9 Policies to Reduce IT Security and Compliance Risks

One major problem that IT security audits reveal is the lack of security policies. Security policies are vital and must be kept updated at all times for a company to stay afloat on cybersecurity. The policies give guidelines that help security personnel in dealing with day-to-day security processes. Here are nine IT security policies that every organisation needs;

1. Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

The acceptable use policy defines how all the IT security assets and services in your company are used. The policy gives all the rules and limitations to using the managed IT security assets—from accessing security information to sharing the data; every employee must consider the rules the policy puts in place.

2. Information Security

This policy lays the ground for proper data management. It defines the management, people, and the technological structure of the security program.

It also establishes the single person of contact who will be responsible for all the information security in the organisation. It covers system control, security personnel roles and responsibilities, password policy, and information access, among other areas.

3. Security Awareness

The security awareness policy is essential as it pertains to the training of security personnel. It also details how employees’ actions can pose a security risk and the consequences of such activities. The policy also dwells on the importance of early detection of security lapses and how to mitigate them.

4. Remote Access

Organisations with remote offices must have a procedure for how remote workers will access the company network. This policy caters to that need. It also details how third-party vendors access and use the company network.

5. Business Continuity

Also known as the Business Continuity Plan (BCP), the policy ensures the company has a comeback strategy should there be any natural disaster like floods, fires, or massive data loss. The policy details the process of disaster recovery and regaining business continuity.

It also specifies the roles every department must accomplish in the business recovery plan.It covers recovery tasks, personnel responsible, the timelines of the plan, equipment and resources for the recovery plan, and the critical vendors your company needs to ease their operations during the recovery.

6. Change Management

The change management policy provides guidance on technological updates, approval, and tracking. Any time a security software is updated, it is the change management policy that provides grounds for its monitoring. It helps to avoid lags in business as a result of changes, either in technology or security strategy.

7. Data Backup, Retention, and Disposal Policy

The data backup, retention & disposal policy is particularly crucial because it provides guidance on how frequent data is backed up, the length of time to retain data, and how to dispose of the data. It shields the company from data loss as a result of poor backup processes but also details the procedure of identifying redundant data and the process to dispose of it.

8. Incident Response

This policy closely syncs with the business continuity policy. It details how employees react to security incidences. The Incident response policy defines how an organisation detects security incidences, how they investigate, and solve them. This policy also details the strategy of preventing future security incidences.

9. Bring Your Own Device Policy

Employees who use their own devices at the workplace can pose a security threat to the organisation. Hackers can take advantage of the vulnerabilities of an employee’s device to access the company network. This policy gives guidelines for how employees use their devices within the company network.

The policy covers permitted devices, operating software, and the limit to access to the company data on an employee-owned device.

In summary, good IT Security policies take a lot of time and back and forth with the legal department to develop. However, being the foundation of all your security and compliance programs, developing sound policies streamlines your security operations. Click here to learn more about our managed IT security services.

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