Dear CSO, do you know how to build security culture?
by Kai Roer - Senior Partner, The Roer Group - Wednesday, 14 August 2013.
By theorizing that you have no knowledge about culture and social sciences, I'm making the same mistake right now. Instead of doing serious research, I just look at the CSOs I know to confirm my theory. Then I apply another bias to my somewhat limited sample of evidence - I generalize. By generalizing, I take whatever information I have, and scale it up to make it applicable to what I have set out to prove.

As a writer, I'm allowed to make such errors to make a point. As a scientist, doing the same should be and is a deadly sin. As a human, I'm always going to make these errors. It is, according to science, hardwired in our brains. My responsibility is to exercise strong self-control, and to be humbled for and by the errors I make.

"What does this have to do with security culture?," you may ask. Let us define culture. According to the Oxford dictionary, culture is "the ideas, customs and social behaviors of a particular people or society". By this definition, we see that culture is about the things we all do in a group of people. Security culture may then be the "ideas, customs and behaviors that impact security, both positive and negative, in a particular group of people".

In that definition, security is only a part of the whole, just like security is in most organizations around the world. It is your part, that is right. As I demonstrated above, you are likely the expert on security, but not on human behavior. Setting out to create and maintain security culture in your organization is not a job you should be doing alone.

Consider this instead: If you know security, who knows culture in your organization? And this: why don't you work to build your security culture with those who know culture and human behavior?

Spotlight

How to talk infosec with kids

Posted on 17 September 2014.  |  It's never too early to talk infosec with kids: you simply need the right story. In fact, as cyber professionals itís our duty to teach ALL the kids in our life about technology. If we are to make an impact, we must remember that children needed to be taught about technology on their terms.


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