Ensuring your team quickly reports security issues is crucial for your business, though it might not be something you’ve considered before.

You might believe that with all your security tech tools, you’re fully protected. But the reality is, your employees are your first line of defense, and they play an irreplaceable role in identifying and reporting security threats.

Picture this: An employee receives a suspicious email that looks like it’s from a trusted supplier. It’s a classic phishing attempt (where a cybercriminal impersonates someone else to steal your data).

If the employee ignores it or assumes someone else will handle it, that seemingly innocent email could lead to a major data breach, costing your company a significant amount of money.

The fact is, less than 10% of employees report phishing emails to their security teams. That’s alarmingly low. Why? Well:

  • They might not realize its importance.
  • They’re afraid of getting into trouble if they’re wrong.
  • They think it’s someone else’s responsibility.
  • Past experiences of being shamed for security mistakes make them hesitant to speak up.

One major reason employees don’t report security issues is that they don’t understand the significance. They might not recognize what a security threat looks like or why reporting it is essential. This is where education plays a role, but it needs to be engaging, not filled with jargon.

Think of cybersecurity training as an interactive experience. Use real-life examples and scenarios to show how a small issue can escalate into a major problem if not reported.

Simulate phishing attacks and demonstrate the potential consequences. Make it clear that everyone has a crucial role in keeping the company safe. When employees see that their actions can prevent disasters, they’ll be more inclined to report anything suspicious.

Even if employees want to report an issue, a complicated process can discourage them. Ensure your reporting process is simple and straightforward. Think easy-access buttons or quick links on your company’s intranet.

Make sure everyone knows how to report an issue. Regular reminders and clear instructions can make a big difference. And when someone does report something, provide immediate feedback. A simple thank you or acknowledgement can reinforce their behavior and show them that their efforts matter.

It’s about creating a culture where reporting security issues is seen as positive. If employees feel they’ll be judged or punished, they’ll stay silent. Leaders in your company need to set the tone by being open about their own experiences with reporting issues. When the top executives talk openly about security, it encourages everyone else to do the same.

Consider appointing security champions within different departments. These individuals can be the go-to people for their peers, offering support and making the reporting process less intimidating. Keep security a regular topic of conversation to keep it fresh in everyone’s minds.

Celebrate the learning opportunities from reported incidents. Share success stories where reporting helped avoid a disaster. This not only educates but also motivates your team to stay vigilant and speak up.

By making it easy and rewarding for your employees to report security issues, you’re not just protecting your business; you’re also fostering a more engaged and proactive workforce.

Encourage open communication, continuous learning, and avoid shaming anyone for their mistakes. The faster issues are reported, the easier and cheaper they are to fix, keeping your business secure and thriving.

This is something we regularly help businesses with. If we can assist you too, get in touch.