Nurturing a Team with a Strong Focus on Security and Compliance

Tean discussing security issurs

by Cynthia Mielke, VP, Strategic Partnerships at Tango Card

Security and compliance are integral to every successful organisation. Their importance cannot be overstated, particularly as cyber threats and regulatory demands continue to increase. To navigate this complex terrain and safeguard your business, forming a dedicated team with a laser focus on these areas is paramount.

A strong team committed to security and compliance mitigates potential risks and reinforces your organisation’s trustworthiness. This team forms the backbone of your business’s defense mechanism, protecting sensitive data, ensuring regulatory adherence, and fostering a culture of security awareness.

But to build and maintain a successful security and compliance team, you must invest the right time and resources, ensuring that each team member has the necessary tools and training to excel.

Why a Strong Security Culture is Important

Building a robust security culture goes beyond relying on advanced firewalls or encryption tools. It involves establishing a workplace where all team members recognise the significance of security, are knowledgeable about potential risks, and can effectively handle potential threats.

This entails cultivating a mindset where security becomes ingrained in every individual within the organisation, regardless of their position or tenure.

Having a strong security culture can significantly reduce the risk of cyber threats. When employees are educated about phishing scams, password security, and safe internet practices, they become your first defense against potential attacks. 

They can recognise suspicious activities and know the procedures to follow, preventing small threats from escalating into major security incidents.

A robust security culture also ensures compliance with all applicable regulatory standards. Failing to comply could lead to costly penalties, legal consequences, and harm your company’s reputation. By proactively staying informed, you can reduce the risk of that outcomes and increase the trust of your customers and partners.

Making Security and Compliance a Top Priority in Your Business

Security and compliance aren’t just checkboxes on a to-do list. They are fundamental aspects of your business that safeguard your company’s assets, protect sensitive data, uphold your reputation, and secure the trust of your customers. Below are the steps you can take to prioritise security and compliance in your business.

Reinforce Security as a Collective Duty

In an organisation, security is a shared responsibility that extends beyond the IT department. Cultivating a culture where every team member—from the CEO to entry-level employees—must understand their part in maintaining security and compliance standards is crucial.

Promote open communication about security within your organisation. Encourage employees to report suspicious activities or potential vulnerabilities without fear of retribution. Regularly update your team about emerging threats and the proactive measures to counteract them. This transparency can transform your workforce into a human firewall, the first defense against cyber threats.

Elevate Training Above Basic Awareness

Employee training is a potent tool in your cybersecurity arsenal. However, it should surpass basic awareness to encompass a broad understanding of security and compliance. Implement a comprehensive program that delves into critical areas such as data protection, cybersecurity, privacy laws, and industry-specific regulations.

Utilise real-world scenarios and interactive exercises during training sessions. These methods can help your team grasp the tangible implications of security breaches and appreciate the importance of adhering to compliance protocols. Regularly update your training curriculum to reflect the rapidly evolving threat landscape and regulatory changes.

Make Change Management Procedures More Accessible

Change management is a pivotal aspect of maintaining security and compliance. It involves systematically managing alterations to your IT infrastructure to minimise the risk of disruptions and security vulnerabilities.

Ensure that change management procedures are not only accessible but also understandable to all relevant parties. Provide clear, step-by-step guidelines on how changes should be proposed, evaluated, approved, implemented, and reviewed. 

A transparent and well-documented process can prevent unauthorised or uncoordinated changes that could inadvertently compromise your security or violate compliance regulations.

Apply Measurements to Track Achievements

Measurement is the cornerstone of improvement. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to track your progress in security and compliance. These might include metrics such as the number of security incidents, response times to these incidents, compliance audit results, employee training completion rates, or even customer trust levels.

Regularly review and analyse these measurements to identify trends, pinpoint vulnerabilities, and gauge the effectiveness of your security and compliance efforts. 

These insights can guide your strategy, driving continuous improvement in your security posture and compliance adherence.

Assign Security Representatives

Assigning security representatives is one effective strategy to reinforce security and compliance across your organisation. These individuals can serve as the point of contact for their respective departments or teams, ensuring that security protocols are adhered to at all levels.

Security representatives should be well-versed in your company’s security and compliance policies. They can help disseminate critical information, coordinate training sessions, address team-specific concerns, and monitor compliance within their teams. 

By decentralizing security responsibilities, you can ensure that every corner of your organisation is covered.

Infuse Fun and Excitement into the Process

Let’s face it, security and compliance topics can be dry and technical, making them less appealing to some employees. Infusing fun and excitement into the process, such as rewarding employees with gift cards, can boost engagement and make learning more enjoyable.

Consider gamifying your training programs into competitive challenges or interactive games. You can also organise cybersecurity-themed events or hackathons where employees can learn about security in a hands-on and engaging environment. 

Making these processes enjoyable not only aids in retention but also fosters a positive attitude toward security and compliance.

Recognise Accomplishments

Recognition is a powerful motivator, and it shouldn’t just be reserved for work anniversary gifts. Celebrating accomplishments in security and compliance can encourage continuous adherence to these practices and foster a sense of pride among your employees.

This could involve acknowledging individuals who consistently follow security protocols, teams that pass compliance audits with flying colors, or departments that report and resolve potential vulnerabilities. 

Recognizing these achievements publicly can inspire others to follow suit and underline the importance of security and compliance in your organisation.

Start Building The Best Security-Focused Team

Ensuring your organisation’s security and compliance requires a strong team of professionals with the right mix of skills, attitudes, and knowledge. 

By taking the time to instill a culture of awareness and accountability around security and compliance, you can create a workforce that builds a stronger defense posture against today’s modern cyber threats.

About the author

Cindy is passionate about the incentive industry. In addition to her role as Vice President of Strategic Partners at Tango Card, she is a Certified Professional of Incentive Management who proudly serves on two industry boards. When she’s not working, Cindy enjoys spending time with her family—including three cats, two dogs, and a horse—and sharing her love of nature as a Nebraska Master Naturalist