I’m sure it’s not surprising that cybersecurity isn’t a destination, but a process of continuous improvement that’s always evolving.
If cybersecurity is constantly evolving, then how could we possibly learn how to keep ourselves cyber secure?
By using a mindset shift
Shifting away from looking at cybersecurity as a task to be completed, or a problem to be solved and towards a continuous process of analyzing whatever situation we find ourselves in along the way and making the best cybersecurity choices.
Does that seem crazy?
Mindset shifts to improve your cybersecurity? Doesn’t make much sense, right?
Think about your personal safety in the real world. Do you put a lock on your front door and call yourself safe? Or do you analyze if its safe to cross the street, make that left turn in your car, or jump off that cliff into the lake below?
Some of this analyzing might be second nature or subconscious, sure. But you’re still analyzing each situation and making a call based on the safety risks you find.
The goal is to begin doing the same for cybersecurity and shift our mindset to thinking this way.
There are three mind shifts we need to make. What exactly are they? Lets look at them below:
Mind Shift #1: Stop thinking of cybersecurity as tools and methods
Most of the traditional cybersecurity advice includes what tools and methods you should be employing right now. Tools such as Antivirus or Multi-Factor Authentication and methods such as how to identify phishing emails are all important.
While these are good right now, at the end of the day they’re all solutions designed to reduce certain cyber risks. They’ll also change as technology or your situation changes.
How do you know how many tools and methods you need, and which ones are applicable to your situation? How do you know how much security is acceptable?
The first mind shift is to understand that cybersecurity tools and methods are solutions to reduce certain risks, such as flu shots are solutions to reduce your chances of getting the flu, or seat belts are a solution to reduce your chances of getting seriously hurt in a car accident.
Mind Shift #2: Start thinking of cybersecurity the same way we think of safety
You wouldn’t leave your home with the front door unlocked, leave your tax returns or personal documents in a public place or cross the street without looking to ensure its safe to do so. So why would you do that on the Internet?
Just as we evaluate each situation we find ourselves in to ensure we’re safe in the real world, we need to shift our perception of cybersecurity from the idea that we can’t “see” the risks, so we don’t need to worry about them to the idea that even though we can’t “see” any cyber risks, there are still some there and we need to be able to identify them for ourselves.
Mind Shift #3: Not everyone has the same risk or cybersecurity needs
While everyone has the potential to be a victim of cybercrime, the more we share, communicate and integrate our lives and businesses with the internet the more we open up ourselves to the risk of being caught up in cybercrime.
While for most of us the risk is manageable, there are many factors which can increase your risk level and make you a more appealing target to cybercriminals. Some of those factors include:
- Business Status
- Publicity, Fame or large social media followings
- Frequent travel
- Internet-connected Technologies or Internet of Things (IoT)
- Business or domestic employees
The traditional cybersecurity advice intends to cast the widest net as possible and secure the most people possible. The goal of the third mind shift is for you to understand what your personal situation is, and what in your life might be exposing you to cybersecurity risk. Then you can employ the tools and to reduce the risk most applicable to you.
Of course, the list above isn’t exhaustive. It’s meant to get you thinking and considering all aspects of what could impact your cybersecurity, both online and offline.
So, how can we shift our mindset? Stay tuned for our next post!