IT security policies are the first line of defence in protecting your business against cybercrime. They achieve this by giving your greatest weakness – your employees – a way to utilise tech defences effectively and empowering them to recognise threats and react quickly to limit damage or prevent attacks entirely.
The type of IT security policies your business will have in place will depend on your industry and specific IT processes, but there are general policies that apply to every business, regardless of their size or the field they operate in.
#1 – A Strong Password Security Policy
Passwords are our most basic level of tech protection against intrusion and, despite having to use passwords extensively in every aspect of our lives, there are still many people who use very weak passwords to protect their accounts and devices.
Having a password policy will help mitigate this threat. By creating best practices and instructions on when to use a password, how to create a strong password, when to use different passwords, how often to change the password and how to store your passwords securely, several very exploitable vulnerabilities in your IT security can be mitigated.
Remember to be specific in your policy, to highlight common passwords and methods of creating passwords that can be easily utilised by hackers and high-quality software solutions that can help develop, store and manage passwords for ease of use.
#2 – Remote Access Security Policy
Remote working has become increasingly popular around the world, allowing employees to work more flexible hours, alleviating time spent in traffic, helping to create a better work-life balance and helping businesses save costs.
Despite these benefits, remote working does come with its security risks. Home and public access Wi-Fi are not usually anywhere near as secure as office networks secured by a managed IT security provider or in-house security team. Laptops, tablets and mobiles with sensitive work information on them can be more easily stolen from a café, car or home than from an office with physical security and access control.
As a result, employees need to develop their own IT security knowledge through a policy that clearly explains the risks and how to counter them, from properly securing home networks and how to use public access networks to properly storing and securing devices.
#3 – Acceptable Use Policies
This type of policy covers exactly what a work laptop, mobile or network can and cannot be used for. As tech becomes such an integral part of our work and personal lives, so it can become more challenging to separate acceptable use of IT resources from those that affect productivity or place the business at risk. The main goal here is to prevent the accidental or unintentional download of malware, ransomware and viruses that can affect your entire network and bring your business to a halt.
An IT security policy should be exceptionally clear on how to avoid unsafe websites, what is and what is not allowed to be downloaded onto work devices, and what websites are blocked and why. This doesn’t mean automatically blocking access to social media (this can negatively affect productivity and employee happiness), but it does mean monitoring time spent on unproductive websites and actively preventing downloads from untrustworthy locations.
#4 – Mobile/Personal Device Security Policy
Also called a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, this policy is a set of guidelines that allows businesses to properly handle the potential threat that personal devices can present in the workplace. Today, there is a lot of overlap between personal and work devices, from employees working from home on their personal computer or answering work calls and emails on their personal mobiles to hosting meetings and sessions while they work from home. This use of personal devices can be very beneficial for most businesses – but only if it is managed properly.
Your IT security policy should outline the threats that personal devices present as well as how to help secure them, something that will benefit your business as well as your employees who don’t want to put their personal data at risk. This includes elements such as how to keep software up to date, how to report it if it is stolen and remote wipe the device, how to create and manage strong passwords, and information on backing up and encrypting your device.
Let Your Managed IT Services Provider Secure Your Business and Your Employees
At DWM Solutions, we understand that your employees are your greatest asset and that with the right policies and protocols, we can help you empower them to secure your business. Our data security services cover every challenge faced by the modern business, helping you thrive even in a time of significant, sophisticated cybersecurity threats. Contact us today for a free consultation.