Harnessing the Sheepdog Effect

We often get two big questions at Beauceron Security: "How do you pronounce your name?" and "What does it mean?" Fun fact: a Beauceron (Bo-ser-on) is a breed of sheep dog from northern France.

So how does a cybersecurity company - that works primarily in human-centric cyber risk - associate with a sheepdog from northern France?

Enter the sheepdog effect.

We've discovered when individuals are given the right tools and education, empowered to understand their role in protecting an organization, and encouraged to do so, they're energized by the idea of playing their part.

They stop being the targets or victims of cybercrime. They start being the defenders. They go from being a sheep to a sheepdog.

It's about empowerment

The concept of each person contributing to the collective security of an organization spreads like wildfire, and transforms these individuals into active defenders - front line scouts that are eager to identify threats, and protect the organization's interests.

In turn, these engaged individuals encourage others to also contribute to the collective security and awareness of cybersecurity within the organization - ultimately helping others transition to being active defenders as well - which, in return - reduces risk within the organization.

We call this the sheepdog effect.

The sheepdog effect fully embodies everything we're about here at Beauceron security.

Our concepts of protecting organizations through educating people, improving process through self-assessment, raising awareness and understanding in company culture, and helping to properly implement technology are all fully reflected in this behavior.

Finally, it's relatable. Everyone wants to be a sheepdog, not a sheep. 

We see the same "IT-centric" approach to cybersecurity over and over again, with the same results: building a wall around your users doesn't work. Trying to work around them with ever more complex security technologies just frustrates them and reduces productivity.

Beyond awareness 

The sheepdog effect is a change in organizational culture that's easily adopted by individuals, and isn't 'just another security awareness campaign'.

It's an excellent example of what we're striving for, and we can't wait to see how it evolves.

Ian MacMillan is a co-founder of Beauceron Security and the lead designer for the Beauceron cyber risk platform. 

Image courtesy Stefan Schmitz / Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.