Best internal communications 2016 Article icon

Best Cyber Safe - don't let them in
Anglian Water Services
Agency: artisan creative

‘Lurking in the shadows of the Internet, monsters are waiting for one person to make one mistake which could compromise our security,’ declare the posters at Anglian Water’s headquarters. ‘Don’t be that person!’

The posters are part of Anglian Water’s Cyber Safe – Don’t let them in campaign, that the company’s in-house communications team developed to raise awareness among employees (and senior leaders) of cyber security. Serving six million customers, Anglian supplies drinking water in the East of England and provides drainage and sewerage for an area stretching from the Humber to the River Thames.

The security of its assets is vital, but the company had identified a lack of cyber security awareness among staff as a threat. But it was also aware that there was a reluctance to engage with the cyber security message, especially at the top of the business.

Recognising the power of behaviour change theory, where people are influenced by the expertise of the person communicating the message, the in-house team brought in Government-backed industry experts to talk to its senior management team about the issue. This rapidly propelled cyber security to the top of the corporate agenda.

Anglian Water’s biggest vulnerability was its people, and the team developed a twin-track communications strategy: a campaign for all employees coupled with targeted and tailored messages to individuals based on the level of risk in their day-to-day roles.

Six cyber characters were created – Hack, Viro, Word, Cloud, Data and Phish – and posters articulated how each risky ‘monster’ manifested itself, while offering advice on ‘how to handle him’. The campaign started with a teaser element, where giant monsters appeared across Anglian Water’s offices, on windows and screens.

The company’s Information Security team was rebranded as Cyber Security. A series of leaflets set out the issue, highlighting how Anglian Water’s Cyber Security team fights threats every day, intercepting 36 million spam emails a year and thwarting between 100 and 150 malware attacks a month.

The leaflets also offered advice on staying cyber safe at work and at home. The Cyber Security team also held briefing sessions across the company, using interactive tools to bring them to life, including ‘hacking’ into attendee’s work phones to show how easy it is.

In a survey, 79 per cent of Anglian Water employees said they better understood the risks to the company, while 43 per cent said they would use IT differently in the workplace.

The judges described the initiative as a ‘smart strategy with a real understanding of both challenges and solutions’, adding: ‘Great results, great logic, great creativity.’