AbleToTrain by Willing & Able

How to enable employee security and productivity

How can CISOs make cybersecurity more pleasant, productive, and inclusive while also ensuring best practices are followed across the enterprise?

How can CISOs (who are already busy fighting fires, cloning themselves, and juggling plates) enable their security team to be productive and empower the organization as a whole while maintaining high security standards?

Are employee autonomy and cybersecurity incompatible?

Workplace autonomy produces a more efficient and inspired organizational culture; nevertheless, autonomy and IT security do not typically go hand in hand. Individual responsibility, as well as assistance for the larger team, does.

Finding a person’s specialisms and asking them to champion and report on a single area to support their peers within the larger IT security function is a wonderful approach to demonstrate confidence and recognize and respect the specific value they provide to the firm.

Productivity is driven by effective communication

A lack of communication is one of the most frequently reported concerns from employees in any function. Individual management and one-on-one reactions are part of this, which entails listening to staff problems and verbally acknowledging and appreciating their efforts (publicly and privately).

Accessibility is also a factor. A closed door hinders communication. Keep your office door open and make your presence known. This may seem obvious, yet it is one of the most significant hurdles to communication and one of the most common complaints among employees. People should be able to obtain management and expert advice with minimal fuss and with the sense that their ideas and opinions are valued. Staff should be aware that they should never be scared to inquire. Be available on Slack, WhatsApp, Teams, or whatever platform your team utilizes.

Invest in your employees and their tools

IT security teams must have good equipment and invest in software. Using people as a substitute for investment can be interpreted, correctly or incorrectly, as a lack of security team support. What does it say about how your organization values and supports the cybersecurity team if teams have to wade through thousands of false positives every morning or don’t have time to perform other vital work because they’re playing security whack-a-mole?

IT security specialists are in great demand and understand their worth in today’s security environment. Investing in cybersecurity solutions that save time and money frees up team members to be more proactive in other areas, such as threat modeling, red team activities that encourage teamwork and security expertise, or serving as champions.

Make cybersecurity policy a part of human resources

When someone enters your organization, regardless of department or expertise, they should go through cybersecurity awareness training. Ideally, this should be led in person by your company’s IT security team, rather than through online courses or a collection of videos. The personal touch MAKES it personal and underlines the necessity of cybersecurity by allowing the user to be a part of the conversation, ask questions, and participate actively. Personal, ideally one-on-one training will stay with them long after they’ve forgotten one of the many training films or emails they had to watch during their introduction.

Every department should have an uniform training policy that includes yearly simulated phishing exercises, password security training, and security best practices refreshers. Keeping it simple and accessible allows for a better understanding and fosters inclusivity.

Teaching within the IT security department should be more proactive and technical in nature. Consider lunchtime talks with your specialists and technical champions (people will generally share their time in exchange for information).

This also allows your specialists to shine, allowing others to learn about the issue and its importance, and allows for Q&As. Team leaders should be there and show an interest. There’s also a fair likelihood that HR will foot the tab for this one because they normally budget for such things.

Make mistakes become teaching opportunities

It’s important to remember that the goal of employee empowerment is to give employees the confidence to take regulated risks and make their own decisions, which involves understanding that mistakes will be made from time to time. It’s pointless to be very outraged or recriminatory about this; it’s part of the process, and staff shouldn’t be raked over the coals if things don’t go as planned; instead, they should be encouraged, and policies and procedures should be adopted where gaps are identified.

While there are time-saving and preventative cybersecurity tools that can help, it is feasible to empower our IT security employees to be productive while also empowering the rest of the firm. We can make individuals feel valued and significant in their responsibilities as managers by employing an open approach and the tools at our disposal, all while increasing and maintaining security standards.