Security Culture: The Basis of an Organization’s Internal Due Diligence

Marisa DiMuro
May 12, 2022

Company culture originated some time ago, but it seems to be one of the main selling points to an employee these days—flexibility, work/life balance, opportunities for professional development, etc. A company’s culture expresses the things that an organization values. But what about a security culture? Does your organization have one? How did the concept of having a security culture even come about?

Securing an organization’s data and customer data was driven by customer requirements by having technical controls and obtaining industry-standard security certifications (ISO, SOC, etc.). But in recent years, a gap was discovered through data investigations and analytics: the people. With a lack of security awareness, training, and education, it was concluded that the human element plays a huge role in data breaches. This resulted in the rise and focus of an organization’s security culture.

A security culture is the practices, ideas, and behaviors adopted to ensure an organization's success and safety. A security culture should embody that security is a shared responsibility, extending much further than the information security department. The key to security success is creating and maintaining a healthy security culture. When it is sustainable, it transforms security from a one-time, check-the-box type of thing to close customer contracts into a foundation that will pay dividends over the long term. 

Building a good security culture requires teamwork.

So how do we go about making this happen?

Knowledge is power. Make security an ongoing conversation with your team through Cybersecurity Awareness Training and teaching security best practices. 

Establish a comfortable environment for reporting concerns or uncertainties. Employees are more willing to engage and step up when they feel a sense of support.

Empower employees to use good security practices in their personal life. The more these best practices are used outside of the office, the more they become the norm.

Make it fun and engaging. Design a reward system for employees who report suspicious emails.

Why does this all matter? Everyone is in this together: organizations, customers, and vendors. A strong security culture becomes apparent through questionnaires, leading to building trust with customers. As the self-appointed ‘Questionnaire Queen here at SafeBase,’ I will tell you that the basis of vendor due diligence questionnaires comes from the sustainability of an organization’s security culture. So how strong is yours?

Discover SafeBase

Learn how SafeBase has helped companies speed through security assessments and expedite deals.