Dealing with the corporate immune system

You likely understand that one of the biggest challenges in improving cybersecurity in any organization is dealing with the corporate immune system.

This term refers to the various attitudes, behaviours, and cultural norms that can make it difficult to implement better cybersecurity practices.

In this article, we will explore the power of the corporate immune system to hamper the implementation of better cybersecurity in three main areas: technology, people, and policy.


One of the primary ways that the corporate immune system can hinder cybersecurity efforts is by creating resistance to new technologies.

This is particularly true in industries that are heavily regulated, such as banking and healthcare. In these industries, there is often a reluctance to adopt new technologies that may not have a proven track record or may not be compliant with existing regulations.

This resistance can also manifest in more subtle ways.

For example, employees may be resistant to using new security tools because they are comfortable with the old ones.

Similarly, there may be resistance to implementing new security protocols because they are seen as too time-consuming or disruptive to existing workflows.

To overcome these challenges, it is important to provide clear communication about the benefits of new technologies and to involve employees in the process of selecting and implementing new security tools.


Another area where the corporate immune system can hamper cybersecurity efforts is in dealing with people.

This can manifest in a number of ways, including a lack of awareness or understanding of cybersecurity risks, a lack of training on how to identify and respond to security threats, and a reluctance to report security incidents.

To overcome these challenges, it is important to provide ongoing cybersecurity training and education to all employees, from the C-suite down to the frontline staff.

This training should cover not only the technical aspects of cybersecurity but also the human factors that can contribute to security breaches, such as phishing scams and social engineering.

It is also important to create a culture of transparency and accountability, where employees feel comfortable reporting security incidents without fear of retaliation.


The final area where the corporate immune system can hamper cybersecurity efforts is in the realm of policy.

This can include resistance to implementing new security policies or a lack of enforcement of existing policies. In some cases, policies may be seen as too restrictive or burdensome, leading employees to find workarounds or ignore them altogether.

To overcome these challenges, it is important to involve all stakeholders in the policy-making process and to communicate clearly about the rationale behind new policies.

It is also important to ensure that policies are flexible enough to accommodate the needs of different departments and workflows, while still maintaining a high level of security.

Finally, policies must be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that they remain relevant and effective in the face of evolving cybersecurity threats.

The corporate immune system can be a significant barrier to improving cybersecurity in any organization.

However, by addressing the challenges in the areas of technology, people, and policy, it is possible to overcome these barriers and create a culture of cybersecurity that protects both the organization and its stakeholders.

It is everyone’s responsibility to advocate for these changes and to help organizations navigate the complexities of the corporate immune system in order to achieve better security outcomes.

Posted in Business Security, Compliance, People and Education, Uncategorized and tagged , , , .

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