Cybersecurity is a growing problem in the global digital economy. Companies that want their employees to have a strong defense against cyber hackers need to do more than give them trainings on password security and other basic protocols. They need to teach them how to think like a hacker.
Thinking like a hacker starts with forgetting what it means to be a hacker. Most of our frame of reference comes from movies and the entertainment industry. The media sensationalizes hacking because, of course, sensationalism sells. Instead, a broader concept of cyber criminals needs to be communicated.
Hackers are persistent, creative and resourceful. They think in terms of digital technology and are curious about how the online environment works. They view every challenge as an opportunity.
Cyber hackers also are aware of the limitations of technology. They mistrust computer systems and understand that all software is susceptible to bugs and glitches. They look for ways to circumvent software that was intended to have positive outcomes for their own nefarious results. They know that they can push the boundaries of what software was intended to do and are constantly looking for vulnerabilities in the code.
Companies need to start cultivating a hacker mentality within their own organization. Employees that understand how cyber criminals think will have a better understanding and appreciation for cybersecurity efforts. The process of learning more about the world of cyber hacking will also help your employees become more creative and resourceful when it comes to online systems. These skills will help them in the future as technological innovations, such as artificial intelligence and automation – become a central part of their industry and service delivery processes.
Here are 4 strategies businesses may want to put in place to help their employees better understand hacking and cybersecurity.
Hackathons are events that set aside time, usually several days, to engage in brainstorming and collaboration on software projects. They are common occurrences within the IT sector and often have corporate sponsorship. Hackathons help people think creatively about how to solve a specific software-related problem, which is what cyber hacking is all about.
Design company-wide events that encourage employees to problem-solve cyber crimes and how they could potentially be perpetrated within the organization. You can design a fictitious cyber event and challenge employees to figure out how it was organized and executed. This will give employees, even non-technical staff, a new level of understanding of cyber hacking and security.
Whenever a cyber breach occurs within the company, encourage employees to share their insights on what happened. By encouraging sharing, you are helping to build community and create a shared purpose within your company, as well as increase vigilance for detection and response to cyber threats.
When employees from different departments work together in teams it opens up the lines of communication and can help solve problems with a fresh perspective. No matter how skilled someone is within their own job scope, it’s only a matter of time until something is overlooked. Security-conscious companies invite outside experts and build collaborative teams that can help identify vulnerabilities through a new viewpoint.
It’s important for companies to start cultivating a hacker mindset in order to change the way employees view and value cybersecurity, leading to better security across the entire organization. In the future, we all need to learn to think like hackers. When you adopt a hacker mindset, your company will learn to proactively embrace their ability to protect the organization, making the world a better and safer place. And that’s not only good for cybersecurity, but also good for business.
Do you have questions about protecting your business from cybersecurity risks? Contact a cyber liability insurance specialist here. We’d love to hear from you!