10 things firms should do to improve security

1. Policy, procedures, standards and guidelines should be written and published for all aspects of security, and kept up to date with evolving technology and workplace practices.

2. Implement thorough vetting procedures for everyone who comes through the door, including cleaners and other sub-contractors.

3. Conduct appropriate security awareness training for all staff. Make the training entertaining, relevant and never condescending – implement the human firewall.

4. A happy employee is a well-behaved employee. Treat employees and sub-contractors with respect, to minimise the chance of malicious activities which may compromise the organisation or other employees’ security.

5. Don’t put your trust in technologies – security products are only as good as the people who install them and maintain them. Ensure that frequent tests and audits are conducted, both by your own staff and third parties.

6. Remember that security is not an IT issue – it’s a business issue. It embraces people, offices, networks and homes. Give your staff the skills and motivation to think securely.

7. Ensure that every new project plan and every third-party contract includes a risk analysis and considers security at every stage.

8. Don’t try to outsource the responsibility for security – it doesn’t work. Lead from the top and ensure that all senior staff visibly implement best practice security at work, at home and whilst travelling.

9. Test all components of your business for secure behaviour – telephone operators, help desks, home and travelling workers, network infrastructure, servers, workstations, laptops, mobile phones, etc. etc.

10. Make security a core business process, not an afterthought or an IT problem.