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RISCS Hub White Paper Published Jointly by RISCS, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and CESG

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The business white paper “Awareness is only the first step: A framework for progressive engagement of staff in cyber security” is the product of collaboration between RISCS researchers and security awareness experts at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), with oversight by the UK government’s National Technical Authority for Information Assurance (CESG).

Security communication, education, and training (CET) is meant to align employee behavior with the security goals of the organization, but it is not always designed in a way that can achieve this. The purpose of this paper is to set out a framework for security awareness that employees will actually engage with, and empower them to become the strongest link—rather than a vulnerability—in defending the organization.

A set of steps, required to deliver effective security CET as a natural part of an organization’s engagement with employees at all levels, is outlined. Depending on different needs, many vehicles are available from security games, quizzes, and brainteasers—and possibly prizes—to encourage employees to test their knowledge and explore in a playful manner. The most important output is that different approaches are needed for routine security tasks, and those tasks require application of existing security skills to new situations. There are many creative ways to improve security behaviors and culture, but it is essential to engage people in the right way. Then they can convert learning into tangible action and new behavior. Security CET needs to be properly resourced and regularly reviewed and updated to achieve lasting behavior change.

The report can be downloaded here.