Whether you’re a global corporation or small start-up operation, your business needs documented IT security policies. Not only will these policies serve to engage employees and bolster productivity, but they’re essential to keeping your business up and running.
Below are nine key IT security policies every organization should have:
- Employee Awareness and Training Policy
First thing’s first, a well-trained staff is key to implementing any IT security strategy. Your awareness and training documents should educate employees on the importance of IT security policies in general, while outlining instruction and awareness procedures for every policy that follows.
Note: Many organizations encourage their employees to sign off once they’ve completed their training.
- Password Management Policy
Strong passwords are an absolute must if you hope to keep your organization’s sensitive data secure and protected. Your business’s password policy should teach employees the importance of original passwords, how to create them and how often to change them.
Note: For ultimate password protection, we recommend utilizing two-factor authentication
- Remote Access Policy
As working from home is increasingly becoming the new norm, remote data security is now more critical than ever. As network data can be easily intercepted, a remote access policy (including clear protocols for computer, network and VPN security) is crucial to protecting your clients, employees and company information.
- Permitted Access Policy
To minimize human error (the leading cause for data breaches), all businesses should implement a permitted access policy. Keeping in mind staff should only have access to information required to perform their job, this policy should outline, document and restrict employee access to specific systems and data.
- Bring Your Own Device Policy
For businesses allowing employees to bring their own devices (BYOD), a comprehensive policy will help minimize BYOD security risks, employee confusion, downtime and unnecessary costs. Your policy should explain how, where and when company data can and should be accessed, acceptable use of the device, how the device will be monitored, BYOD risks, reimbursement, etc.
See our previous post: BYOD: Is Your Business Ready to "Bring Your Own Devices”?
- Acceptable Use Policy
Speaking of acceptable use, how, where and when your company equipment should be used applies to more than just an employee’s personal device. This policy should indicate what is considered appropriate use of company computers, email, internet (including social media), client and company data, etc., as well as the consequences for misusing any of the above.
See our previous post: 5 Best Practices for Protecting Company Email
- Regular Backup Policy
Malicious cyber criminals are just itching to access and exploit your company information. Ensure your data remains protected at all costs through regularly scheduled data backups. Cloud solutions are ideal for safekeeping your information, especially those hosted through a managed IT services provider.
- Regular Updates Policy
Another effective way to keep cyber criminals at bay? Regular software updates. Whether you opt to have employees perform scheduled updates on their own or enlist the help of a reliable managed IT services provider, this is a necessary step for minimizing threats and improving workplace efficiency.
- Disaster Recovery Policy
Part of a larger business continuity plan, your disaster recovery policy should explain the actions, tools and procedures expected during an unforeseen workplace disaster. By clearly documenting these protocols, your business will have what it needs to stay up and running, no matter what.
See our previous post: 5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Disaster Recovery Plan