Nurturing a cyber-safe business culture

The pandemic has undoubtedly sped up digital working, and many businesses have accelerated their digital transformation in response to this. But with this dramatic transformation there is also an increased cyber security risk due to a potentially dangerous convergence of factors:

  • We spend more hours online.
  • We are working in an environment not optimized for secure working (aka your home).
  • We think we are safer than we are. The volume of digital exposure and the “at home” mindset are amplifying factors.
  • Hackers have been quick and creative to exploit COVID-19 fears.
  • The volume of attacks and threats have also increased.
  • The nature of the threat is changing: most notably Ransomware is on the rise.

As a senior cyber specialist at a global Tech firm put it: “Hope is not a strategy. These risks are now the norm, not the exception”. When 96% of organisations have shifted cyber security strategy due to COVID-19, it’s likely that some of that requires a similar shift in employee awareness and behaviour. And it needs to go beyond annual compliance training modules. Cyber security is a critical business issue, and employees are a critical component of any cyber security strategy, providing the first line of defence. To play that vital role employees need to be aware of the threats and consequences, understand how they can mitigate the risks, and be ready to take the right course of action.

MerchantCantos has produced tailor-made campaigns to engage employees in helping to reduce risks for businesses and to nurture cyber safe behaviours or example, for Avon we created an innovative and fun campaign to motivate 36,000 Avon associates – including many who are not office-based – about the need for shared responsibility and commitment to cyber security. Employees showed their commitment to desired behaviours by taking the “Polish Pledge,” and then proudly painting their own nails yellow. And for Amadeus we used an animated phantom character to represent the voice of conscience, always there to remind employees of their responsibilities. Both great examples of how we use creativity to bring to life serious and complex information.

Cyber is an evolving threat, one that requires regular, engaging, consistent communications. Communications that create a culture of ‘cyber-aware’ and ‘cyber-conscious’ employees whereby cyber security is always a priority. At MerchantCantos alongside our colleagues at Brunswick we have been helping businesses engage with their employees finding simpler, more innovative and impactful ways to keep cyber security front of mind. If you have any questions about the challenges of cyber, and communicating this effectively, please speak to Naz Sadri or Phil Morley.

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