The recent cyber attack which led to money being fraudulently withdrawn from thousands of Tesco’s bank customer accounts may have been described as unprecedented by the FCA but it is only the latest in an increasing wave of fraudulent attacks on business and individuals.
According to action fraud nearly £11 billion was lost to the UK economy through fraud and cyber crime in the year 2015/16 and yet many of us are still not making online safety part of our daily routine.
The action fraud website has plenty of handy hints including not using the same password for multiple accounts, not clicking on links unless they are from a verified source and keeping online fraud protection up-to-date. But precautions such as these will only work if people actively engage with them, particularly in a business setting.
Leaders who are looking to engage hearts and minds in the idea of cyber security therefore have to step away from the usual ‘once a year lecture’ and find ways to really promote a security mentality throughout the organisation. Running a competition, sharing real-life examples, challenging people to spot potential areas of weakness; whatever you do, the important thing is to take security away from being a process and into people’s hearts, minds and outlook.
I read recently about a fire alarm company which started all of its meetings with a summary of the fire exits. For them, fire safety was an intrinsic part of the culture; helping to ensure that safety was at the centre of actions, strategy and decisions. Instilling cyber security into the culture takes active leadership and design but at the end of the day this may well help to secure the future stability of the organisation.