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Why learning from mistakes is the key to cyber resilience

17 August, 2023

As organisations harness the power of the digital realm to drive growth and efficiency, they must also acknowledge the lurking threats that support this progress.

The truth is no system is resistant to cyber attacks.

But rather than creating a blame game around employee behaviour or sweeping mistakes under the carpet, the key path to cyber resilience lies in cultivating a culture of learning, adaptation, and growth.

In this blog, we will dive deep into the world of cyber resilience and cover the five pillars of high-quality cyber resilience. Let’s get started.

Embracing the learning curve

In the world of cybersecurity, mistakes are not merely setbacks; they are growth opportunities.

Organisations that understand this fundamental truth can evolve from a reactive stance to a proactive one.

When an employee falls victim to a phishing email or accidentally exposes sensitive information, the natural instinct might be to assign blame.

However, forward-thinking organisations understand that blame does not breed resilience; education does.

By viewing these incidents as teachable moments, companies can elevate their cybersecurity awareness to new heights.

Instead of punishing an employee who clicked on a malicious link, they can choose to educate them about the telltale signs of phishing scams.

By doing so, not only does the individual become more vigilant, but the entire organisation becomes more fortified against similar attacks in the future.

Cultivating a culture of accountability

The blame game serves no one in the realm of cybersecurity.

When employees fear punitive measures for making mistakes, they are more likely to hide errors rather than address them.

This creates a dangerous environment where vulnerabilities remain unaddressed, waiting to be exploited by cybercriminals.

Organisations can break this cycle by fostering a culture of accountability.

This starts from the top, with leadership setting an example by openly acknowledging their own mistakes and demonstrating a commitment to learning from them.

When employees see that even the highest-ranking individuals are not immune to errors, they are more likely to come forward with their own missteps.

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Learn from near misses

Near misses are meticulously studied in the aviation industry to prevent future accidents.

Similarly, in the world of cybersecurity, near misses or close calls can provide valuable insights into potential vulnerabilities.

Organisations should commend them for vigilance rather than disciplining an employee who narrowly averted a cyber attack and then delve into the details of the incident.

Organisations can identify weak points in their defence systems by dissecting what went wrong and what factors contributed to the near miss.

This proactive approach allows for corrective measures to be put in place before a real attack occurs.

Just as pilots analyse near misses to enhance aviation safety, organisations can turn close calls into opportunities to fortify their cybersecurity.

The power of continuous learning

Cyber threats are constantly in flux, with attackers devising new strategies and techniques regularly.

To keep pace with this ever-changing landscape, organisations must adopt a mindset of continuous learning.

This means staying updated on the latest threats and vulnerabilities and consistently educating employees about best practices and safe behaviours.

Organisations should embrace ongoing cybersecurity awareness programs rather than relying on a one-time training session.

These programs can include interactive workshops, simulated phishing exercises, and real-world case studies.

By making cybersecurity education engaging and relevant, employees are more likely to retain and apply the information in their day-to-day activities.

Turning mistakes into milestones

It's important to reframe the concept of mistakes within the realm of cybersecurity.

Instead of viewing them as failures, organisations should see them as milestones on the path to becoming more resilient.

When properly analysed and addressed, each mistake brings the organisation closer to a stronger defence against cyber threats.

In this journey, transparency is key.

Rather than hiding breaches or incidents, organisations should openly communicate with employees about what occurred, what steps were taken to rectify the situation, and what lessons were learned.

This instils trust within the workforce and encourages a sense of collective responsibility for cybersecurity.

In conclusion…

Organisations must abandon the outdated notions of blame and shame and embrace a culture of learning and adaptation.

By recognising mistakes as opportunities for growth, cultivating a culture of accountability, and adopting a mindset of continuous learning, organisations can build a robust defence against cyber threats.

How can Bob’s Business help your organisation?

At Bob's Business, we are dedicated to helping organisations like yours in addressing the dynamic realm of cybersecurity and compliance risk.

Recognising that 90% of breaches stem from human error, we empower your workforce with the knowledge and resources required to recognize and minimise potential threats.

Designed to foster cybersecurity-conscious environments within businesses, our cost-effective and accessible training options are carefully crafted to deliver enjoyable and effective learning experiences.

If you’re ready to kick-start your cyber secure journey, click here to check out our range of products.

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