Your employees are often the weak link in your organization’s cybersecurity. When using unapproved applications, sharing passwords, or clicking on suspect URLs and attachments, your staff can create cybersecurity weaknesses or cause your business to lose valuable data. Up to 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error.
Though IT departments and top-level executives may focus extensively on maximizing cybersecurity, every employee must do their part. Educating your team through an information security policy can help your business prevent many security violations. When everyone participates, costly data breaches are less likely to occur.
What Is a Policy in Cybersecurity?
An information security policy (also referred to as a cybersecurity policy) is a document that explains each individual’s responsibilities for protecting IT systems and data. It outlines the standards for various cyber activities, such as restricting social media use and encrypting email attachments, so your team can understand their responsibilities.
The first part of a policy should explain the expectations for each role, prioritizing your organization’s most important areas. In later sections, your policy can explain requirements for particular areas, such as cloud applications, wireless communication, password protection, and remote access. If your industry is regulated, make sure to follow the necessary legal requirements.
How Are Information Security Policies Created?
Writing a policy involves multiple people, so everyone with a stake in the business’s cybersecurity should have a say. These stakeholders include your:
Executives. Executive leadership defines the organization’s primary security needs and available resources.
IT team. As the largest consumer of the policy’s information, the IT team contributes to and implements standards for security controls.
Legal team. The legal team verifies that the information security policy meets all legal requirements, regulatory compliance, and client agreements.
HR team. The HR team explains and enforces the policy to employees and discipline violators.
Procurement departments. These departments recruit the necessary service providers and make sure their security policies match yours.
Your security policy should be easy to read and include links to other documents for information that’s updated frequently or needs more explanation.
Importance of an Information Security Policy
An information security policy is an important part of your business’s security plan, especially if you work in a regulated industry. Having a policy can ensure that you have the best security procedures in place to avoid penalties. It will also make your organization more credible to the public, so your customers, partners, and shareholders can trust that you will protect their data.
Security policies in cybersecurity matter because data breaches can be disastrous for small organizations and startups. When your employees understand what they should or should not do, your network will be better protected. To make sure you are adhering to your information security policy, conduct a thorough security audit.
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If you are looking for IT security and support for your small business or startup, Kinetix is here to help. Our Security Essentials will protect your organization from the vast majority of threats using the best tools available. Our Advanced Security Program offers extra protection for organizations with sensitive needs. Get your free risk assessment or contact us for more information today.