Are your Employees Reporting Security Issues Fast Enough… or Even at All?

Ensuring your team reports security issues promptly is vital for your business. While you might rely on your tech tools for protection, your employees are your first line of defense against security threats. 

Imagine an employee receives a suspicious email that appears to be from a trusted supplier. It’s a classic phishing attempt, where a cybercriminal pretends to be someone else to steal your data. If the employee dismisses it or thinks someone else will handle it, that innocent-looking email could lead to a significant data breach, costing your company a lot. 

Surprisingly, less than 10% of employees report phishing emails to their security teams. Why? They might not understand its importance, fear getting into trouble if they’re wrong, or assume it’s someone else’s responsibility. If they’ve been shamed for past mistakes, they’re even less likely to report issues. 

Many employees don’t report security threats because they don’t recognize them or understand their significance. This is where engaging and interactive cybersecurity training becomes essential. Use real-life examples to show how small issues can escalate if not reported. 

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

A complicated reporting process can also discourage employees from speaking up. Make it easy and straightforward, with simple buttons or quick links on your company’s intranet. Ensure everyone knows how to report an issue with regular reminders and clear instructions. When someone reports something, acknowledge and thank them to reinforce their behavior. 

Create a culture where reporting security issues is positive. If employees fear judgment or punishment, they’ll stay silent. Leaders should set the tone by sharing their own experiences with reporting issues, encouraging open communication. 

Consider appointing security champions within different departments. These go-to people can support their peers and make the reporting process less intimidating. Keep security a regular topic of conversation and celebrate the learning opportunities from reported incidents. Sharing success stories where reporting helped avoid disasters can educate and motivate your team. 

Making it easy and rewarding for employees to report security issues not only protects your business but also builds a more engaged and proactive workforce. Encourage open communication, continuous learning, and avoid shaming anyone for mistakes. The faster issues are reported, the easier and cheaper they are to fix, keeping your business secure and thriving. 

We regularly help businesses with this. We can help you too, get in touch.