As you introduce your business to the online world, you must establish a robust cybersecurity policy. A security policy protects you from attacks.

Read on and learn what cybersecurity policy is all about and how it is essential to businesses. Also, get to know the steps you can take to build a solid cybersecurity policy for your company.

What is Cybersecurity Policy?

A cybersecurity policy, also known as IT security policy, is a document that outlines how a company intends to protect its information and technology assets.

The document identifies potential threats and describes the measures laid down by the company to avoid such risks. A security policy is essential for all types of businesses, whether big or small.

Here are the reasons why every business needs to have an IT security strategy:

  • Businesses are making it big in the online world. It is, therefore, imperative to protect your space and interests while doing business online.
  • Cybercrime has grown incredibly over the last few decades. As such, you’ll need to be quite vigilant when conducting online transactions.
  • You need to protect the integrity of your customers’ data from thieves, fraudsters, hackers, and other unauthorized parties. Leaked-out customer details can be detrimental to a company’s reputation.
  • Having an effective cybersecurity policy safeguards a company’s data at all costs. Remember that information stored in the cloud is prone to attackers. Having an acceptable security policy will ensure that the cloud is well secured.
  • A cyberattack can kill your business. Cyberattacks come with substantial financial losses. Many companies that experience such attacks fail and are unable to recover.

How Does a Sound Cybersecurity Policy Look Like?

An acceptable IT security policy must ensure that all technology and information assets are secured. Therefore, you should identify the assets to be covered in the policy. They may include:

  • Communications software and hardware such as firewalls, switches, multiplexers, modems, and routers
  • Application software
  • System software such as database management and operating systems
  • General computer hardware such as PC systems, applications servers, web, email, disc, and CPU

Developing a cybersecurity system should be done collectively by all the stakeholders in a company. They are also the consumers of the policy, including employees, the HR personnel, legal team, IT team, management teams, and board members. They should be trained about the details of the security system.

A cybersecurity security policy document may include the following topics:

  • Identification and authentication
  • Remote access control
  • Classification of data
  • End-user encryption key protection
  • Email policy
  • Data recovery plan
  • Acceptable use
  • Change management
  • An employee on/offboarding
  • Data backup
  • Physical security

How to Build a Strong Cybersecurity Policy

Set Password and Pin Requirements

A password policy sets out the rules that govern the formulation of security passwords in the organization. Also, it outlines the procedures for appropriate storage and usage of passwords. For instance, it gives recommendations for the number of characters to use when creating a password. A good policy will also help you know when to change your passwords.

Mobile Device Control

Mobile device policies seek to safeguard the information that may be contained in portable devices. These devices include laptops, tablets, and smartphones. These mobile devices need protection because they are more prone to theft as compared to CPUs and other storage devices. It is also easy to hack information on such devices by the use of malicious apps.

A lot of people also make financial transactions through mobile devices. As a result, these devices are a point of interest for thieves. An excellent portable device management policy should protect information contained in such instruments. Company devices should have unique passwords to block unauthorized users. The IT team should be able to access all devices remotely to identify suspicious operations.

Data Transfer Measures

Private company information can be easily breached when being transferred from one employee to another. With a firm cybersecurity policy, you can avoid security risks that result from data transfer. Essentially, your employees should avoid sharing confidential information unless it is absolutely necessary. The system should also inhibit the use of public networks and Wi-Fi, which may encourage a breach of data. Employees must verify the recipient’s authenticity whenever transferring information in or out of the organization.

Handling Sensitive Data

Hackers are often interested in confidential data. As a result, if this information leaks out, it may lead to substantial financial losses and tarnish your company’s image. Examples of sensitive data include customer lists, new technologies, formulas, patents, and financial information. The IT security policy should give directions on who should be the custodian of confidential data. It should also explain when and how such information should be shared with other employees. Additionally, you should outline the procedures to follow when disposing of sensitive data.

Set Standards for Internet and Social Media Access

Social media is a great marketing tool that also increases company visibility. However, social media platforms may become security threats if not used properly. A security policy needs to provide guidelines around which media may be used to promote the company brand. Choose the social media platforms that are less susceptible to cybercrime. The guidelines should also describe the person responsible for social media operations. Also, a sound security system should give a list of prohibited websites.

Email Policy

Emails are prone to malicious software and scams. An acceptable IT security policy should describe how emails in your organization will be protected from unauthorized access. For instance, the system needs to state email procedures and rules such as acceptable email attachments, prohibited communication, and email monitoring. You should organize a training program to educate your employees on the details of the email policy. This will avoid the misuse of emails in your organization.

Prepare for an Incident

An IT security policy needs to outline a disaster contingency plan. What do you do in case there is a breach of sensitive data? The policy should outline the procedure to follow in recovering data, applications, and systems. The recovery procedure should include the following details:

  • Public communication guideline
  • Infrastructure replacement plan
  • Data backup and restoration plan
  • Priority of services
  • Classification of data
  • Succession of responsibilities
  • Emergency contacts

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Keep Your Cybersecurity Policy Up-To-Date

There are constant developments in the IT industry. For example, there are new cybercrimes beings innovated each day. Similarly, cybersecurity experts, such as Teamstack, are continually developing better security systems for companies. Keep yourself updated with these essential changes and make the necessary alterations in your IT security policy. Ensure that all employees are aware of policy changes. You may develop a continuous training program to keep them abreast of new security procedures.

Appoint contact people

An IT security policy can only be effective if it is managed appropriately. Departmental heads or managers may be appointed to implement and supervise cybersecurity policies. They will monitor the compliance of employees with regard to the rules provided in the system. This may be done through regular internal audits. In addition, the policy contact people will make the necessary recommendations to management based on their audit findings.

The Bottom Line

Clearly, IT security is a growing need across all sectors. Many businesses are making an entry into the online world. On the other hand, there are increasing threats in cyberspace today than ever before. The need to have an IT security policy is vital and urgent. You need to establish a firm system to ensure the total security of your technology and information assets. Contact Teamstack today and get professional advice on how to develop an excellent cybersecurity policy.