Security Policies Your Organization Should Have
Many small and medium-sized companies have limited resources and awareness to understand the importance of having an effective and well-designed IT security policy.
A security policy will help you identify the rules and processes a person should follow when using the organization’s assets and resources. The goal of these policies is to monitor, identify, and address security threats and execute strategies to mitigate risk.
These policies should also serve as a guideline for employees on what to do and what not to do and define who has access to particular assets and the penalties for not following the regulations.
Keep in mind the three core objectives of an IT Security Policy:
Regardless of your company’s size, IT security policies should be documented for the protection of your data and other critical resources.
What Security Policies should your Business have?
Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
This policy specifies the practices an employee must do when accessing organizational IT assets such as computer equipment. But it doesn’t only apply to hardware, this policy also indicates proper use of data, internet, email, etc., as well as proper and unacceptable behaviors when handling critical information.
The AUP specifies the risks one may cause if the information system is used inappropriately and other consequences, legal or otherwise, that can occur when the network is compromised due to improper behavior.
An example of inappropriate use is accessing data for reasons that are not included in an employee’s job. This is important especially when onboarding new hires.
Security Awareness and Training Policy
A well-trained and knowledgeable staff is one of the key factors for the successful implementation of your IT security strategy.
Security awareness training should be conducted to all your employees for them to properly execute their tasks and safeguard the company information at the same time. The purpose of this policy is to constantly inform all users regarding the impacts their actions will have on security and privacy.
In this policy, you should include a list on how to maintain workstations, employee’s responsibility on computer security, email, and internet access policy, and should also highlight personnel responsible for maintaining and developing the training.
Incident Response Policy
The incident response policy differs from the Disaster Recovery Plan as it covers processes following a security incident and should be documented separately.
The goal of this policy is to explain the process of handling an incident, specific to reducing the damage to business operations, customers and minimizing the recovery time and cost.
This policy outlines the company’s response to an information security event. It also includes information about the incident response team, persons in charge of testing the policy, their roles, and resources that will be used to identify and retrieve compromised data.
Another vital aspect of this policy is educating the team on who to report to in case of an incident, such as a data breach. As leaders, you should always assess and monitor your team’s performance ensuring that everyone is cooperating and regularly test and update the incident response plan.
Network Security Policy
This policy ensures that the information systems within the organization have suitable hardware, software, and auditing mechanisms. A network security policy guarantees the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data by following a certain procedure when conducting a review of your system’s activity on a regular basis.
Events such as failed login attempts and the use of privileged accounts should be properly documented as well as any anomalies that may occur. This also includes firewalls, devices added or removed within the network, and activities around routers and switches.
Change Management Policy
This policy refers to the process of making changes to the organization’s IT and security operations. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the changes are all managed, tracked, and approved.
Systems and software are constantly being updated or replaced due to a number of reasons. Without a change management policy, unexpected things could happen when an update or change happens. The goal of this policy is to minimize the likelihood of outages and maintain compliance with specific regulations.
All changes to IT must follow a structured procedure to guarantee correct planning and execution. This policy is important to increase awareness and knowledge of proposed changes across the organization and reduce the negative impact on services and customers.
Password Creation and Management Policy
The purpose of this policy is to educate employees on the importance of strong, original passwords, how to create and how often should they change it.
This policy provides a guideline on developing and implementing the process for proper creation and securing of passwords for verifying user identity and for access to company systems and information. This policy will also indicate rules for changing temporary passwords and risks of reusing old ones.
This policy will also include rules specific to password complexity and length, including guidance on the risk of using easy words and including personal information within the password.
Access Control Policy
Access control is the process of ensuring that users have authorized access to company data. A superior access control policy can be adapted easily to respond to advancing factors enabling companies to minimize any damage.
Other things that can be included within this policy are the specifications for user access, network access, and other system controls. Depending on the organization’s compliance requirements and the security level of IT, usage of access control models may differ.
Remote Access Policy
Working from home is now being incorporated into the system that’s why remote data security is a concern for most business owners.
Remote access involves the connection of any host to the company’s network. This policy is designed to reduce the possibility of exposure from any damages that are caused by the unauthorized use of assets.
This policy will be directed to all employees and should include stipulations for sending or receiving email and intranet resources. It will also include requirements regarding the use of VPN and disk encryption.
One example that you can include in this policy is for users not to engage in any illegal activity with their remote access and should not allow unauthorized persons to access their work devices.
Need help in developing a policy for your company? Experts at Uniserve IT Solutions can help. Contact us today and will help you manage and update any existing security policies you have or help you build a new one.