Robust cyber security lies in human alertness and participation as much as cutting-edge technology. 88 percent of data breach incidents are caused by employee mistakes.
With email, social media, apps, and internal channels like Slack competing for employee attention, CISOs must be innovative in how they approach security awareness. Enter the Business-to-Employee (B2E) strategy. B2E regards employees — not as passive receptors of information — but as active, interested participants in your enterprise's cybersecurity culture: they are your cybersecurity heroes.
The B2E Model - A New Paradigm in Cybersecurity
B2E abandons traditional top-down approaches to communication and instead focuses on providing employees with personalized, interactive communications that resonate with Gen-Z. B2E treats employees as internal customers who deserve the same attention, respect, and tailored content provided to its external customer base. And the result is a more engaged workforce, better equipped to engage with cybersecurity challenges.
Tailoring Messages for Maximum Impact (the 3R)
Creating impactful content in cyber security awareness requires understanding your organization's unique landscape. Employees best respond to messages that are relevant, relatable, and resonant with what they do on a day-to-day basis, beyond the company's boundaries, and also focus on their families’ safety. B2E ensures that the content provided to members of your workforce also fits employees’ personal needs. Cybersecurity is now high-profile enough that most workers are aware of the basics and interested in ways to protect their jobs and themselves.
Better Reach by Using Various Channels
Smart leadership is tapping different channels, from walled social media to email newsletters and interactive web portals, to ensure employees of all demographics are engaged in cybersecurity awareness. A multi-channel strategy is necessary to ensure dialogue and engagement. Done correctly, this strategy works — employees appreciate the effort and think of cybersecurity professionals as subject matter experts who protect the enterprise.
Interactive and Engaging Learning Style in Cybersecurity
Training modules should be interactive and engaging. Some employees learn by reading, some by watching, and some by clicking. One-size-fits-all approaches are a waste. Innovative cybersecurity programs involve gaming, storytelling, and interactive features, including short-form videos and real-time quizzes.
Bite-Sized Content to Combat the Forgetting Curve
Dropping a large amount of content all at once and refreshing it for months is ineffective. Cybersecurity content should be delivered in bite-sized sessions. Unlike many “left-brained” engineers, most employees respond to conversational, short-form content that is repeated often. Revisiting topics keeps cybersecurity top-of-mind.
Personalize the Content
The element of personalization is inherent in a B2E approach. Consider utilizing elements with your organization’s branding and include company-wide cyber initiatives that interest employees, like badges, profiles, and opinion polls. Personalized content that spotlights employee questions and experiences adds to the effectiveness of cybersecurity outreach.
Creating a Cyber Secure Culture
Ultimately, the aim of the B2E strategy is to enshrine cybersecurity awareness within the fabric of corporate culture. Open communication channels where employees can share insights and observations provide a sense of ownership of the problem. This is a huge opportunity for IT leadership to grow its influence because a cyber-aware culture is a resilient culture.
Evaluating B2E Initiatives for Success
To further evaluate the effectiveness of B2E initiatives, a second area of focus is to measure engagement and awareness. It's important to set up regular feedback mechanisms, initiate survey tools, and track metrics of engagement. And be prepared — the metrics will not always generate continuous improvement. Just as social media and other marketing channels evolve quickly, you will need to, as well. There will be plateaus in employee engagement, which will signal a need for your team to find new creative approaches.
How to Deliver Next-Generation Results — for only five minutes of your time with a B2E strategy.
Using a B2E approach in cyber security awareness is not an information-passing initiative but an avenue whereby every employee actively takes part as custodians of your cybersecurity outreach. You want honest feedback, particularly when it’s hard for your team to hear. Encouraging and acting on that feedback is how you build a more engaged, informed, and resilient workforce.
At Aware Force, we deliver bespoke cybersecurity content. It’s topical, easy to understand,, relevant material that employees love — and as a result, they frequently let IT teams know how much they appreciate the effort. The content is fresh, interactive, and customized for your organization. Best of all, Aware Force requires a very small time commitment from you and your team.
Our content empowers your employees to protect your organization, themselves, and their families. Aware Force is cost-effective and delivers measurable results that can be shared with senior management and the board.
If you’re settling for a “check the box” approach, check us out. Aware Force will turn your team into cybersecurity heroes. We pick up where your cyber security training leaves off, ensuring that your workforce remains vigilant and informed.
 Stanford University / Tessian