Avoid the Cybersecurity Blame Game

When you go to such great lengths to protect your business’ network, it can come as quite a shock when you experience a data breach. Surely someone has to be at blame for such an event, right? Unfortunately, this mindset is often one that can come as a detriment to businesses, especially in today’s age of cybersecurity threats and ransomware. It can divide teams and cause rifts that are hard to recover from. 

A lot of times it can be a complete lack of risk identification that can put your business’ computing resources in jeopardy. The unfortunate reality is that when something bad happens, it’s in human nature to find a scapegoat for the event or to point our fingers at something deemed to be the cause. This need to blame someone for an attack like a data breach can alienate and frustrate employees to the point where they may start to think, “What’s the point of being careful if I am going to be blamed, regardless of the amount of effort I invest in this?” It’s a dangerous mindset to have in today’s age of cyberthreats.

One of the absolute worst things that can happen as a result of this culture of blame surrounding cybersecurity is that employees might find themselves reluctant to come forward when they have made a mistake. When employees do not own up to their mistakes, they might even try to hide the mistake and sweep it under the rug. When cybersecurity is involved in such a decision, the situation can get ugly.

Imagine if an employee accidentally downloaded a malicious file to their device, then didn’t report it to anyone for fear of punishment or scolding. That threat could very well multiply on your network and eventually cause all kinds of damage. It might steal credentials or harvest personal information. It might even install other threats, too! It’s safe to say that any threat that goes unreported could become quite problematic, and it’s your job as the business owner to foster an office environment and culture that encourages employees to come forward when they make mistakes like this.

So, how does one make a culture of acceptance surrounding cybersecurity? Oftentimes, the issues surrounding the culture of cybersecurity within businesses are systemic and have a lot to do with either the security systems in place or the training provided to employees. You can start with the following:

  • Make cybersecurity easy for your employees to understand and relate to.
  • Train your employees on how to identify threats.
  • Let your employees know that it’s okay to make mistakes.
  • Regularly test employees so that mistakes are simulated in safe environments.

What do you think about this approach to cybersecurity? Do you think it can help employees be more cognizant of their actions, or at least more likely to report when they have messed up?

Good questions to consider when you consider that while most data breaches are the result of employee mistakes, they aren’t (usually) the ones actively attacking your business.

If you would like to talk to one of our IT professionals about cybersecurity strategy and how to keep your business’ IT resources secure, give us a call at (646) 741-1166 today.

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