Implementing an information security program can seem like a daunting task for any company. Whether you are starting a program for the first time, looking to consolidate your security policies and procedures into one place, or are being asked how you comply with the latest compliance standards by your vendors; we have seen it all at Securicy.
That’s why we thought it would be helpful to share some tips for successfully implementing your company’s program from the customer success perspective. At any stage of the implementation process, security must be adopted as a part of a company’s culture.
Make Information Security Part of Company Culture
Closing deals and proving to clients that you can meet their security needs is the most common reason we see for starting a security program.
Often times this makes security a box that needs to be ticked and not something that becomes part of the day-to-day role for all employees. In order to have a successful program, it needs to be part of the culture of your company from the new hires all the way to the senior management.
For the CEO to demonstrate their compliance with the company's security procedures it just further proves to employees just how focused your company is on information security. It shows that all employees, not just the intern or new hire, must take security seriously.
The role of Board Members cannot be undervalued. They should be involved in the process by overseeing the CEO or owner of the company. When security becomes a part of the company culture it increases adoption from all employees, reduces the fear of an incident, and becomes another part of each employee's day-to-day responsibilities.
Create a Team or Champion for Information Security
Having a member of your company dedicated to the role of information security may not be practical for all companies, depending on their size. For large companies having a team or one employee that manages the implementation and adoption of your program is common. Smaller-to-medium size businesses and startups usually do not have the luxury of hiring a dedicated employee for this role.
Many times we see that a CTO, CEO, or a member of senior management in a smaller company is tasked with these responsibilities on top of their other duties. They are unable to give enough time to complete these extra tasks or are unwilling as they see it as something that is not their responsibility or is not a priority.
When choosing one person, ensure that this individual understands the importance of the security program and how it relates not only to their role but the company culture as well. In many cases with smaller companies and startups having a team approach can help spread out this workload and improve the adoption and implementation of the program.
Information Security from an employee’s first day to their last
Another tip is to have each employee from their first day to their last day, understand the role that information security plays in their role in your company. New employees are trained in the duties of their position in your company. Security best practices must be included in this training. Statistically, employees are the weakest link when it comes to information security.
However, it isn’t enough to only focus on this training one time, or even annually. This should be an ongoing process over the employee's entire time with the company. As new threats emerge they should be educated on them, at least once a year they should demonstrate their compliance with any of the company’s policies and should even be asked to complete quizzes or tests to assess their understanding. Information security is not static and hackers do not stop changing their tactics. Having an on-going process and regular training or updates demonstrates to each employee just how important this is for your company and increases your employee participation and adopting your program.