures regularly

A culture of security does not form just by training employees on the old kinds of data breaches and their prevention. IT is evolving at an exponential rate, and hackers and malicious users are coming up with unthinkable ways of breaching data. Learn more about how Gamma can help prevent you from these unthinkable data breach hacks.

All in all, every organization needs to change its security measures, update training content, and keep employees updated about the most recent security practices to keep unwanted, prying eyes at bay.

With Gamma's predictive people-centric security centered around an AI-driven solution, you can mitigate data exposure risk, change security measures as new breaches come up, minimize social engineering attacks, and minimize insider threats with ease.

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