The approach you take with your IT security policy can have a direct effect on the impact of impending breaches and the mitigation of threats. While large organizations can rely on their IT managers to take responsibility for this critical task, small and mid-sized business managers often find themselves in the position of having to write their security policies themselves. Here are six key items you’ll want to consider adding to your security policy to enhance it’s value and maximize your efforts:
- Passwords – Weak passwords are an invitation for thieves and hackers, creating an area of vulnerability you can’t afford. Set a policy for password creation within strict parameters, supplemented with employee training for best results.
- Training Policy – Clearly identify the type and frequency of training that will be provided. The length between retraining will depend on your individual needs. Training could include computer modules followed by a quiz with a minimum score requirement.
- Enforcement – Settle for nothing less than strict adherence to company guidelines, clearly outlaying the consequences for noncompliance to both existing and newly hired employees. Have employees sign a statement of understanding to ensure that they are aware they are fully responsible for their actions.
- Real-world Examples – Provide working examples of how security breaches can occur, and what steps need to be to taken to avoid them, helping employees to recognize their role in network security.
- Recovery Plan – Should an attack happen, be ready with a plan for each potential scenario, complete with identifying which groups or individuals are responsible for implementing restorative procedures. With a comprehensive plan in place, reaction times will be quicker, minimizing the impact and loss of sensitive data.
- Acceptable Use Policy – Employee error and the maltreatment of digital equipment is a common issue and one which can leave your company vulnerable to an attack. Make your expectations clear, highlighting and enforcing the consequences for misuse.
The benefits of good IT policy include less downtime, higher productivity rates, and added peace of mind for both you and your customers. Many SMBs are finding it beneficial to partner with a Managed IT Service provider to help them develop an effective IT security policy.
If you’d like more information on how you can keep your office environment secure, contact us and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.