Security Awareness is a term used to describe the comprehension and the consciousness that people still have regarding information security. Such understanding is essential to protect critical information and data stored in computing systems and mobile devices.
It is possible to reach cybersecurity awareness through several means, including formal training, security awareness programs, and regular communication with employees over current threats and relevant security measures. Also, implementing solid and effective security policies is essential to ensure the security consciousness is working, such as strong password policies, access control policies, and backup and disaster recovery procedures.
It is important to highlight cybersecurity is a constant concern for organizations. Security awareness is one of the key factors in ensuring information remains safe and protected against internal and external threats. Thus, implementing effective security awareness practices is essential to minimize security risks and protect confidential data and information.
We will highlight three means of awareness:
Phishing is a technique hackers use to obtain personal and financial information, like passwords and credit card numbers, through social engineering. To fight such a threat, it is essential to promote information security awareness.
Training and awareness campaigns are effective ways to educate people about phishing. That involves providing information regarding how phishing works, identifying an attack, and protecting the organization against it. Besides, many organizations conduct simulated phishing tests to train people to recognize real phishing messages and protect their accounts.
Information security awareness is essential to keep staff alert regarding techniques used by attackers. Teaching users to create safe passwords, use antivirus software, and avoid opening unknown links is important. Implementing strong and effective security policies is also essential to ensure an effective security awareness policy.
2- Security Champions
The Security Champions program aims to promote the cybersecurity culture coupled with system development techniques. As it belongs to the security information pillar, several resources can be explored, including safe development training, focusing on the OWASP Top 10 framework, and full guides to go technically deeper into the preventive vulnerabilities model and to correct security flaws.
The program aims to include security in the reality of the development environment, to provide complete and satisfactory learning, always aligned with the cooperation plan with the organization’s security teams.
Important points regarding Security Champions:
- Improving security awareness: members of the Security Champions program must develop more understanding regarding the application’s security measures. It helps companies to make better decisions regarding how to deal with security threats and protect their products.
- Improvements in the processes: the Security Champions program offers guidance on implementing and monitoring more dynamic application security processes to reduce the risk of data leaks, security violations, and accumulating vulnerabilities without correction.
- Productivity increase: as the only focal point between security and development, security champions can contribute to expediting the corrections inside the team, helping in the technical understanding of the solution and even finding vulnerabilities earlier. The developer should embody the purpose of extending the application’s security by carrying out tasks more efficiently, with less bureaucracy, thus increasing productivity. Automating pipelines and having security champions as a booster significantly increases the teams’ ability to carry out early discoveries and makes it easier to correct them.
- Cost reduction: The Security Champions program can also help companies to save money. With the process improvements, companies may slash costs with software licenses, security services, and staff training.
3- Capture the Flag (CTF)
Capture the Flag (CTF) is a competitive information security game that involves the solution to cybersecurity challenges. In this game, participants work to find and capture “flags” — that are actual vulnerability evidence — hidden in platforms, systems, or applications. Teams score when they capture or find flags, and the team with the most points wins the game.
When concluding a CTF competition, developers may ensure they can develop safe applications and build more solid security solutions. That will help them reduce the risks and improve product quality.
Important points regarding CTF:
- Development of behavioral abilities: during the game, leadership and focus abilities arise, and tasks are distributed. When participants play individually, it is evident how fast and organized they are.
- Understanding the vulnerability: when the exposure is explored, the developer understands the nuances of a flaw, later reflecting how they develop the product’s code.
- Developing a security mindset: It incentivizes developers to learn and practice the best security solutions. Participants who engage in this type of activity gain more authority within the team regarding security and develop a more critical view of security issues.
- Learning and fun: It is a great way to test and enhance security skills in a gamified way, creating an engaging competition environment. Developing a fun environment stimulates better learning levels.