Information security is critical for any organization but building an environment in which employees are aware of potential vulnerabilities and proactively work to prevent breaches can be challenging. Incorporating a strong security focus into your corporate culture emphasizes the importance of information security practices to your team members and empowers your employees to incorporate best practices into their day to day work.

Here are a few tips to help you build a security-focused culture in your own organization.

Implement an information security training curriculum

Most organizations already provide some sort of security training; however, in many cases, this training is not as comprehensive or structured as it should be. Ideally, employees should receive security training initially as part of onboarding and continue to receive refresher courses on a regular basis throughout their careers.

Training also should emphasize the potential impacts of security breaches and provide the “why,” explaining the value of good security practices. Understanding the ramifications of potential security issues is important to encourage employees to remain diligent and cautious.

Training should also include specific considerations for work both in and out of the office. Working remotely may present new challenges and workers should be thoroughly trained on any relevant topics such as using a VPN and securing physical assets.

Incorporate security updates into regular communications

Incorporating security tips and updates into regular company communications such as newsletters or team meetings can be a very effective way to share information and remind employees of best practices. These periodic communications also help to continually emphasize the importance of information security and keep the topic front and center outside of formal security training.

These updates are also an excellent way to highlight specific topics or schemes. For example, a Security Reminder section of a corporate newsletter could remind employees to be wary of phishing emails or other potential security threats.

Lead by example

Ensure your organization’s leadership team understands the importance of information security and adheres to security best practices themselves. Leadership behavior often sets the tone for the rest of the organization. Ideally, executives should be champions for information security and emphasize the importance of following best practices to the rest of their team.

Seeing security as a priority for leadership generates buy-in from all employees and encourages teams to follow defined processes and stay vigilant of potential threats.