“How strong is your security culture… and are you controlling it?” This is the question posed by Kai Roer, chief research officer and Perry Carpenter, chief strategy officer at KnowBe4 during their session entitled Security Awareness, Behaviour and Culture – The Key to Making it Work at KB4-Con in Orlando. The pair posited to the attendees of both partners and customers that security culture is widely regarded as a good thing by 94% of organisations surveyed by Forrester, though the term itself has too many definitions in its current state to be meaningful. Indeed, good and bad security culture is something that can be embedded into an organisation. Therefore, a new approach is needed that takes into account the ideas, customs and social behaviours of an organisation that influence its security.
Perry noted a reckoning in the industry, where once security awareness programmes started with limited goals and bare minimum checklists set merely on achieving compliance requirements, we’ve moved on to shaping behaviours to stem the tide of breaches that come from phishing – but there is so much more we can do, he said. “We need to start viewing the human as an endpoint that could potentially control thousands of other endpoints (IoT); if you can deal with the one who controls the many, it’s more effective.”
Kai and Perry moved on to talk about the maturation of the industry and how CISOs can more easily earn themselves a spot at the table. “The way to do this is for CISOs to be able to give relevant metrics on how people play into the security profile of the organisation. People are a critical layer – not the only layer but a critical one – so this is all part of a defensive security posture. We need to up-level this traditionally ignored part of the security stack,” Perry explained.
To help with this, Kai said that meaningful data is necessary, because most existing models for security culture maturity lack precision. As part of the pair’s research, they analysed billions of data points to come up with the seven dimensions of security culture that allow organisations to breakdown their own security culture and adapt accordingly. The full playbook is available to buy here: https://www.amazon.com/Security-Culture-Playbook-Executive-Developing/dp/1119875234