With cybersecurity threats continuing to escalate worldwide, the ISACA/CMMI Institute Cybersecurity Culture Report found that just 5 percent of employees think their organization’s cybersecurity culture is as advanced as it needs to be to protect their business from internal and external threats.
Cybersecurity culture is a workplace culture in which security awareness and behaviors are integrated into everyone’s daily operations, as well as an executive leadership priority. In a threat-ripe environment, an effective cybersecurity culture can help employees understand their roles and responsibilities in keeping their organizations safe and customer data secure. However, just 34 percent of respondents say they understand their role in their organizations’ cyber culture.
Companies must take an all-hands-on-deck approach to counter cyberattack threats, the report summarizes.
“Enlisting the entire workforce to mitigate an enterprise’s cyber risk is an emerging practice,” says Doug Grindstaff II, SVP of Cybersecurity Solutions at CMMI Institute. “We are hearing a lot of feedback about how organizations can move the needle on employee involvement. It’s challenging, but organizations are rightly concerned by the growing sophistication of cyberattacks.”
Widespread employee involvement correlates strongly with the minority of organizations that have achieved strong satisfaction with their cybersecurity culture. Nine in ten employees (92 percent) at these organizations say that their C-level executives share an excellent understanding of the underlying issues, which may be why they loop-in their employees so well; 84 percent of employees at these organizations say they understand their role in cybersecurity.
Other critical findings include:
- Many organizations lack the first—and all-important—step toward a cybersecurity culture: 42 percent of organizations do not have an outlined cybersecurity culture management plan or policy.
- Aligning the entire workforce with the organization’s cybersecurity policies requires significant capital: Organizations that report a significant gap between their current and desired cybersecurity culture are spending just 19 percent of their annual cybersecurity budget on training and tools; organizations that believe their cybersecurity culture is where it is supposed to be are spending more than twice as much (43 percent).
“A key motivator for organizations delaying investing in their cybersecurity cultures is a lack of awareness about the attempted threats and ongoing risks, as well as a lack of awareness about the assets at risk to cybersecurity threats,” said Rob Clyde, NACD Board Leadership Fellow and ISACA Board Chair. “However, individuals tend to underestimate the potential damage and overestimate technology’s ability to limit such incidents. Doing so puts their organizations at serious risk.”