The complexity of communication

As someone who worked for both large multinationals and small tech startups, I’m often asked whether the scale of the organisation matters when building security culture.

I think it does. Managing stakeholders and communication gets increasingly complex in larger organisations. In fact, the number of communication paths tends to increase dramatically with every new stakeholder introduced to the network.

I’ve had the privilege to advise a number of smaller companies in the beginning of their journey and I must admit it’s much more effective to embed secure behaviours from the start. We talk about security by design in the context of technical controls – it’s no different with security culture.

While working as a consultant, I helped large corporations with that challenge too. The key is to start small and focus on the behaviours you want to influence, keeping stakeholder engagement in mind. Active listening, empathy and rapport building are essential – just rolling out an eLearning module is unlikely to be effective.

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