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The need for cybersecurity consciousness: Building security-first organizations

Learning and Development | 4 Mins Read

The need for cybersecurity consciousness: Building security-first organizations


In an era of rapid technological advancements, where AI and automation are transforming industries, cultivating cybersecurity-conscious behavior has never been more critical. As our reliance on technology deepens, so does the potential for cyber threats and attacks.


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Cyber incidents can potentially disrupt businesses, compromise sensitive data, and even threaten national security. The repercussions of such incidents can extend beyond financial losses, impacting customer trust, brand reputation, and overall business resilience.

An IBM study reveals that 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error, highlighting the critical role individuals play in maintaining a secure digital environment.


Mercer | Mettl’s cultural and people risk models

Organizations frequently allocate resources to cybersecurity measures, yet they often overlook the human factor. While standard training programs may be in place, they tend to be generic and uninspiring, failing to effectively mitigate cyber incidents. To optimize ROI, organizations must adopt a targeted approach that acknowledges the need for tailored training to address the specific challenges posed by individuals. Organizations must address technological solutions and the human element by implementing customized training programs that resonate with employees’ unique needs and behaviors, like targeted marketing campaigns.


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Mercer | Mettl’s approach to measuring people risk involves assessing individuals across four dimensions: compliance and process, interpersonal relationships, positive attitude, and taking responsibility. Organizations gain valuable insights into their workforce’s cybersecurity awareness and behavior by assessing individuals across these competencies. This information can be used to develop targeted training programs, address skill gaps, and foster a culture of cybersecurity consciousness within the organization.


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While individual behavior drives cybersecurity consciousness, organizations often tend to overlook the significant role of culture. Culture provides valuable insights into predicting risky behaviors by offering an overview of the collective behavior within an organization. In addition to assessing individuals, Mercer | Mettl employs a risk culture model to evaluate an organization’s cybersecurity culture. This model consists of a set of 28 survey questions across five dimensions: behaviors, relationships, organizational structure, people competencies, and senior leadership.

Mercer | Mettl helps identify areas of strength and areas that require improvement by evaluating an organization’s risk culture across these dimensions, enabling organizations to develop targeted strategies to enhance their cybersecurity culture, aligning it with their overall risk management objectives.


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How can Mercer | Mettl’s Cybersecurity Assessment Solution help?

Mercer | Mettl’s Cybersecurity Assessment Solution is the ideal choice for organizations seeking to adopt a proactive approach to cybersecurity and improve their overall posture. By leveraging objective analytics, this comprehensive approach enhances security while informing critical talent decisions such as reskilling, upskilling, organizational design, and risk-framing message design.

Firstly, organizations can rely on cybersecurity assessment to identify people risk scenarios and design effective strategies to mitigate them, fortifying their cybersecurity defenses against evolving threats. Secondly, the risk culture compliance model provides valuable insights for organizations to evaluate their risk culture maturity and enhance resilience to cyber threats over time. The “Understanding People Risk” module also enables organizations to predict and influence individuals’ cybersecurity behaviors, making informed talent decisions and fostering a robust cybersecurity workforce. Moreover, the solution empowers organizations to design targeted strategies informed by analytics, reducing vulnerabilities, and strengthening cybersecurity defenses.



In today’s digital landscape, where cyber threats constantly evolve, organizations must comprehensively understand their vulnerabilities and risks. By conducting cybersecurity assessments, organizations can gain valuable insights into their risk culture maturity and identify areas for improvement. These assessments provide a holistic view of an organization’s cybersecurity posture, enabling them to make informed decisions and prioritize their efforts to enhance security. Furthermore, cybersecurity assessments help organizations identify potential people risk scenarios and develop targeted strategies to mitigate them. By evaluating individuals’ natural risk predisposition and technical skills, organizations can address gaps in knowledge and behavior, ultimately strengthening their workforce.

Originally published June 10 2024, Updated June 12 2024

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About This Topic

The accelerated pace at which businesses are rushing toward digitization has primarily established that digital skills are an enabler. It has also established the ever-changing nature of digital skills, and created a need for continuous digital upskilling and reskilling to protect the workforce from becoming obsolete.

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